Debt judgments against businesses fall in first quarter

THE number of debt judgments registered against Northern Ireland businesses in the first quarter of 2021 fell by 42 per cent from 261 to 152 compared to the same period last year, according to figures from the Registry Trust.

The total value of judgments fell by nearly a third from £982,467 to £691,881, but the average value of business judgments rose steeply from £3,764 to £4,552, the Trust said.

Debt judgments registered against individuals in the same three-month period fell by just over a third from 1,476 to 972.

The total value of judgment debt was down from £3.2m to just under £3m though the average value soared from £2,159 last year to £3,071.

The median value rose by more than 14 percent from £814 to £930, which suggests creditors took out fewer, larger judgments against consumers in the quarter.

Registry Trust chair Mick McAteer said: “This latest data shows that government and regulatory interventions, and forbearance by creditors, in response to the Covid-19 economic crisis clearly helped households.

“But, as we expected, the damage to household finances caused by Covid is now showing up in the numbers as those protection measures are wound down.”