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Court judgments against Irish consumers for outstanding debts have risen by 26 percent to the highest level for three years, figures released today by registrar Irish Judgments show.

The new data measures the changes over the year to Q3 2019 and suggests the number of registered judgments may be returning to pre-2016 levels.

A total of 678 consumer judgments and 192 business judgments were registered in Q3 2019, an increase of 26 and 40 percent respectively from Q3 2018 figures. This suggests that creditors are increasingly requesting their judgments be recorded.

Irish Judgments collects information on judgments from courts across Ireland registered by creditors at the Four Courts in Dublin. It is operated by Registry Trust, a non-profit company which collects court judgment information across the UK and Ireland

The total value of consumer debt rose 12 percent to €56.8million which means that consumers owed 92 percent of registered judgment debt in Ireland this quarter. In contrast, the total value of registered business judgments still is just under €5million, and makes up only eight per cent of registered judgment debt in Ireland.

Q3 2019 saw a decrease in both consumer and business judgment averages, with figures dropping 11 and 22 percent respectively from Q3 2018. The average business debt for the quarter was €26,038 with consumer debts falling to €83,882.

Mick McAteer as Registrar commented: Accurate judgment data provides an important indicator of the state of the economy and household finances. With consumer judgments up by over one quarter and business judgments up over 40 percent, we will continue to monitor the Irish economy for signs of vulnerability”.

Judgments against consumers
Q3 2018 Q3 2019 Change (compared with Q3 2018)
volume 539 678 26%
total value €50,564,363 €56,872,025 12%
Average* value € 93,811 €83,882 -11%
median € 11,453 €16,289.50 42%
Judgments against businesses
Q3 2018 Q3 2019 Change (compared with Q3 2018)
volume 137 192 40%
total value €4,598,108 €4,999,408 9%
Average* value €33,562 €26,038 -22%
median €5,812 €6999.50 20%

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Notes for editors

Irish Judgments is part of Registry Trust, a non-profit company established in 1985. Registry Trust maintains public records of judgment and decree information for all jurisdictions in the British Isles and Ireland.

Irish Judgments holds a public register of judgments registered at the Four Courts in Dublin.

The figures are based only on judgments registered at the request and cost of creditors at the Four Courts in Dublin and therefore provide only a partial picture of debt in Ireland.

Judgments can be removed from the register if paid in full within one calendar month of the issue date and Irish Judgments 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 improve their credit rating.

Anyone may search for entries against a named person or business at a stated address or a corporate body in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland or England and Wales by visiting Registry Trust’s website or by writing to Irish Judgments at Irish Judgments, Ulysses House, Foley Street, Dublin 1.