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Debt and mental health

Last reviewed 08/04/2014: any recent updates in this colour.

Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG)

The CML is a member of the Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG).  

MALG issued guidelines for lenders dealing with customers with mental health issues in 2007, with a second edition published in November 2009. This is available on the MALG website. Paper copies are available on request from Marie Coles, Secretary to MALG at info@malg.org.uk

MALG's wider aims in publishing the guidelines were two-fold:

  1. to promote higher levels of overall awareness among creditors and debt advisers about the reciprocal impact of debt and mental health problems; and
  2. to encourage effective joint working across the creditor, advice and health and social care sectors in the interests of people with debt and mental health problems to support sustainable solutions that benefit both customer and creditor.

In addition to these guidelines, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Money Advice Trust published a report in November 2010 entitled 'Debt collection and mental health: ten steps to improve recovery'. This includes practical steps for creditors to consider when dealing with customers experiencing mental health problems, and also suggests how RCPsych might help lenders take this forward. For more information, contact rdavey@cru.rcpsych.ac.uk

On 1 December 2012, MALG published version 3 of its Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form, which enables creditors or advisers to obtain details of the customer's circumstances from a health professional. A briefing note on the main changes contained within version 3 is attached to the bottom of this webpage. The version of the evidence form aimed at creditors, an associated guidance note and a form for obtaining the customer's consent are all available from the MALG website.