Call to tackle unregistered judgements in Ireland

7th February 2017

The number of debt judgments recorded in Ireland’s Four Courts fell to a historic low during 2016, according to figures released today by Registry Trust.  There were 2,155 judgments registered against consumers in 2016, 38 percent fewer than the previous year and a record low. The total value of consumer debt judgments similarly fell to the lowest recorded level, decreasing 48 percent last year to €238.2m. The average consumer judgment was worth £110,523, 17 percent lower than 2015.

The number of business judgments fell for the fifth consecutive year during 2016, falling 22 percent 833, the lowest on record. The total value similarly fell to a historic low, decreasing eight percent to €41.8m. The average business judgment rose 18 percent to €50,207, the highest on record. There was no marked difference in the performance of incorporated and non incorporated businesses. 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 7,243 judgments in 2016. “The gap between Four Courts judgments and the Northern Ireland figures show just how much is missing from the public record in Ireland,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston. “You can’t make good policy with defective information. Happily the judgments statistics are positive all round: this is a good opportunity for the government to tackle the problem of unregistered judgments hidden from public view.”