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Overview

THERE WERE 958,549 NEW JUDGMENTS PROCESSED IN 2021

This year saw a 32% increase for number of judgments on the previous year, creating the second lowest judgment rate in the past five years.

The total value of judgments processed during this period was £2,251,596,722. The median amount for judgments was £770.

98% of all judgments we processed were from the England and Wales jurisdiction.

England and Wales

County Court Judgments (CCJs) against businesses in England and Wales rose by 13 percent in 2021, compared to 2020, according to figures released today [17.01.2021] by Registry Trust.

The number of business CCJs increased from 77,134 in 2020 to 87,441 in 2021. The total value of CCJ debt owed by businesses rose by 12 percent, from £322 million to £359 million. The average value of business debt fell slightly, by nearly two percent (1.6%) from £4,178 to £4,110, while the median value fell by one fifth from £1,485 to £1,176 over the period.

The number of judgments against larger incorporated businesses was up by 16 percent, from 55,537 to 64,265. The total value rose from £255 million to £294 million, an increase of 16 percent. The average value was more or less unchanged at £4,581 in 2021 compared to £4,588 in 2020. But, the median value was down by one fifth from £1,602 to £1,190.

CCJs against smaller unincorporated businesses also rose, by seven percent, from 21,597 to 23,176. However, the total value fell slightly, by nearly four percent (3.6%) from £67 million to £65 million. This meant the average value fell by 10percent from £3,123 to £2,805, as did the median value, down 10 percent from £1,280 to £1,151.

The number of High Court Judgments against businesses fell by 22 percent from 263 to 206. The total value fell sharply, by 42 percent, from £337 million last year to £196 million this year. The small number of registered High Court Judgments means these figures are subject to large fluctuations.

The number of County Court Judgments (CCJs) issued against consumers in England and Wales in 2021 rose by more than one third compared to 2020, according to figures released today [17.01.2021] by Registry Trust.

The number of consumer judgments registered in 2021 was 848,124, up by 36 percent from 625,901 in 2020. But, it is worth noting that this is still significantly lower than the pre Covid crisis peaks when annual numbers regularly topped one million.

The total value of consumer judgments owed also rose significantly, by nearly one-quarter (24%), from £1.1 million in 2020 to £1.4 million in 2021. The average value of consumer judgments fell by eight percent, from £1,811 to £1,658, with the median value also down by eight percent from £786 to £722.

Disappointingly, the number of judgments ‘satisfied’ (or fully paid) by consumers in 2021 fell compared to 2020, down one percent from 184,049 to 186,237. Over four million consumers[1], have a judgment registered against them – one in 13 of the adult population. The proportion of judgments marked as satisfied remains worryingly low, at around 16 percent.

In the High Court, the number of judgments against consumers fell by 36 percent, from 262 to 167. But, the total value saw a large rise of 34 percent, from £111 million to £149 million. This more than doubled the average value from £424,694 to £891,603. Due to the small number of judgments registered by the High Court, the numbers are subject to large fluctuations in percentage increases or decreases and the impact of a small number of very large judgments.

Scotland

The number of decrees and total amount of debt registered against Scottish consumers in 2021 rose compared to 2020, according to figures released today [17.01.2021] by Registry Trust.

The number increased from 13,308 in 2020 to 14,444 in 2021, a rise of nine percent. The total value rose even more, by 19 percent, from £37 million to £44 million. As a result, the average value rose by nine percent, from £2,795 to £3,054, with the median value up by 14 percent, from £1,451 to £1,647.

The number of decrees against Scottish businesses fell by 12 percent, from 1,996 in 2020 to 1,749 in 2021. The total value fell even more, by 27 percent, from £12 million to £9 million. As a result, the average value fell by 17 percent, from £6,057 to £5,056. In contrast, the median value rose significantly, by 31 percent from £1,560 to £2,040.

The number of decrees against incorporated businesses also fell, by 13 percent, from 1,687 to 1,472. The total value saw even larger falls, down 21 percent, from £9 million to £7 million. The average value fell by nearly 10 percent, from £5,518 to £4,979. But, the median value rose by 34 percent from £1,504 to £2,022. The data on business suggest a fall in the number of very large value decrees.

Decrees against smaller businesses also declined, by 10 percent, from 1,687 to 1,472. The total value saw larger falls, down 46 percent from £2.8 million to £1.5million. As a result, the average value saw a sharp fall of 39 percent, from £8,998 to £5,468. In contrast, the median value rose by 17 percent from £1,800 to £2,104.

Northern Ireland

The number of debt judgments registered against Northern Ireland consumers in 2021 was 3,263, a small rise of two percent from the 3,207 in 2020, according to figures released today [17.01.2021] 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 higher, up by more than one fifth (21%), from £8 million in 2020 to just under £10 million in 2021. The average value of consumer judgments rose by a similar amount, up 19 percent, from £2,485 to £2,966 this year. The median value was also up, but just by two percent, from £1,021 to £1,050.

Judgments against Northern Ireland businesses also rose slightly, from 539 to 545, an increase of just one percent compared to 2020. The total value of judgments against Northern Ireland businesses rose by much more, up 18 percent, from £2.2 million to £2.7 million. As a result, the average value of business judgments rose by 17 percent, from £4,228 to £4,930. The median value fell, from £1,390 to £1,216, a fall of 13 percent. This suggests creditors were taking out more smaller value judgments against businesses.

Republic of Ireland

The number of judgments registered against Irish consumers saw a small fall in 2021 compared to 2020, figures released today by registrar Irish Judgments show.

The number of judgments registered against Irish consumers in 2021 was 912, a fall of two percent on the 930 seen in 2020. However, the total value of consumer judgments registered rose by 46 percent, from €39 million to €59 million.

As a result, the average value of consumer judgments registered in 2021 was also much higher at €63,140, an increase of 49 percent on the €42,289 seen in 2020. But, the median value fell 19 percent from €8,406 in 2020 to €6,829 in 2021. This suggests a pattern of more, smaller judgments registered with a number of very large judgments pushing up the overall average.

Judgments against Irish businesses saw a small increase of five percent, from 455 in 2020 to 476 in 2021. The total value owed in 2021 was €12.6 million, nearly double the €6.4 million seen in 2020.

As a result, the average value of business judgments in 2021 was significantly higher at €26,479, an 87 percent increase on the €14,170 recorded in 2020. The median value also rose by one quarter, from €5,320 to €6,624.

Jersey

The total number of judgments issued against consumers in the Jersey Petty and Royal Courts in 2021 was 747, a decline of 10 percent on the 834 seen in 2020, according to data published today [17.01.2021] by Registry Trust.

The total value of judgments issued against Jersey consumers fell by nearly two thirds (74%) from £4.7 million in 2020 to £1.2 million in 2021.

As a result, the average value of judgments was 71 percent lower at £1,618 in 2021 compared to £5,646 in 2020. The median value also fell, but by just five percent from £239 in 2020 to £228 in 2021.

But, judgment numbers against businesses were up, by 23 percent from 73 in 2020 to 90 in 2021. The total value of business judgments issued against Jersey businesses rose by more than half (55%) from £273,029 to £422,095.

The average value rose by one quarter from £3,740 in 2020 to £4,690 in 2021, while the median increased by one fifth from £1,403 to £1,694.

Isle of Man

The number of debt judgments issued in the Isle of Man Courts of Justice against consumers fell significantly in 2021 compared to 2020, according to data published today [17.01.2021] by Registry Trust.

The number was down 19 percent, falling from 217 in 2020 to 175 in 2021. The total value saw even greater percentage falls, down 39 percent, from £2.4 million to £1.4 million over the period.

The average value was nearly one quarter (24%) lower at £8,199 compared to £10,856 in 2020, with the median value falling by 13 percent from £778 to £676.

The number of judgments against Isle of Man businesses also declined sharply, falling by 42 percent from 48 in 2020 to 28 in 2021. The total value saw a major decline, down by 86 percent from £1 million to £140,985.

Consequently, the average value of business judgments was much lower down from £20,960 to £5,035, a large fall of 76 percent. This suggests there were fewer very large value judgments registered. The median value actually rose by 13 percent from £2,652 to £2,987.

[1] With 5.3 million CCJs against them. Some consumers will have multiple CCJs registered against them