News Article

Consumer Credit

"Serious concern" as CCJs soar

By CreditMan Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Consumers in England and Wales are facing a decade-high level in the number of CCJs, according to figures released today by Registry Trust.

The non-profit Registry Trust collects judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland. In England and Wales, it operates the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. A judgment is incontrovertible proof that debt has not been managed.

There was a year on year increase nearing 50 percent in the third quarter of 2016, with more than a quarter of a million (256,847) judgments registered against consumers in England and Wales.

The average value of a CCJ, however, fell 11 percent to £1,642, the lowest third quarter figure in the past decade. By contrast the average value of a judgment in Q3 2008 stood at £3,680.

Over the same period, the number of judgments against consumers in the High Court fell for the third year in a row to 62, the lowest number on record. The total value increased sharply by 90 percent to £68.3m, with the average value rising to a decade high of £1.1m.

The total value of debt judgments against consumers in all courts in England and Wales during the third quarter of 2016 was £490m.

“The rise and rise in the number of judgments is a matter for serious concern,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “One factor may well be that claimants are finding it worthwhile to sue for smaller sums. But people face not only lenders and utilities which use the county courts but also local authorities and HMRC who have their own approaches.

“It becomes ever more important for people who can to satisfy judgments, either within a month, in which case they may be removed, or soon after when the satisfaction record will look good on the credit score.”

Last quarter 14.77 percent of CCJs were registered as satisfied.

In Q3 2016 Registry Trust received 38,831 requests to search the register for England and Wales online at TrustOnline allows anyone to search for judgments and similar information registered against consumers and businesses in any jurisdiction across the British Isles and Ireland. “It is a unique benefit for consumers to be able to check the debt record of any person or business with which they may be transacting. Our registers cover the British Isles and Ireland,” said Mr Hurlston. “Negative information should at least give pause for thought.”