The average value of a consumer county court judgment (CCJ) reached a historic low during the third quarter of 2018, according to new figures released by Registry Trust. The fall in average value was accompanied by a fall in number to 276,097, down 13 percent compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

The total value of consumer CCJs was down 21 percent to £369,130,580 compared with Q3 2017. The average value of a judgment fell nine percent to £1,337, a record low. By contrast, the average value of consumer CCJs during Q3 peaked at £3,680 in 2009. It has steadily decreased over the past nine years.

During Q3 2018, 37 judgments were issued against consumers in the High Court, eight fewer than in Q3 2017. It was the lowest third-quarter figure on record. However, their average value was up 150 percent on the previous year at £226,383, taking the total value to £8,376,181. This was heavily affected by three judgments totalling £5,795,364.

Commenting on the trends, Malcolm Hurlston CBE said, as Registrar: “The lower number of judgments is excellent news for people with a clean sheet. By contrast people who pay their council tax receive no similar recognition and we are aiming to encourage local authorities to take financial inclusion more seriously through a new consultative committee on liability orders.”

Statistics

  •      CCJs against consumers Q3 2018 (compared with Q3 2017)

o    Total number: 276,097 (down 13 percent)

o    Total value: £369.1m (down 21 percent)

o    Average value: £1,337 (down nine percent)*

o    Median: £570 (down 19 percent)

  •      High Court judgments against consumers Q3 2018 (compared with Q3 2017)

o    Total number: 37 (down 18 percent)

o    Total value: £8.4m (up 104 percent)

o    Average value: £226,383 (up 149 percent)*

o    Median: £18,333 (down 41.7 percent)

  •      High Court judgments against consumers Q3 2018 – Adjusted (compared with Q3 2017)

o    Total number: 34 (down 24 percent)

o    Total value: £2.5m (down 37 percent)

o    Average value: £75,906 (down 17 percent)*

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