CCJs against consumers fall for the first time in six years

In 2018, 1,115,099 County Court judgments (CCJs) were registered against consumers in England and Wales, a fall of two percent on 2017, according to figures released today (February 18) by Registry Trust. This is the first time in six years that the number of CCJs against consumers has fallen.

The average value of a consumer CCJ recorded over 2018 fell by four percent to £1,431, the lowest average on record. The total value of CCJs fell six percent to £1,596million.

In the High Court 175 judgments were registered against consumers in 2018, a rise of 29 percent. However, compared to 2017, the total value of high court judgments (HCJ) rose significantly by 130 percent to £154.3million. The difference can be explained by the unusually low total value in 2017, which at £67.2million was the lowest on record. The 2018 figure is only a rise of eight percent when compared to 2016’s total of £142.8million.

The total value of all debt judgments against consumers in the courts in England and Wales during 2018 was £1,750.2million, a fall of one percent from 2017’s total value of £1,765.9million.

Registry Trust is the Registrar of Judgments, Orders and Fines in England and Wales (on behalf of the Ministry of Justice). In addition, it collects, verifies and publishes judgment information from jurisdictions throughout the British Isles and Ireland.

It provides its licensed credit reference agencies with regular updates on outstanding judgment debts. This information affects the ability of all enterprises to borrow.

As well as distributing judgment information under strict licensing to leading credit reference agencies, Registry Trust makes information publicly available through TrustOnline.

There were 202,254 public requests to search the register for England and Wales online during 2018. TrustOnline allows anyone to search for judgments and similar information registered against businesses and consumers in jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland.

On behalf of TrustOnline, Mick McAteer, deputy chairman of Registry Trust said: “Registry Trust’s data provides an important indicator of the financial health of UK households. This new data showing a small reduction in the number of CCJs in 2018 suggests some welcome relief for households. But, clearly more needs to be done to support those households still getting into financial difficulty.”


● CCJs against consumers 2018 (compared with 2017)
o Total number: 1,115,099 (down two percent)
o Total value: £1.6bn (down six percent)
o Average* value: £1,431 (down four percent) [lowest annual average on record]
o Median: £592 (down 14 percent)

● High Court judgments against consumers 2018 (compared with 2017)
o Total number: 175 (up 29 percent)
o Total value: £154.3m (up 130 percent) [2017 was lowest on record] (2018 up eight percent compared to 2016)
o Average* value: £881,649 (up 79 percent)
o Median: £29,528 (up 13 percent)

  • Average value refers to the ‘mean’. The mean average tends to be higher than the median, as it is more distorted by outlying, high value cases.