Debt judgments against businesses in the first quarter of the year in the county courts of England and Wales fell for the sixth year in a row, according to figures released today (May 21) by Registry Trust.
Registry Trust is the non profit organisation which collects judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland. In England and Wales it runs the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for the Ministry of Justice, and this register includes both CCJs and High Court information. All judgment records, business and consumer, are made available for the public to search at www.trustonline.org.uk. A judgment is incontrovertible proof of unmanaged debt.
There were 26,195 county court judgments (CCJs) against businesses in England and Wales in the first three months of 2015, 10 per cent fewer than in Q1 2014 and the fewest since the crisis Q1 2009 when there were 71,867.
The total value of CCJs against businesses in England and Wales was £87.5m, 17 per cent down on Q1 2014 and the lowest Q1 result since 2008 (£209.7m).
The average value of a business CCJ was £3,340, eight per cent lower than in Q1 2014 and 23 per cent lower than in Q1 2008.
The downward trend in the county courts is consistent for both incorporated and unincorporated (typically smaller) businesses.
The number of High Court judgments (HCJ) against businesses fell to 30, the lowest first quarter figure since 2008 when there were 162 Q1 HCJs.
The value of HCJ judgments against businesses fell sharply by 61 per cent to £16.8m following the third highest figure in the last eight years of £42.6m in Q1 2014.
Commenting on the statistics, Malcolm Hurlston CBE, chairman of Registry Trust said: “Business in England and Wales is on an upward trend with many fewer enterprises getting into difficulty. There would appear now to be scope for a more positive approach towards borrowing.”
In 2014 Registry Trust received 42,856 search requests for England and Wales, the bulk of which were made online via www.trustonline.org.uk, in addition to providing data in bulk to credit reference agencies and others as an indicator in assessing creditworthiness. Through TrustOnline anybody is free to search for judgments and other registered information against businesses and consumers in any jurisdiction in the British Isles and Ireland. “It is a unique benefit for people to be able to check the debt record of any business or person with which they may be transacting. Think twice before transacting if there is negative information on the judgment record.” said Mr Hurlston.