Business

Sharp fall in debt judgments against individuals and businesses in Northern Ireland

The number of debt judgments made against individuals and businesses in Northern Ireland fell sharply in the third quarter

THE number of debt judgments registered against individuals in Northern Ireland fell by nearly two thirds between July and September, figures from the Registry Trust show.

And there was a similar percentage fall in the total value of judgment debt owed in third quarter.

But the statistics came with the caveat that government support schemes have papered over some of the debt cracks - and the respite may be short lived.

Over the period, there were just 608 debt judgments registered against individuals compared to the 1,781 in the same period last year, while the fall in the total value fell from £4.3 million to £1.6 million.

But the average value per consumer rose from £2,417 last year to £2,674, which suggest creditors are taking out fewer but larger judgments against people.

The Registry Trust figures revealed a generally similar trend in judgments against businesses in Northern Ireland.

There were just 73 quarter three judgments, down 84 per cent on the Q2 total of 461, while the total value fell by 60 per cent from £1.1 million to £457,243, though the average value rose steeply from £2,467 to £6,264.

Trust chairman Mick McAteer said: “This latest data shows that government and regulatory interventions, and forbearance by creditors in response to the Covd-19 economic crisis, continue to work.

“But, the respite may be short lived as the damage to business and household finances will show up later once the jobs and consumer protection measures are unwound.”

The Registry Trust is a non-profit organisation which collects judgment information throughout the British Isles and Ireland.

In Northern Ireland it collects information on defaults and small claims judgments, and High Court judgments.

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