Closer examination is needed to reveal why the number of county court judgments (CCJs) against businesses has risen nearly 40 percent this year, according to Registry Trust.
Registry Trust is a non-profit company that maintains public records of judgment and decree information for most jurisdictions in the British Isles and Ireland.
Figures from the trust found that in the first quarter of 2017 nearly 30,000 CCJs were registered against businesses in England and Wales – an increase of 36 percent compared to the same period last year.
The trust said this “bucks” the downward trend which lasted seven years.
Compared to the first quarter of 2016, the total value of business CCJs rose by four percent to £81m.
The trust found the average value of a business judgment fell 24 percent to around £2,700 – the lowest average for a single quarter on record.
Malcolm Hurlston CBE, chairman of Registry Trust, said: “This sudden reversal of trend may well be a cause for alarm.
“Judgments against consumers have been rising for technical reasons. There is no equivalent reason for judgments against companies to have jumped to this extent. Closer examination is needed to unveil the truth behind the statistics.”
The trust also found that the number of CCJs against consumers, in the first quarter of 2017, hit an all time high.
In the first three months of 2017, Registry Trust received more than 53,000 requests to search the Trust Online register for judgments and similar information registered against consumers and businesses.
Hurlston said: “It is a unique benefit for consumers to be able to check the judgment record of any business or indeed person. If you plan any kind of transaction, check first.
“If you find some negative information, think twice. As overall judgment numbers against businesses fall, those which mismanage present a clearer risk.”
In December last year, the Ministry of Justice pledged to crackdown on unresolved debt claims.