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The number of debt judgments registered against Northern Ireland consumers in

Q3 2021 was 755, a rise of 24 percent from the 608 in the same period last year, according to figures released today (14.10.2021) 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 much bigger, up 66 percent from £1.6 million in Q3 2020 to £2.7 million in Q3 2021. The average value of consumer judgments was one third higher, at £3,570 compared to £2,674 last year. The median value was also up, by 35 percent, from £1,001 to £1,347. This suggest creditors are taking out more larger judgments against consumers.

Judgments against Northern Ireland businesses also rose, from 73 to 117, an increase of 60 percent over the period. The total value of judgments against Northern Ireland businesses rose by much less, 21 percent, from £457,243 to £554,524. As a result, the average value of business judgments fell by 24 percent, from £6,264 to £4,740. The median value fell by even more, from £2,708 to £1,430, a drop of 47 percent. This suggests creditors were taking out more smaller judgments against businesses.

Registry Trust Chair, Mick McAteer, said: “We saw another large rise in the number and value of judgments against Northern Irish consumers in this quarter compared to the same period last year. At that time, interventions by government and regulators, and forbearance by creditors, in response to the Covid crisis had kept judgment numbers at historically low levels. But, as these measures were wound down, numbers have begun to rise again. However, while numbers are rising, there is still some way to go before they reach pre-Covid peaks.”

- Ends –

Q3 2020 Q3 2021 Change (compared with 2020)
Judgments against consumers
volume 608 755 24.2%
total value £1,625,971 £2,695,673 65.7%
average* value £2,674 £3,570 33.5%
median value £1,001 £1,347 34.6%
Judgments against all businesses
volume 73 117 60.3%
total value £457,243 £554,524 21.3%
average* value £6,264 £4,740 -24.3%
median value £2,708 £1,430 -47.2%
Judgments against incorporated businesses
volume 51 90 76.5%
total value £340,082 £487,125 43.2%
average* value £6,668 £5,413 -18.8%
median value £2,810 £1,426 -49.2%
Judgments against unincorporated businesses
volume 22 27 22.7%
total value £117,161 £67,399 -42.5%
average* value £5,326 £2,496 -53.1%
median value £2,420 £1,430 -40.9%
volume 74 48 -35.1%
total value £141,178 £119,638 -15.25%
average* value £1,908 £2,492 30.6%
median value £836 £688 -17.7%

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.