Consumer judgments continue to rise

20th October 2021

The number of County Court Judgments (CCJs) issued against consumers in England and Wales saw another very large rise in Q3 2021 compared to the same period last year, according to the latest figures by Registry Trust.

The number registered in Q3 2021 was 241,952, up 116 percent from 111,931 in Q3 2020 – this was the second largest quarter-on-quarter rise posted in the past five years. The value of consumer judgments owed rose to £378 million from £227 million, a rise of 66 percent compared to Q3 2020. Despite the continued rises, numbers are yet to reach pre-Covid levels.

The average value of consumer judgments fell 23 percent from £2,029 to £1,560, while the median value fell 22 percent from £782 to £613.

The number of judgments ‘satisfied’ (or fully paid) by consumers in Q3 2021 was 40,606, down 23 percent from 52,740 in the same quarter last year. This is very disappointing as the number marked as satisfied remains a small proportion of the total judgments outstanding.

In the High Court, the number of judgments against consumers, at 44, was unchanged at over the period. But, the total value saw a huge rise of 344 percent from £8 million to £36 million. Due to the small number of judgments registered by the High Court, the numbers are subject to large fluctuations in percentage increases/decreases.

Registry Trust Chair, Mick McAteer, said: “We saw another large increase in the number of judgments recorded in this quarter compared to the same period last year. At that time, interventions by government and regulators, and forbearance by creditors, in response to the Covid crisis kept judgment numbers at historically low levels. But, as these measures were wound down, numbers began to rise again. The fall in the number of judgments marked as satisfied – or fully paid off – is worrying given the need to build financial resilience. The Covid economic crisis is far from over for financially vulnerable households”.

Q3 2020 Q3 2021 Change (compared with 2020)
CCJs against consumers 111,931 241,952 116.2%
volume £227,137,493 £377,504,787 66.2%
total value £2,029 £1,560 -23.1%
average* value £782 £613 -21.6%
median
High Court judgments against consumers 44 44 0.0%
volume £8,110,848 £36,090,988 344.9%
total value £184,337 £820,250 344.9%
average* value £137,426 £10,772 -92.2%
median
Satisfactions registered by consumers
volume 52,740 40,606 -23.0%
total value £61,693,997 £47,474,577 -23.1%
average* value £1,170 £1,169 -0.1%
median £560 £588 5.0%