Jersey consumer debt judgments plunge

The number and total value of debt judgments in Jersey fell in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period 2018, according to figures released today (May 14) by Registry Trust.

There were 448 judgments registered in Jersey during Q1 2019, 17 percent fewer than in the first three months of 2018. The average value of judgments dropped 46 percent to £2,737, though the median fell by just nine percent to £201. The total value of all judgments fell 55 percent from £2.7million to £1.2million from the same period of 2018.

In the first quarter of 2019, the number of debt judgments against consumers declined 17 percent to 415 and the total value of consumer judgments dropped 69 percent to £782,842, compared to the first quarter of 2018. The average value of consumer judgments was £1,886 a decrease of 63 percent; the median value fell by seven percent to £185, compared to the same period the previous year.

There were 33 business judgments, 10 fewer than in the 2018 first quarter. The median business judgment’s value fell 11 percent to £1,704, while the average judgment value increased by 196** percent compared to the Q1 2018 average, to £13,439. Though there were fewer business judgments in Q1 2019, there was a 128** percent increase in the total value, to £443,497, from the same period the previous year.

Registry Trust is the non-profit organisation which collects judgment information from jurisdictions throughout the British Isles and Ireland. In Jersey it collects, verifies and makes publicly available judgment records from the petty debts and royal court. A judgment is incontrovertible proof of unmanaged debt.

During Q1 2019, 5.69 percent of Jersey’s judgments were satisfied. This contrasts with 10.52 percent in England and Wales.

Registry Trust deputy chairman, Mick McAteer said “Registry Trust data is a useful indicator of the state of the economy, levels of unmanaged debt, and lender treatment of borrowers. Judgments against consumers in Jersey remain near record low levels at almost one-third the levels we saw in the midst of the great financial crisis in 2008.”

In the first quarter of 2019 Registry Trust received 9643 requests to search the register for Jersey online at TrustOnline allows anyone to search for judgments and similar information registered against consumers and businesses in any jurisdiction across the British Isles and Ireland. “We have upgraded TrustOnline to make it mobile friendly,” said Mr McAteer. “It is now cheap, quick and efficient to enquire about whoever you transact with. If there’s a judgment on their record, think twice.”