Judgments taken out against consumers in Northern Ireland rose 16 percent in Q4 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, according to figures released today (27th January 2020) by Registry Trust.

1,732 judgments were taken out against consumers compared to 1,494 in Q4 2018. The average value rose by 7 percent pushing up the total value by 24 percent to £4,524,308, the largest year-on-year rise on record.

In Q4 2019, consumer judgments made up 88 percent of all Northern Ireland Judgments and accounted for 90 percent of the total value.

Northern Ireland businesses overall fared better in this quarter. The number of judgments rose 5 percent but the total value dropped 21 percent in total value and 25 percent in average value compared to the same quarter of 2018.

But, small businesses had a different experience. The total value of judgments against small businesses jumped 64 percent from £40,919 in Q4 2018 to £67,013 in Q4 2019, while the number of judgments rose from 33 to 45, a 36 percent increase over the period.

Trust chairman Mick McAteer said “CCJs are a critical indicator of the state of household financial resilience. The sharp rise in the number and value of consumer judgments raises concerns that household finances may be under stress”.

Statistics

2018 Q4 2019 Q4 Change (compared with 2019)
Judgments against consumers
volume 1,494 1,732 15.93%
total value £3,637,868 £4,524,308 24.37%
Average* value £2,435 £2,612 7.27%
Median value £923 £904 -2.06%
Judgments against all businesses
volume 227 238 4.85%
total value £611,140 £483,903 -20.82%
Average* value £2,765 £2,086 -24.56%
Median value £833 £1,012 21.49%
 

Judgments against incorporated businesses

volume 194 193 -0.52%
total value £570,221 £416,890 -26.89%
Average* value £2,939 £2,160 -26.51%
Median value £833 £1,008 21.01%
 

Judgments against unincorporated businesses

volume 33 45 36.36%
total value £40,919 £67,013 63.77%
Average* value £1,516 £1,718 13.32%
Median value £901 £1,198 32.96%

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