Almost 70 judgements worth over €1.3m have been awarded against hard-pressed credit union customers who have failed to repay outstanding loans since 2008 across counties Longford, Cavan, Westmeath and Roscommon, the Leader can reveal.
New figures released to this newspaper earlier this week underline the true extent of financial uncertainty currently facing credit unions as more and more institutions chase scores of customers for uncollected debts.
Since 2008, more than €83,000 in court judgements were made against credit union customers in Longford with a single €39,000 ruling being made against one customer in 2010.
More recently, that figure has levelled out on foot of 2011 figures which returned a more modest €6,515 total, a sum which was also made against a single customer.
In other counties, however, evidence of possible over-lending by some institutions appears more stark. Since 2008, approximately 29 court actions taken against credit union customers in Co Cavan reached over €700,000.
Last year alone, 24 judgements were made against customers living in the Breffni county, a figure which culminated in nearly €600,000 being rubber stamped by court officials.
Roscommon, meanwhile, accounted for almost €436,000 following 33 judgements made over the same period.
The research, compiled by Vision-net.ie, does not account for every single county with Leitrim failing to return a single court judgement against struggling credit union customers over the past three years.
Not surprisingly, some of the more densely populated parts of the country returned the highest figures. Dublin recorded €9.9m in court judgements followed by Cork, Galway, Tipperary and Galway.
In total, over 2,000 judgements worth a staggering €34m were sanctioned by Irish courts against under pressure credit union clients since 2008.
Over the course of that calendar year, a relatively modest €2,013 in judgements were handed down by courts up and down the country, a mere fraction of the €13.4m that was accounted for last year as credit unions attempted to deal with the debt crisis fallout.