- by JP Wickremasinghe on 22/07/2015
2,308 commercial and consumer judgments have been awarded by the courts in the first 6 months of 2015. The total value of these judgments stand at just over €220 million, an increase of 32% on 2014. The average value of judgments during this period was €95,333, an increase of 27% on the same period in 2014 (€74,818).
1,692 judgments have been awarded against consumers in the first half of 2015, a 6% increase on the same period in 2014. Consumer judgments for the first two quarters of 2015 had a total value of €202.8 million. This represents a 41% increase(€59 million) on the same period last year when total consumer judgments stood a €143.8 million.
The average value of consumer judgments during the first six months of 2015 stands at €119,879, an increase of 33% or €29,925, on the same period in 2014 when average consumer judgments were €89,954.
The highest number of consumer judgments, by value, were awarded to the banking sector with 185 judgments valued at €148.84 million. The largest number of judgments, by volume, were awarded to the Revenue Commissioners, with 888 or 52% of all consumer judgments valued at €31.66 million were awarded.
616 or 27% of all judgments awarded in the first half of 2015 were commercial judgments. This represents a slight reduction on the same period last year, when the figure stood at 629. The value of commercial judgments awarded was €17.2 million. This represents a fall of 25% on the total value for the same period last year, when the figure stood at €22.9 million.
The average value of commercial judgments awarded for the first half of 2015 was €27,911, a decrease of 23% or €8,428 reduction, on 2014's equivalent figure of €36,339.
The highest total value of commercial judgments were awarded to the Revenue Commissioners with 161 judgments valued at €3.92 million. The largest number of commercial judgments by volume were awarded to Local Authorities with 256 judgments valued at €2.36 million.
An analysis of consumer judgments awarded over the period, 2009 to 2014 inclusive, indicated that the value of judgments have increased over the years. In 2009 the average consumer judgment was €56,144 but by end 2014, the figure has risen to €92,691. This is despite the fact that the number of judgments awarded have fallen from a high of 4,455 in 2011 to 3,241 in 2014.
A review of commercial judgments over the period 2009 to 2014 equally shows that the average value of these judgments have increased over the years, from €26,073 in 2009 to €37,798 in 2014. However, over the period the number of judgments have fallen from their highest number of 3,084 in 2010 to 1,087 in 2014.
Commenting on the data, our Managing Director, Christine Cullen, noted: "despite all recent positive economic sentiment, the burden of debt still looms large for thousands of businesses, families and communities across Ireland."
"What stands out from our data is that consumer debt remains a significant problem and worryingly the average value of that debt continues to rise year on year.
More positively, the first half of 2015 has seen a marked fall in the value of commercial judgments, by 25% when compared with 2014. Equally when comparing 2009 to 2014, we can see that the volume of business bad debt judgments has reduced three fold. This can only be good news for businesses, job creation and wider economy".
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