County Court judgments fall by five percent
Financial pressure on businesses in England and Wales eased in the third quarter of 2014 according to court statistics published by Registry Trust.
The number of county court judgments against businesses in England and Wales fell by five percent compared with the same quarter of 2013.
Registry Trust is the non profit organisation which collects, verifies and publishes 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, which includes county court and high court information.
There were 26,522 business county court judgments (CCJs) in the third quarter of 2014, compared with the 28,028 judgments recorded in the same period of the previous year. This continues a trend of falling business debt judgments in the third quarter of the year, with Q3 figures now having fallen each year since 2009. The average value of a business CCJ fell to £3,499 in Q3 – nine per cent less than the £3,864 average value in the same period last year and the third year in a row this figure has fallen.
There was a more rapid fall in the number of High Court business judgments. The number of these judgments fell from 57 in Q3 last year to 26, with a total value of £15.6m. High court judgment figures tend to vary significantly owing to their relatively small number and the larger sums involved.
The total cost to business of court judgments (High Court and county courts) in Q3 2014 was £108.4m.
Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE said: “The fall in judgments indicates a more confident economy but checks on customers and other parties become all the more significant. If a business hasn’t paid up and incurred a judgment it is an indicator that something is wrong – inefficiency or something deeper in the business. Checks through the Trust are inexpensive and efficient.”
In the third quarter of 2014 Registry Trust received 34,079 search requests in England and Wales, the bulk of which were made online via www.trustonline.org.uk. 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.