Fewer judgments contrast with higher insolvency in Northern Ireland
The number of default and small claims judgments in Northern Ireland fell nine per cent last year to 8,526, continuing a decline which began in 2011.
These figures were revealed in the annual statistics from non profit Registry Trust, which collects judgment information throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.
This contrasted with an upward trend in personal insolvencies noticeable across bankruptcies, debt relief orders and individual voluntary arrangements (as issued by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Industry).
The total value of court judgments in Northern Ireland (including the smaller number of higher value judgments in the high courts) was £67m, compared with £75m in the previous year.
Announcing the statistics, Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE said: “Given the contrasting trends between judgments and insolvencies we may well see an increase in judgments this year. The figures reflect economic trends and the appetite of creditors in both the public and private sectors for court-based answers when customers don’t pay.
“Court judgments increase the chances that utilities and lenders will be adequately repaid.”
The judgment figures for Northern Ireland parallel those for Scotland and for the Republic of Ireland (both down six percent). By contrast the number of county court judgments in England and Wales rose by four percent after a multiyear decline.
Judgment information for Northern Ireland and jurisdictions across the United Kingdom is made available to the general public through Registry Trust’s website www.trustonline.org.uk
In 2013 TrustOnline received 18,339 search requests for judgments in Northern Ireland, up two percent on the previous year. In addition, data is provided in bulk to credit reference agencies and others for use as an indicator in assessing creditworthiness.