The number of UK consumers suffering a county court judgement (CCJ) or equivalent rose by 22 per cent in 2017 according to the latest figures released.
Over the year nearly 1.2 million judgments were registered against consumers in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. This represents a rise of almost a quarter over the previous year.
The number of adverse consumer debt judgments has now risen in each of the past five years.
The statistics were released by TrustOnline, an online source for UK judgment information about individuals and businesses, and cover county court judgments (CCJs) registered in England & Wales; simple procedure, ordinary cause and small claims decrees registered in Scotland; and default and small claims decrees from Northern Ireland.
Despite the strong rise in consumer debt judgements, the total value only rose by 6 per cent to ?1.78 billion, representing a drop of 13 per cent in the average judgement value.
Registry Trust, the non-profit organisation that runs TrustOnline, records county court judgments, high court judgments, CSA liability orders, fine defaults and tribunal awards for England and Wales.
The organisation also records undefended default, small claims and High Court judgments in Northern Ireland; and, undefended simple procedure and money decrees entered in the small claims, summary and ordinary causes sheriffs? courts in Scotland.
On a brighter note, when compared on a quarterly basis, the figures seem to slow over the course of the year when compare with 2016.
Q1 2017 (compared with Q1 2016)
Total: 307,546 (up 35 percent)
Value: ?469.0m (up 14 percent)
Average: ?1,525 (down 16 percent)
Q2 2017 (compared with Q2 2016)
Total: 299,662 (up 46 percent)
Value: ?465.6m (up 17 percent)
Average: ?1,554 (down 20 percent)
Q3 2017 (compared with Q3 2016)
Total: 325,166 (up 23 percent)
Value: ?488.5m (up 11 percent)
Average: ?1,502 (down 10 percent)
Q4 2017 (compared with Q4 2016)
Total: 236,375 (down 10 percent)
Value: ?357.3m (down 15 percent)
Average: ?1,512 (down six percent)