The analysis, making use of Registry Trust’s monetary judgments data (see more here), identified the areas of the UK most affected by the ‘Double Whammy’ of high financial vulnerability and poor access to good, affordable credit. These areas align closely with the Government’s Levelling Up priorities, with Middlesbrough and Blackpool the worst affected.
As well as mapping personal debt, the report identifies modernisation of the County Court Judgment (CCJ) process as a priority; something which we at Registry Trust, the not-for-profit organisation which maintains the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines, have also been campaigning for in recent years.
The report says:
“While there are many problems with the CCJ system - and this paper cannot adequately address all of them - we do urgently recommend that the government rapidly speeds up the digitalisation of the process to prevent unnecessary harm caused by delays in information sharing.
“The current court system is a mixture of digital and paper based, but remains largely inefficient and this can have a negative effect on key parts of the process, such as the issuing of CCJS and Warrants of Control (bailiffs).”
While improving efficiency is important (read about how we are doing this at Registry Trust here), we believe that greater transparency should be the main priority. We have made three relatively straightforward recommendations to improve transparency in the process:
- Putting the onus on creditors to ensure CCJs are marked as satisfied (rather than defendants as is currently the case)
- Including claimant data on the Register
- Official registration of partial settlements
These small changes would make a big difference to financially vulnerable households.
Read our recent report on what 2022 holds for financially vulnerable households in the UK which sets out our calls to action on improvements to the CCJ process and data sharing here.
We are very pleased to announce that Demos’ CEO Polly Mackenzie will be joining the Registry Trust Board as a Non-Executive Director with the task of building partnerships to ensure our data is being used to its full and best potential (more details coming soon!) Key stakeholders who support our proposals should get in touch on email@example.com to discuss how we can work together on pursuing them further.
*Methodology: to produce the analysis, Demos combined its Good Credit Index, which incorporates Registry Trust data, with Lowell’s Financial Vulnerability Index.