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The number of debt judgments registered against Northern Ireland consumers in the first half of 2021 (H1 2021) was 1,678, a fall of nearly 12 percent from the 1,900 in the same period last year, according to figures released today (27.07.2021) by Registry Trust.

But, the total value of judgment debt owed by consumers rose by nearly 10 percent from £4.2 million in H1 2020 to £4.6 million in H1 2021. As a result, the average value of consumer judgments rose by 25 percent, from £2,206 last year to £2,748. The median value was also higher, up eight percent, from £888 to £963.

Judgments against Northern Ireland businesses fell by more, down 24 percent from 353 in H1 2020 to 269 in H1 2021. The total value of business judgments fell by a similar degree, 21 percent, from £1.2 million to £976,602.

As a result, the average value of business judgments rose slightly, by three percent, from £3,521 to £3,630. But, the median value was 14 percent higher, at £1,605 compared to £1,020 in the same period last year. This suggests there were fewer smaller judgments pushing up the median value.

Registry Trust Chair Mick McAteer said: “It is welcome that the number of judgments against Northern Irish consumers in the first half of this year is down compared to the same period last year. This reflects the fact that judgment numbers were very high pre-Covid, and interventions by government and regulators, and forbearance by creditors have been protecting consumers. But, as these measures are being wound down, numbers appear to be trending upwards again suggesting the Covid economic crisis is far from over for financially vulnerable households.”.

- Ends –

Half Year 1 2020 Half Year 1 2021 Change (compared with 2020)
Judgments against consumers
volume 1,900 1,678 -11.6%
total value £4,191,947 £4,610,596 9.9%
average* value £2,206 £2,748 24.5%
median value £888 £963 8.4%
Judgments against all businesses
volume 353 269 -23.7%
total value £1,242,981 £976,602 -21.4%
average* value £3,521 £3,630 3.1%
median value £1,020 £1,160 13.7%
Judgments against incorporated businesses
volume 284 221 -22.2%
total value £1,090,022 £812,332 -25.5%
average* value £3,838 £3,676 -4.2%
median value £1,024 £1,160 13.3%
Judgments against unincorporated businesses
volume 69 48 -30.4%
total value £152,959 £164,270 7.4%
average* value £2,217 £3,422 54.3%
median value £991 £1,175 18.5%
volume 104 130 25.0%
total value £402,759 £304,632 -24.4%
average* value £3,873 £2,343 -39.5%
median value £878 £744 -15.3%

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.