What is it?
The DMHEF is a collaboration between the Royal
College of Psychiatrists and the Money Advice Liaison Group (a
discussion forum for money advice agencies and creditor
The DMHEF aims to standardise the existing
situation where creditors encounter individuals experiencing debt
problems who self-report a mental health condition is affecting
their ability to repay.
In such situations, creditors (with customer
consent) can request written evidence from a mental health
professional who knows the customer. Alternatively, money-advisers
can request evidence on the individual’s behalf to negotiate with
Critically, the DMHEF attempts to minimise the
time and resources that providing such information can take a
health professional, whilst improving the likelihood of effective
Why is it needed?
When taking debt recovery action, it is
contended that creditor organisations who are owed money still do
not adequately consider information provided about customers’
This can result in inappropriate, mentally
distressing, and sometimes illegal action being taken during debt
recovery. Furthermore, where customers consent to creditors
requesting information from health professionals, reported
- variability in the type and amount of
- ambiguous instructions or unrealistic
expectations concerning what information health professionals
- delays, refusals, or payment requests from
health professionals to provide evidence
- poor quality and irrelevant information for
decision-making being returned
- often heightened customer distress at an
already difficult time.
Recent UK guidelines for creditors (including
banks and debt collection agencies) and money-advisers on working
with indebted customers with mental health problems have therefore
called for a standardised approach which overcomes these
difficulties, and which also meets legal requirements for
communicating and processing sensitive personal data detailed in
the UK Data Protection Act 19884.