The number of debt judgments recorded in Ireland’s Four Courts fell during the third quarter of 2017, according to figures released today by Registry Trust.

Of the 655 judgments recorded, 503 were against consumers and 152 against businesses. Consumer judgments were down nine percent compared with the same period last year. Business judgments rose slightly from 148 to 152.

The total value of consumer judgments fell 21 percent to €45,248,952 when compared with a year ago; the average value of consumer judgments was down 14 percent at €89,958. With business judgments, a single judgment to the value of €6,364,978 greatly skewed the figures.

As a result, judgments against unincorporated companies increased 2,414 percent in value, to €6,735,145 and 1,973 percent in average value to €118,160. However, discounting the anomalous judgment, the value of judgments against unincorporated businesses rose 38 percent and average value increased by 16 percent. By contrast there was a significant decline in the number and value of judgments against companies (incorporated businesses) compared with a year ago. Falling for the fourth year in a row, 95 corporate judgments were registered. The average value of corporate judgments declined by 83 percent to €14,549; the total value fell to €1,382,168, 84 percent lower than Q3 2016. All three of these figures were record lows for any quarter.

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 2,102 judgments in Q3 2017.

Malcolm Hurlston as Registrar commented: “Extrapolating from Northern Ireland we see that some 5000 judgments in smaller courts may not have been registered – their absence is a serious matter for the efficient working of the credit market.”

Main Statistics

  • Judgments against consumers Q3 2017 (compared with Q3 2016)

○    Total: 503 (down nine percent)

○    Total Value: €45.2m (down 21 percent)

○    Average Value: €89,958 (down 14 percent)


  • Judgments against businesses Q3 2017

○    Total: 152 (up four)

○    Total Value: €8.1m (down 11 percent)

○    Average Value: €53,403 (down 14 percent)


  • Adjusted judgments against business Q3 2017

○    Total: 151 (up three)

○    Total Value: €1,752,335 (down 81 percent)

○    Average Value: €11,605 (down 81 percent)