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The number of debt judgments registered against Northern Ireland consumers in the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021) was 706, a rise of 67 percent from the 424 in the same period last year, according to figures released today (27.07.2021) by Registry Trust. But, it is worth noting that numbers are still well below the highs seen before Covid struck.

The rise in the total value of judgment debt owed was on a similar scale, up 62 percent from just over £1 million in Q2 2020 to £1.6 million in Q2 2021. The average value of consumer judgments fell slightly by just under three percent, from £2,371 last year to £2,303 this quarter. The median value fell by nearly nine percent from £1,115 to £1,016. This suggest creditors are taking out more, smaller judgments against consumers.

Judgments against Northern Ireland businesses also rose but by a lower rate of increase than against consumers. Business judgments were up 27 percent over the period, from 92 to 117. The total value of judgments against Northern Ireland businesses rose by just over nine percent, £260,514 to £284,721. The average value of business judgments fell, from £2,832 to £2,434, down 14 percent. But, the median value was 29 percent higher, at £1,295 compared to £1,006. This suggests there were fewer very large judgments and fewer smaller judgments pushing up the median value.

Registry Trust Chair Mick McAteer said: “We saw a large rise in the number and value of judgments against Northern Irish consumers in this quarter compared to the same period last year. At that time, interventions by government and regulators, and forbearance by creditors, in response to the Covid crisis had kept judgment numbers at historically low levels. But, as these measures were wound down, numbers began to rise again. However, while numbers are still well below the pre-Covid peaks, the rise suggests the Covid economic crisis is far from over for financially vulnerable households.”.

- Ends –

Q2 2020 Q2 2021 Change (compared with 2020)
Judgments against consumers
volume 424 706 66.5%
total value £1,005,168 £1,625,636 61.7%
average* value £2,371 £2,303 -2.9%
median value £1,115 £1,016 -8.8%
Judgments against all businesses
volume 92 117 27.2%
total value £260,514 £284,721 9.3%
average* value £2,832 £2,434 -14.1%
median value £1,006 £1,295 28.8%
Judgments against incorporated businesses
volume 61 93 52.5%
total value £185,894 £254,021 36.7%
average* value £3,047 £2,731 -10.4%
median value £1,156 £1,392 20.4%
Judgments against unincorporated businesses
volume 31 24 -22.6%
total value £74,620 £30,700 -58.9%
average* value £2,407 £1,279 -46.9%
median value £934 £993 6.3%
volume 30 44 46.7%
total value £122,851 £137,032 11.5%
average* value £4,095 £3,114 -24%
median value £882 £820 -7%

0207 391 7287

Notes for editors

Registry Trust is a non-profit company established in 1985. Registry Trust holds a public register of Northern Ireland judgments. It collects details of undefended default, small claims and High Court judgments directly from the Northern Ireland Courts Service with their agreement.

Judgments can be removed from the register if paid in full within one calendar month of the issue date and Registry Trust is informed, but will otherwise remain registered for six years. If fully paid outside the one calendar month, the defendant can apply to have the judgment marked as ‘satisfied’.

To have a paid judgment marked as satisfied, defendants need to send evidence of payment to Registry Trust. The written evidence, which will be available from the claimant or the claimant’s solicitor, should include: the case number, the judgment’s date, amount, and the date when the debt was repaid in full. Defendants should add confirmation of their name and address at the date of the judgment and send it to: Registry Trust, 153–157 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 6QW. An administration fee of £6.00 is payable for each named person or business at a specified address or limited company name. Cheques should be made out to: Registry Trust Ltd.

Anyone may search for entries against a named person or business at a stated address or a corporate body in the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland by visiting Registry Trust’s website or by writing to Registry Trust, 153–157 Cleveland Street, London W1T 6QW.