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|Sharp fall in judgments against businesses|
|Tuesday, 03 May 2016|
The number and total value of county court judgments (CCJs) issued against businesses in England and Wales fell sharply during the first quarter of 2016 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 England and Wales, it operates the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. A judgment is incontrovertible proof of unmanaged debt.
There were 21,860 CCJs recorded against business in England and Wales during the first three months of 2016, a 17 percent fall on the same period the previous year and the lowest first quarter since the financial crisis high of 71,867 judgments in Q1 2009.
Similarly, the total value of CCJs against businesses in England and Wales fell 11 percent from £87m in Q1 2015 to £78m in Q1 2016, the lowest Q1 result since the crash.
But the average value of a business CCJ in the first quarter of the year increased six percent to £3,554.
However, generally smaller businesses which were not incorporated, fared much worse with numbers rising rather than falling.
The number of high court judgments (HCJs) against businesses fell 47 percent to just 16, the lowest since before the financial crisis. The total value fell slightly by two percent to £16.5m, while the average value of a HCJ rose 85 percent to just over £1m.
“There is a stark difference this quarter between the performance of companies and smaller enterprises,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “It will be easier to interpret this information when the VAT Register information is made available.”
In Q1 2016 Registry Trust received 38,583 requests to search the register for England and Wales, the bulk of which were made online at www.trustonline.org.uk. TrustOnline allows anyone to search for judgments and similar information registered against consumers and businesses in any jurisdiction across the British Isles and Ireland. “It is a unique benefit for consumers to be able to check the judgment record of any person or business with which they may be transacting,” said Mr Hurlston. “Negative information should give pause for thought.”
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