Lenders and loan companies take record number of individuals and SMEs through courts in Northern Ireland says Registry Trust
GUARANTOR loans firm Amigo took a judgment through the courts in Northern Ireland last year the equivalent of every single working day and claimed back £1.9 million from defaulters, new figures show.
And third-party money collectors Arrow Global and PRA Group - which acquire and collect non-performing loans and then chase down the creditors - took more 450 people through the courts to recoup more than £1 million, according to Registry Trust which carried out the analysis.
Banks, building societies and credit unions, as well as non-traditional lenders, accounted for 37 per cent of all money judgments in Northern Ireland last year, taking 1,589 individuals and small businesses through the courts.
By value, this accounted for 75 of all orders made, with lenders claiming back £8.4m, says the Trust, which collects information on defaults and small claims/High Court judgments.
A total of 7,580 judgments were issued in Northern Ireland during 2018, and among the lenders the most active claimants were Arrow Global (339), Amigo Loans (277), Skyline Direct (162) and PRA Group (120).
Government accounted for 1,129 judgments, led by Debt Management, part of the Department for Communities, whose 618 judgments gave it first place among all the top 50 claimants. The Registrar of Companies was second in the government sector with 412.
Housing organisations accounted for 273 judgments, with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive responsible for 196 judgments of them.
Utilities made up one per cent (118), led by Power NI and NI Water.
Leading the other claimants were Abbey Insurance Brokers with 608 and debt collection agency Asset Collection Investigations on 478.
The total value of judgments in 2018 was £11.2m with banks and other lenders responsible for 75 per cent. Top claimant Amigo Loans accounted for £1.9m worth and Bank of Ireland was the second largest claimant at £1.2m. PRA group was the third largest with judgments worth £737,764.
The government sector was responsible for £1.3m worth of judgments. Debt Management's total judgments was £599,269. The Registrar of Companies and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust were second and third biggest claimants with £346,798 and £152,626 respectively.
Among other claimants Abbey Insurance Brokers accounted for £420,740 worth of judgments and Asset Collection Investigations £370,414.
Housing organisations were responsible for three percent (£274,675) of the total value with Northern Ireland Housing Executive at £167,714. Utilities made up one percent with judgments total valued at £123,711.
Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston said: “It will come as a surprise to many that lenders account for a minority of judgments, even in Northern Ireland where credit unions are strong and active, compared with the rest of the UK.
“This is fresh information, vital for the public good, giving better insight into the significance of judgments.
“We are deepening our study and encouraging England and Wales to follow the example set here.”
Top 50 claimants categories by volume of judgments 2018
? Lenders – 1,589 (37.4 percent of the volume of judgments) [2017: 1,372]
? Other – 1,145 (26.9 percent) [2017: 845]
? Government – 1,129 (26.5 percent) [2017: 1,120]
? Housing – 273 (6.4 percent) [2017: 469]
? Utility – 118 (2.8 percent) [2017: 177]
Top 50 claimants categories by value of judgments 2018
? Lenders - £8.4m (75.2 percent of the total value of judgments) [2017: £7.6m]
? Government - £1.3m (11.3 percent) [2017: £1.1m]
? Other - £1.1m (9.9 percent) [2017: £644,575]
? Housing - £274,675 (2.5 percent) [2017: £421,915]
? Utility - £123,711 (1.1 percent) [2017: £208,586]
Top individual claimants by category (volume) 2018
? Debt Management: 618 judgments
? The Registrar of Companies:412
? CTB NI: 50
? Santander Consumer UK: 81
? Bank of Ireland: 40
? Santander Consumer Finance: 23
Lenders (credit unions):
? Newington Credit Union: 116
? Lurgan Credit Union: 97
? Cloughfern Community Credit Union: 20
? Arrow Global: 339
? Amigo Loans: 277
? Skyline Direct: 162
? PRA Group: 120
? Northern Ireland Housing Executive: 196
? Choice Housing Ireland: 53
? Apex Housing Association: 40
? Power Northern Ireland: 68
? Northern Ireland Water: 49
? Firmus Energy Ltd: 22
? Abbey Insurance Brokers: 608
? Asset Collection and Investigations: 478
? Flagship Media Group: 71
Top individual claimants by category (value) 2018
? Bank of Ireland: £1.2m worth of judgments
? Ulster Bank: £582,594
? Santander Consumer UK: £570,393
Lenders (credit unions)
? Lurgan Credit Union: £318,274
? Newington Credit Union: £260,697
? Downpatrick Credit Union: £193,791
? Amigo Loans: £1.9m
? PRA Group: £737,764
? Arrow Global: £638,530
? Debt Management: £599,269
? Registrar of Companies: £346,798
? The Southern Health and Social Care Trust: £212,184
? Northern Ireland Housing Executive: £167,714
? NICHA: £60,413
? Apex Housing Association: £46,548
? Power Northern Ireland: £69,959
? Northern Ireland Water: £46,196
? Abbey Insurance Brokers: £420,740
? Asset Collection & Investigations: £370,414
? BRS Limited: £121,390
Biggest increase in judgments by volume (2018 compared with 2017)
? Asset Collection & Investigations 478 (up 370)
? Arrow Global Limited 339 (up 339)
? The Registrar of Companies 412 (up 240)
? Amigo Loans 275 (up 100)
Biggest increase in judgments by value (2018 compared with 2017)
? Amigo Loans £1.9m (up £1.1m)
? Bank of Ireland £1.2m (up £1.1m)
? Arrow Global Limited £638,530 (up £638,530)
? Santander Consumer (UK) £570,393 (up £200,351)
? Abbey Insurance Brokers £420,740 (up £142,368)