Debt judgments hit pre-crash low in 2015 in Northern Ireland
Figures released today by Registry Trust show that the total number and value of small claims debt judgments in Northern Ireland fell during 2015, reversing the isolated increases of the previous year.
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.
The total number of default and small claims judgments decreased 3 per cent last year to 8,444. This marks a return to the three years of improvement seen before 2014, and the lowest number of judgments since before the 2008 crash.
Meanwhile, the number of High Court judgments fell sharply, dropping 47 per cent to 181. While the total value of High Court judgments decreased 25 per cent to £31.3m, the average value increased 41 per cent to £173,000.
The total value of judgments last year in all courts was £47.4m compared with £58.6m in 2014.
“It is highly encouraging to see judgment numbers fall to pre-crash levels,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “It indicates there is probably scope for more borrowing to speed the economy.”
In 2015 Registry Trust received 24,246 requests to search the register for Northern Ireland, the bulk of which were made online at www.trustonline.org.uk. 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.”