Debt judgments secured have fallen by a quarter since 2011
THE number of debt judgments secured in the courts against consumers and businesses here has tumbled 25pc since 2011.
However, the average amount of each secured judgment has climbed 31pc, hitting nearly €73,000 last year, new figures show.
Business and credit-risk services firm Vision-Net said the data it collected showed that 3,729 consumer debt judgments worth €327m were awarded in 2013, a 4.5pc decline on 2012 and a 16.3pc fall on 2011.
The Revenue Commissioner and credit unions accounted for almost 60pc of the debt judgments that were secured.
There were 1,754 commercial judgements totalling €71.5m awarded in 2013, an 11.4pc decline on the 2012 number and a 38.5pc reduction compared to 2011.
There were 577 commercial judgments that accounted for a combined €22.7m of the figure, which were awarded to local authorities.
'The increase in the value of debts reflects the high level and legacy of debts which businesses and consumers have been battling with in recent years," said Vision-net managing director Christine Cullen.
She continued: "However, the pattern of falling numbers of court judgments for unpaid debts over the past two years is welcome.
"The amount of individuals and companies now finding themselves before the courts with unpaid debts has fallen significantly."
Even allowing for an improved economic climate, Ms Cullen said that it was unclear why precisely the number of such judgments had fallen so much.
She added: "Today's data suggests that non-judicial-based remedies, such as debt re-structuring and settlements, write-downs or greater forbearance by banks and creditors may now be having a greater impact."