The total number of county court judgments (CCJs) registered against consumers in England and Wales fell year-on-year for the first time in five years during the first half of 2018, according to figures released by Registry Trust.

During Q1 and Q2 2018, 571,555 judgments were registered against consumers in England and Wales, falling four percent compared to the first half of 2017. This bucked a five-year trend where the total number of judgments registered during Q1 and Q2 had risen year-on-year.

The average CCJ dropped three percent to £1,460, the lowest average since current records began in 2008. By contrast the average judgment registered during the first half of 2008 was £3,867 – over two and a half times more.

As a result of these changes, the total value of consumer CCJs in the half-year fell by seven percent.

In the High Court 105 judgments (HCJs) were registered against consumers in Q1 and Q2 2018. The total value of HCJs soared by almost £110m to £132.5m. The scale of this increase was largely owed to a single judgment worth £84.5m. By contrast, the median HCJ stood at £29,528.

Commenting on the trends, Malcolm Hurlston CBE said, as Registrar: “The number and value of judgments are affected by both the financial status of borrowers and the decisions of lenders and others at what level to go for a judgment. Over recent years creditors have been pursuing lower value sums and it may be that we are seeing the end of that trend as the same time as better consumer financial health.”

  • CCJs against consumers Q1 and Q2 2018 (compared with Q1 and Q2 2017)

o    Total: 571,555 (down four percent)

o    Total value: £834.2m (down seven percent)

o    Average: £1,460 (down three percent)

o    Median: £609 (down 14 percent)

  • High Court judgments against consumers Q1 and Q2 2018

o    Total: 105 (up 54)

o    Value: £132.5m (up £108.3m)

o    Average: £1,261,798 (up £787,371)*

o    Median: £29,528 (down £64,140)

  • Adjusted High Court judgments against consumers Q1 and Q2 2018**

○     Total: 104 (up 53)

○     Value: £48.0m (up £23.8m)

○     Average: £461,430 (down three percent)

*Average value refers to the mean average. The mean average tends to be higher than the median, as it is more distorted by outlying, high value cases.

**Discounting a single judgment to the value of £84.5m.