Lack of data leads to debtors getting new loans


The Irish Independent - Wednesday March 21 2012

There is absence of proper information on who owes what to whom in this country, according to James Treacy, managing director of credit information service BusinessPro, the publisher of 'Stubbs Gazette'.

This means that a householder could have 20 unpaid debts and this would not be obvious to companies offering them services, or to the courts dealing with a debt case.

He explained that the Court Services refused permission to 'Stubbs Gazette' correspondents to collect unregistered judgments in October 2010.

The grounds given were that it was not specifically written into statute that information on unregistered judgments could be collected, even though BusinessPro had been collecting them since 2000. Unregistered judgments account for over 80pc of total judgments.

Mr Treacy said this has affected responsible lending and borrowing.

He added that it also puts the debtor at risk of becoming hopelessly indebted by borrowing more heavily, as previous debt cases may not be recorded on a credit report.

'Stubbs Gazette' was taking a legal challenge to being denied judgment information. In the meantime, it has developed a system to collect judgment data directly from solicitors and creditors.

"The Irish Court Services decision to deny access to our correspondents defies logic. The only way our domestic economy will grow is by getting credit flowing again. Creditors cannot be expected to make responsible lending decisions if they have inadequate credit data," said Mr Treacy. He added the Coalition must address the need to collect data.

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