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Q1 2020 Statistics

Overview

312,084 NEW JUDGMENTS WERE PROCESSED IN Q1 2020 WITH A TOTAL VALUE OF £649,801,694

During the period between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020, 97% of judgments came from courts in England and Wales.

The median value for judgments this quarter was £790, while the average was £2,082, a 20% and 16% year on year increase, respectively.

England and Wales

The number of consumer judgments issued this quarter is the lowest number of consumer CCJs recorded in Q1 since 2016. Despite declining judgment numbers, consumers owed a total of £455million in judgment debt in Q1 of 2020 alone – a rise of one percent from the £449million owed in Q1 2019. Significant rises in the average and median value of consumer CCJs, at the rate of 21 percent and 18 percent, respectively, suggest that claimants are issuing fewer judgments but for greater amounts.

In the High Court, judgments against consumers rose 133 percent, from 33 in Q1 2019 to 77 in Q1 2020. High Court Judgments totaled £15.1million, and averaged at £196,506 in value, both falling, 11 percent and 62 percent respectively. Due to the small number of judgments registered by the High Court, the numbers are subject to large fluctuations in percentage increases/decreases.

The number of CCJs against businesses decreased from 35,781 in Q1 2019 to 33,520 in Q1 2020. The total value of judgments saw an increase of one percent, bringing the total CCJ debt owed by England & Wales businesses to £108.4 million for the quarter. The average value of business debt hit £3,233 this quarter, eight percent more than was seen in Q1 of 2019. The median value rose from £933 to £974 over the period.

Small businesses fared better than larger businesses this quarter. The number of CCJs against unincorporated businesses dropped 13 percent, from 8,717 in Q1 2019 to 7,563 in Q1 2020. The total amount of CCJ debt owed by small businesses also fell by 13 percent from just under £25 million to £21.7 million. The value of judgments against incorporated businesses rose by five percent from £82 million to £86.7 million over the period, while the number fell by four percent from 27,064 to 25,957. The average value rose by 10 percent.

Scotland

Scottish consumers owed £14.3 million in registered debt in Q1 2020, according to figures released today by Registry Trust, a rise of 20 percent on Q1 2019. The number of decrees saw a small increase of three percent compared to Q1 2019. The large rise in the value over the period was driven mostly by a 16 percent increase in the average size of decrees from £2,267 to £2,629.

The number of decrees against Scottish businesses rose by 29 percent over the period, from 561 to 722. The total value of decrees against businesses fell 5%, to just under £3million. The average value also fell by 10% as the number of lower value decrees continued to rise.

Northern Ireland

The number of judgments against Northern Ireland consumers increased by 4.6 percent in Q1 2020 compared to the same period last year, from 1,411 to 1,476, according to figures released today by Registry Trust. But the amount owed in judgment debt by Northern Irish consumers fell from just under £5 million to £3.2 million, down 34 percent over the same period. The average value of consumer debt also fell from £3,434 to £2,159, a decrease of 37 percent on the same quarter of 2019. The fall in the average value is due to a decrease in the average value of debts above £3000.

In contrast, fewer but larger value judgments were taken out against businesses in Northern Ireland. The number of judgments against businesses fell 27 percent in the last quarter. Total and average values rose by 38 and 89 percent respectively. The total value of Northern Irish businesses judgments reached almost the £1 million mark this quarter. Businesses owed 24 percent of all judgment debt in Northern Ireland in Q1 2020, compared to just 13 percent in Q1 2019.

Republic of Ireland

Irish businesses owed €3,826,317 in Q1 2020, a rise of 134% compared to the same period of 2019. The number of judgments saw a similar rise of 125%, increasing from 112 in Q1 2019 to 252 in Q1 2020

Consumers fared better this quarter, with the total number of judgments dropping five percent compared to Q1 2019. The total value of registered debt owed by consumers in Q1 2020 was €25,947,064, compared to €28,440,399 in Q1 2019, a fall of nine percent. The average value of consumer judgments registered also fell, by four percent. The median value fell significantly by 33 percent suggesting that there was a larger number of smaller judgments registered.

Jersey

The total value of registered debt in Jersey has almost halved from £1.2 million in Q1 2019 to £678,567 in Q1 2020 – a fall of 45 percent. This is despite an increase of 10 percent in the number of judgments issued in the Jersey Petty and Royal Courts over the same period. The average value of debts registered fell by 50% from £2,737 to £1,382. The latest data indicates a large rise in the number of lower value judgments.

The numbers of judgments registered against Jersey businesses fell from 33 to 27 in Q1 2020. The value of business judgments registered in the quarter was £100,440 compared to £443,497 in the same period of 2019, a fall of more than three quarters.

The number of judgments against Jersey consumers rose by 12 percent, from 415 to 464. The total value of consumer judgments fell from £782,843 to £578,127, a fall of 26 percent. The average value of consumer judgments fell by 34 percent from £1,886 to £1,246. However, the median value has risen 10 percent suggesting a number of outlying judgment values are distorting the average value.

Download the Quarter 1 2020 Statistics Book here.