News Article

Consumer Credit

Debt "better managed" in Northern Ireland

By CreditMan Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The total number and value of debt judgments in Northern Ireland during the first half of the year fell to its lowest level since before the financial crisis, according to figures released today by Registry Trust.

Registry Trust is the non-profit organisation which collects judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland. In Northern Ireland it collects information on defaults and small claims judgments, and high court judgments. A judgment is incontrovertible proof of unmanaged debt.

There were 3,692 small claims judgments in the first six months of 2016, a decrease of 14 percent on the same period in 2015. The total value fell 19.5 percent to £6.9m, bringing the average value of a small claims judgment down seven percent to £1,869.

Meanwhile, the high court issued 57 judgments in the first half of the year, 27 percent fewer than the same period the previous year. The total value fell sharply 64 percent to £5.1m, which brought the average value of a high court judgment down 50 percent to £90,297.

“Ahead of the uncertainties of Brexit it is important that consumers and businesses in Northern Ireland are managing their debts better,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “The improvement is island wide with nearly similar improvement in the Republic.”

In the first six months of 2016 Registry Trust received 14,709 requests to search the register for Northern Ireland, the bulk of which were made online at TrustOnline allows anyone to search for judgments and similar information registered against businesses and consumers 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,” said Mr Hurlston. “Negative information would certainly make me think twice.”