Canceling Big Debts with Small Gifts

Categories: Open Mic

Canceling Big Debts with Small Gifts!

 East Bay Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Give $10 and your neighbor will see $700 in medical debt disappear before their eyes!


In the US, one person in five owes money for medical services. Medical debt is the biggest cause of bankruptcy in this country. Strike Debt Bay Area (SDBA) is taking action to address the problem of medical debt in the East Bay. Right now, we have the opportunity to eradicate $1.7 million in medical debt owed by people in Alameda County. And here’s the really good news: we can make every penny of that debt evaporate with only $25,000!


How is that possible? Here’s how it works:

  1. You owe, say, $10,000 to a hospital, but you can’t pay that debt.
  2. The hospital sells the debt to a collector at a discount, leaving the collector to come after you for the money.
  3. You still can’t pay. Over time, collecting the debt becomes less and less likely, so the debt becomes less valuable. That first collector sells your debt on to a lower-level debt collector at another discount. The debt is sold and re-sold for less money each time, winding up with a bottom-feeder collector who pays only pennies on the dollar, perhaps $150, for the right to collect the $10,000 you owe. (But since the system is rigged in favor of the debt collectors, you and I can’t pay off our own debt at those prices.)
  4. Enter RIP Medical Debt. It’s a national nonprofit founded by two former collections-industry professionals. They use charitable donations to buy batches of medical debt at very low  prices—and then axe it. People whose medical debt is relieved get a yellow envelope from RIP Medical Debt in the mail telling them which of their debts has been erased.

It’s for real. The first campaign to erase debt, back in 2013, the Rolling Jubilee canceled $32,000,000 in debt for just $700,000! Since that time, RIP has retired $150,000,000 in medical debt nationwide.

SDBA is partnering with RIP, as other local organizations around the country have successfully done. We raise the money; they purchase and eradicate the debt. For every $1 you give, your neighbor will see some $70 in medical debt vanish, along with the harassing phone calls and collection actions.

Donating is easy. Just visit our campaign at Democracy Engine [insert link] and give what you can. Check out our FAQ for more information: [link]. And pass the word to your friends and family. Thanks!


Watch John Oliver tell the RIP Medical Debt story:



Comments are closed.