The total value of judgments has fallen by £406.1m in one year in a clear sign that more UK residents are struggling to come to terms with debt problems.
In the first half of 2012 the total value of judgments dropped by 27.1% to £1.09bn from £1.49bn during the same period last year.
Despite the fall in value five times as many judgments were searched for during the period compared to the first six months of 2008, indicating that creditors are carrying out more thorough checks on debtors.
According to the Registry Trust, which released the figures, 113,300 judgment search requests were received in the first half of this year compared to 21,791 in 2008.
The Registry Trust said the rise in searches had been boosted by the decision to reduce the price of searching for judgments from £30 to £10 last year.
Malcolm Hurlston, chairman of the Registry Trust said:
“Since the reduction in price more people have been searching for judgments in multiple jurisdictions to get a clearer picture (of debtors) from their results.”
The figures collate information on county court judgments and high court judgments in England and Wales; small claims, summary decrees and ordinary causes in Scotland; and undefended default, small claims and high court judgments in Northern Ireland.