The number of County Court judgments (CCJs) issued against consumers in England and Wales in the first half of 2019 rose just three per cent, to 586,765, compared to the same period of 2018, according to latest figures released by Registry Trust.

First half-year judgment numbers were rising every year since 2012’s record HY1 low of 242,965 till 2017’s record HY1 high of 592,522. Though there was a slight dip in numbers in the first half of 2018, this year’s figure is close to 2017’s record levels.

At the same time, the total value of consumer CCJs increased by two percent, compared to HY1 2018, to £848.1million and the average value of a CCJ against a consumer has fallen steadily year-on-year since 2008’s record HY1 high of £3,867 to this year’s new HY1 low of £1,445.

In the High Court 59 judgments were registered against consumers in Q1 and Q2 2019, a drop of 46 compared to the same period of the previous year.

The total value of debt judgments against consumers in the High Court in England and Wales during the first half of the year was £26.5million, a decrease of 80 percent from the first half of 2018’s value of £132.5million, though this changes to a decrease of 45 percent when a single large judgment of £84.5million in the first quarter of 2018 is disregarded.

Mick McAteer, Deputy Chairman of Registry Trust said “This data, which acts as a useful indicator of the state of household finances, is essential because accurate judgment information reduces the risk of inappropriate lending and borrowing.”

“The number of judgments against consumers is back to near record levels, though the average value continues to fall. It is not clear what explains these trends in England and Wales because centralised data on who is taking the legal actions isn’t available.”

Statistics

  Q1+Q2 2018 Q1+Q2 2019 Change (compared with Q1+Q2 2018) notes
CCJs against consumers  
volume 571,555 586,765 +3%  
 total value £834.2m £848.1m +2%  
Average* value £1,460 £1,445 [record low] -1%  
median £609 £600 -1%  
High Court judgments against consumers  
volume 105 59 down 46  
total value £132.5m £26.5m -80% 2018 figure includes a single judgment of £84.5m [2017 £24.2m]

2019 figure includes two single judgments totalling £8.1m

Average* value £1.3m

[record high]

£448,913 -64% 2018 figure includes a single judgment of £84.5m

2019 figure includes two single judgments totalling £8.1m

median £29,528 £29,143 -1%  

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