The number of County Court Judgments against consumers in England and Wales in the first half of the year rose to its highest level for a decade, according to figures released by Registry Trust.
There were 419,510 CCJs recorded against consumers in England and Wales during the first six months of 2016, a year-on-year increase of 13% and the fourth consecutive year of increases.
However, the average value of a CCJ fell by 15 % to £1,833.
The total value of debt judgments against consumers in all courts in England and Wales during the first half of 2016 was £829m.
Malcolm Hurlston, Registry Trust chairman, said: “The increase in the number of judgments reflects in part recent buoyancy in lending. Another factor is that some creditors are taking action for smaller sums, as shown by the fall in the average debt. Whatever the reason it makes sense for borrowers to pay off in time.”
Tony Marshall, managing director of Equifinance commented on the rise, underlining the need for specialist lenders to help consumers behave in a financially prudent way: “The Registry Trust figures show that there is still a need for lenders to provide products to help a growing number of people with debt problems.
“The FCA has already highlighted this requirement for financial access and it’s something we take very seriously at Equifinance. It’s also important that secured loans help customers in these circumstances and are used to meet their longer term financial goals.
“The lender also needs a degree of security but if these underwriting issues can be balanced, specialist lenders are in a good position to help more customers struggling with debt.”
The Registry Trust is a non-profit organisation that collects judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland. In England and Wales it operates the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.