Consumers ‘slowly navigating’ out of debt

Consumers and businesses are “slowly navigating” their way out of debt, with new figures showing a marked reduction in debt judgments being registered in the courts and an increasing willingness to negotiate with and pay creditors.

The data, compiled and published by business and credit risk analyst Vision-net, shows that the volume of debt judgments against Irish consumers and companies are down by nearly 40% this year compared to 2010, — the high point for both the recession and judgments.

The value of judgements has fallen by 63% over the same timeframe. The largest number of judgments were, unsurprisingly, awarded in favour of Revenue in both years.

Fewer people chasing debtors for monies through the courts shows, according to Vision-net, that there is “an increasing ability and willingness to service, pay, and negotiate debts”.

“The drop in judgments could also be partially attributable to Irish companies being more prudent with their resources and making sounder decisions, based on economic evidence; for example, leasing instead of buying; seeking payment guarantees and credit checking companies,” the report states.

A total of 5,465 debt judgments were awarded against consumers and companies during the first nine months of 2010, with a combined value of over €704m. For the same period this year, some 3,338 judgments were awarded — a fall of 39% — with a 63% drop in value to €263m.

According to Vision-net managing director Christine Cullen, the data indicates that debtors are “beginning to slowly navigate their way out of the heavy burden of debt which has crippled our economy over recent years”.

“The fall in both the number and value of judgements awarded is undoubtedly a good news story,” she added.


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