Irish debt judgments at an all time low

The total number of judgments in 2018 against both Irish consumers and businesses is at a record low, with consumer judgments down eight percent and business down 15 percent on last year. However, the value of consumer judgments rose by 22 percent in the same year.

There were 1,985 judgments registered against consumers in 2018, eight percent fewer than the previous year and a record low. However, the total value of consumer judgments rose 22 percent to €258.6million and the average value of consumer judgments leapt 32 percent to €130,271. The total value and average value of consumer judgments are back up to 2016 levels, following the record low in 2017.

For the seventh consecutive year, the number of business judgments issued declined; 575 judgments were registered in 2018, a record low. Compared to 2017, the total value of business judgments fell 19 percent to €15.1million, with the average value falling five percent to €26,221. Both the total and average values are record lows for calendar year data.

Though, by contrast, the median value of a business judgment rose to €7,234 in 2018, an increase of 21 percent compared to 2017.

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 8,075 judgments in 2018.

Malcolm Hurlston as Registrar commented: “The unknown number of unregistered judgments is a matter of severe concern. Business transactions depend on a base of reliable information.

”Judgments from the Four Courts are in all likelihood the most important since lenders and others have chosen to have them registered at their own expense, but there is valuable public information in other courts too.“

In 2018 Registry Trust received 30,330 requests to search the register for the Republic of Ireland online at www.trustonline.org.uk. 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 many jurisdictions. This is particularly useful where there may be additional judgment information outside Ireland.”

Statistics

● Judgments against consumers in 2018 (compared with 2017)
o Total: 1,985 (down eight percent) [lowest annual figure on record]
o Total value: €258.6m (up 22 percent)
o Average value: €130,271 (up 32 percent)
o Median: €12,252 (down eight percent)

● Judgments against businesses in 2018 (compared with 2017)
o Total: 575 (down 15 percent) [lowest annual figure on record]
o Total value: €15.1m (down 19 percent) [lowest annual figure on record]
o Average value: €26,221 (down five percent) [lowest annual figure on record]
o Median: €7,234 (up 21 percent)