In the first quarter of 2019, 321,044 County Court judgments (CCJs) were registered against consumers in England and Wales, a rise of five percent on the same quarter of 2018, according to figures by Registry Trust. The total number of adverse CCJs have risen year-on-year for the past six years.

At the same time the average value of a consumer CCJ recorded over the quarter decreased by six percent to £1,398 compared to Q1 2018, which had been the lowest first quarter average on record. The total value of CCJs remained close to last year’s levels, decreasing by one percent to£448.7million.

In the High Court 33 judgments were registered against consumers in Q1 2019, 11 fewer than in the same quarter of the previous year.

The total value of debt judgments against consumers in the High Court in England and Wales during the first quarter of the year was £17.1million, a decrease of 85 percent from Q1 2018’s value of £115.2million, though the decrease drops to 44 percent when a single large judgment of £84.5million in Q1 2018, is disregarded.

The Registry Trust published figures showing that in the first quarter of 2019, 321,044 County Court Judgments (CCJs) were registered against consumers in England and Wales a record high and up five percent on the same quarter of 2018.

On behalf of TrustOnline, Mick McAteer, deputy chairman of Registry Trust said “Accurate judgment information reduces the risk of inappropriate lending and borrowing, and is a useful indicator of the state of household finances. The number of judgments has hit record levels yet again but 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.”

Commenting on the figures, Jane Tully, Director of external affairs at the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said “The continued rise in the number of CCJs is a worrying trend and shows the financial challenges many people are facing.”

“While these latest figures show the number of county court judgments against consumers at record levels, the overall amounts owed are decreasing.

“This is similar to what we are seeing at National Debtline, where growing numbers of people are contacting us with credit-related debts, but with overall smaller amounts of debt than in the past.


Q1 2018 Q1 2019 Change (compared with Q1 2018) notes
CCJs against consumers  
volume 305,877 321,044 [record high] +5%
 total value £455.5m £448.7m -1%
Average* value £1,489 £1,398 [record low] -6%
median £684 £628 -8%
High Court judgments against consumers  
volume 44 33 down 11
total value £115.2m £17.1m -85% 2018 figure includes a single judgment of £84.5m      [2017 £15.6m]
Average* value £2.6m £517,835 -80% 2018 figure is highest on record: includes a single judgment of £84.5m
median £139,921 £85,178 -39%


* 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.