Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

Aggressive debt collection and mental health






July 2023 – December 2024




Project summary

Campaign and policy work to reduce the psychological harm caused by aggressive debt collection practices during the cost-of-living crisis and ensure this is a political priority for policy-makers ahead of the next General Election.


Nearly half (46%) of people in problem debt in England also have a mental health problem. People experiencing mental health problems are three and a half times more likely to be in problem debt than people without mental health problems.

Sadly, each year in England 100,000 people in problem debt become suicidal. Through extensive research, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute have found that how organisations collect debts – be they banks, utility companies, local authorities or enforcement agents – can be a key contributor to suicidal thoughts and feelings.


Project overview

MMHPI project contains three strands of activity to reform aggressive debt collection practices:

  1. Strand one aims to mitigate the harm caused by debt collection practices during the cost of living crisis by continuing their ‘Stop the Debt Threats’ campaign which calls on the government to charge the Financial Conduct Authority with limiting how often creditors can contact people about overdue bills.
  2. Strand Two will extend the scope of their campaigning work to encompass utilities and local government debt collection practices, and bailiff reform.
  3. Strand Three will focus on public affairs work to build momentum for action to improve management of debts across the UK. This will include influencing activities to put debt collection and bailiff reform on the radar of the major political parties ahead of the general election.