The number of debt judgments recorded in the Four Courts of Ireland fell to a historic low during 2017, according to figures released today by Registry Trust. There were 2,157 judgments registered against consumers in 2017, two percent fewer than the previous year and a record low. The mean average consumer judgment’s value fell 11 percent; combined these decreases led to the total value of consumer judgments dropping 13 percent, to €212.3m, the lowest recorded total.

For the sixth consecutive year, the number of business judgments issued declined; 680 judgments were registered, a record low. The value of the mean average business judgment plummeted 44 percent compared to 2016. Consequently, the total value of business judgments fell to a historic low, decreasing 56 percent to €18.7m.

Six abnormally large non-corporate judgments issued in 2016, collectively worth just shy of €20m, mostly accounted for the scale of this decrease. Excluding these judgments, the total value of business judgments fell 17 percent; the mean average judgment increased marginally from €26,566 to €27,507.

The median business judgment fell 13 percent in value to €5,968.

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 8,853 judgments in 2017.

Malcolm Hurlston as Registrar commented: “The fall in judgments implies more prudent borrowing. As a result credit can be a sensible economic engine in 2018.”


  •   Judgments against consumers 2017 (compared with 2016)

○   Total: 2,157 (down two percent)

○   Total value: €212.3m (down 13 percent)

○   Mean average value: €98,402 (down 11 percent)

○   Median: €13,390 (down 10 percent)


  •   Judgments against businesses 2017 (compared with 2016)

○   Total: 680 (down 170)

○   Total value: €18.7m (down 56 percent)

○   Mean average value: €27,507 (down 44 percent)

○   Median: €5,968 (down 13 percent)


  •   Judgments against businesses 2017 (compared with adjusted 2016 figures)

○   Total: 680 (down 164)

○   Total value: €18.7m (down 17 percent)

○   Mean average value: €27,507 (up four percent)


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