Business judgments fall yet again

England and Wales

Registry Trust figures for the 3rd quarter of 2016 show that judgments against businesses have fallen for the 7th year in a row. There were 19,379 county court judgments (CCJs) against businesses in England and Wales, a fall of 25% over the previous year. The total value of CCJs was £71.5m, down 12 percent. While the total number and value of CCJs fell to their lowest level since before the financial crisis, the average value rose 17 percent to £3,686, the first rise in average value for four years. These trends were consistent between CCJs recorded against corporate and the generally smaller non-corporate businesses, though the former represents the bulk of the figures.

Scotland

In Scotland debt decrees (judgments) against businesses have hit a record low. There were 976 business decrees in Scotland during the third quarter of 2016, a year on year decrease of nine percent. Owing to an unusually large ordinary cause decree against one company worth £20.8m, the total value surged 462 percent to £25.9m. Excluding this decree, the overall average value rose 22 percent to £5,222 as the total value increased 11 percent on the same period last year. The main reason for the fall in the number of decrees was a 17 percent decline in decrees against unincorporated businesses, which are typically smaller firms. The number of corporate decrees remained relatively static. Again ignoring the decree worth £20.8m, the average value of a corporate decree rose 26 percent to £6,955, while the average non-corporate decree increased six percent to £3,395.

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