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The number of debt judgments registered against Northern Ireland consumers in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020 was just 608, a huge fall of 66 percent compared to the 1,781 registered in the same period last year, according to figures released today (29th Oct 2020) by Registry Trust.

The fall in the total value of judgment debt owed in Q3 was on a similar scale, a 62 percent drop compared to the same period last year, from £4.3 million to £1.6 million. But, the average value of consumer judgments rose by nearly 11 percent, from £2,417 last year to £2,674. The median value rose by more than one-third from £750 to £1,001. This suggest creditors are taking out fewer, larger judgments against consumers.

The period also saw very large falls in the number and value of judgments against businesses in Northern Ireland. The number of judgments registered in Q3 2020 was just 73, compared to 461 in Q2 last year, a fall of 84 percent. The total value of judgments against Northern Ireland businesses fell from £1.1 million to £457,243 a fall of 60 percent. The average value of business judgments rose steeply, from £2,467 to £6,264, up 154 percent. The story is one of many fewer, but larger judgments.

Registry Trust chairman Mick McAteer said: “The latest Registry Trust data shows that Government and regulatory interventions, and forbearance by creditors, in response to the Covd-19 economic crisis continue to work. But, the respite may be short lived as the damage to business and household finances will show up later once the jobs and consumer protection measures are unwound”.

Half Year 2019 Half Year 2020 Change (compared with 2019)
Judgments against consumers
volume 1,781 608 -65.86%
total value £4,305,355 £1,625,971 -62.23%
average* value £2,417 £2,674 10.63%
median value £750 £1,001 33.40%
Judgments against all businesses
volume 461 73 -84.16%
total value £1,137,494 £457,243 -59.80%
average* value £2,467 £6,264 153.85%
median value £837 £2,708 223.54%
Judgments against incorporated businesses
volume 414 51 -87.68%
total value £1,065,368 £340,082 -68.08%
average* value £2,573 £6,668 159.13%
median value £837 £2,810 235.72%
Judgments against unincorporated businesses
volume 47 22 -53.19%
total value £72,12 £117,161 62.44%
average* value £1,535 £5,326 247.03%
median value £587 £2,428 313.63%
volume 53 74 -39.62%
total value £101,751 £141,174 -38.74%
average* value £1,920 £1,908 -0.63%
median value £777 £836 -7.59%

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.