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Small rise in debt judgments in first quarter of 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 May 2016
The total value of small claims debt judgments in Northern Ireland fell during the first quarter of the year to its lowest level since before the financial crash, despite a modest rise in the number of such judgments, 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 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 saw a year on year increase of five percent to 1,977 during the first three months of 2016. However, the total value fell two percent to £3.7m, the lowest first quarter result since before Q1 2008.

Meanwhile, there were 36 judgments in the high court, down 22 percent on Q1 2015 and the lowest since before Q1 2012. The total value of high court judgments also decreased to the lowest level since before the first quarter of 2012, falling by 34 percent to £3.8m.

The average value of a small claims judgment was £1,885, while a high court judgment was £106,603.

“The fall in the average value of judgments may be a result of the greater market presence of debt buyers,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “Because of their business model they are more likely to pursue smaller sums. This is good news in the end for both borrowers and lenders as it helps ensure that credit gets into the right hands in future.”

In Q1 2016 Registry Trust received 7,454 requests to search the register for Northern Ireland, the bulk of which were made online at 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.”

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