The value of debt judgments against businesses in England and Wales fell by £85m last year, according to the latest figures.
Statistics from the Registry Trust showed that companies faced judgments to the value of £507m in 2012, down from £592m the previous year, which represents a 14% decline.
In total, 122,900 judgments were issued against firms last year, 17,600 fewer than in 2011 when 140,500 judgments were recorded.
Malcolm Hurlston, chairman of the Registry Trust, said: “Our statistics show that fewer businesses are facing court debts. When looked at together with the number of company insolvencies which have also fallen year-on-year, you might think this was cause for celebration as businesses have been able to repay their debts.
“However, this reduction probably reflects the lower level of lending to business over recent years.”
The number of judgments against companies has dropped 40% since 2009 when 207,100 were issued.
It said this was mirrored by insolvency statistics, which showed that the number of company insolvencies has decreased 15% from 19,078 in 2009, to 16,138 in 2012.
The Registry Trust operates the register of judgments, orders and fines for England and Wales on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.