Consumer judgments leap in first quarter

There were 595 judgments registered against consumers in Ireland during Q1 2019, 26 percent higher than the same quarter of the previous year, according to figures released today (April 29 2019) by Registry Trust. This bucks a five year downward trend in the year-on-year figures, which culminated in last year’s record Q1 low of 471.
The total value of consumer judgments dropped 72 percent to €28.4million and the average value of consumer judgments fell 78 percent to €47,799. The median value at €11,730 had dropped 24 percent from the Q1 2018 level.

The number, total value and average value of judgments registered against businesses in Ireland in Q1 2019 were the lowest on record for a first quarter-year, with 112 judgments registered, eight fewer than the first quarter of 2018. The total value of business judgments dropped by 40 percent to €1.6million, compared to Q1 2018, and the average value fell 36 percent to €14,622.

The median value of a business judgment dropped to €7,964 in Q1 2019, a decrease of 21 percent compared to Q1 2018.

Registry Trust is the mission-led organisation which operates as Irish Judgments in the Republic of Ireland, where it collects information on judgments registered against businesses and consumers. A judgment is incontrovertible proof that debt has not been managed.

The figures are based only on judgments registered at the request and cost of creditors at the Four Courts in Dublin and therefore provide only a partial picture of unmanaged debt judgments in the country. By comparison, in the much smaller economy of Northern Ireland, where judgments from all courts are registered, there were 1768 judgments in first quarter of 2019.

Malcolm Hurlston as Registrar commented: “It is good to see a resurgence in consumer judgments, especially since it is allied to a fall in average amount. With good judgment records, lending is more likely to end up in the right hands. It is likely that a number of lenders have taken the decision to go to the expense of registering at the Four Courts.

“The business stats point to a stronger economy with scope for increased safe borrowing.”

In Q1 2019 Registry Trust received 9672 requests to search the register for the Republic of Ireland online. TrustOnline allows anyone to search for judgments and similar information registered against consumers and businesses throughout the British Isles and Ireland.

Malcolm Hurlston urged consumers to check TrustOnline when undertaking any contract: “We have recently made all the information easier to check online, particularly from mobile phones, and it covers jurisdictions throughout the British Isles. This is particularly useful where there may be additional judgment information outside Ireland.”