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Consumers and business "on top of finances" PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 February 2017
The total number and value of debt judgments in Northern Ireland fell to the lowest levels on record during 2016, 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.

There were 7,144 small claims judgments in 2016, 15 percent fewer than the previous year. The total value also fell 15 percent; the average value remained unchanged at £1,903.

The total number and value of judgments issues by the High Court also fell to historic lows, with only 99 judgments registered worth a total of £9.8m. The average High Court judgment was just shy of £100,000.

The vote to leave the European Union on June 23 does not appear to have had any immediate effect on the ability of Northern Ireland consumers and businesses to stay on top of their debts. Indeed, there were fewer judgments recorded in the second half of 2016 than in any other half-year on record.

“Brexit has without doubt introduced a period of uncertainty which may have a delaying effect on transactions,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “It is excellent news that approaching Brexit consumers and business are on top of their finances and avoiding judgments.”

In 2016 Registry Trust received 29,141 requests to search the register for Northern Ireland online at Through TrustOnline people in Northern Ireland can search for judgments and similar information registered against businesses and consumers anywhere in the British Isles and the Republic. “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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