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County court judgements drop to new quarterly low 14 May 2014

The number of county court judgements (CCJs) against businesses in England and Wales reached a new low during the first three months of 2014.

According to new statistics from non-profit organisation Registry Trust, there were 27,909 in Q1 2014, a 6% decrease compared to the previous low recorded in Q1 2013.

The decrease marks only the second time that the total number of first quarter business CCJs has fallen beneath the 30,000 mark since the turn of the century.

The downwards trend in debt judgments applies to both incorporated businesses and their smaller, unincorporated counterparts.

The number of CCJs recorded against the former fell 5% year-on-year to 16,015 in the first quarter of 2014, while the equivalent figure for unincorporated businesses fell 7% to 11,894.

The combined value of business CCJs in England and Wales also continued to fall, decreasing 18% year-on-year to £105.2m in Q1 2014, compared with the £290.8m peak sum recorded in the first quarter of 2009.

However, Registry Trust said the figures are “tempered” by the recent statistics from the Insolvency Service, which show a 4.9% year-on-year increase in corporate liquidations between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014.

There were 3,721 corporate liquidations during the first quarter of 2014, compared to 3,457 in the same period of 2013 and 3,552 in the last quarter of 2013.

Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE said: “By any interpretation the record low in business judgments presents a positive picture.

“It may have been helped by more forbearance from lenders or reflect cautious lending in the aftermath of the crisis.”

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