1K Kentuckians Get Medical Debt Wiped Away

Thanks to Occupy offshoot

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 27, 2013 5:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – This is a protest that's easy to get behind: 1,064 Louisville-area residents have had their medical debts erased, thanks to what the Courier-Journal describes as a protest against the credit industry. The Rolling Jubilee Fund's intent is "to buy and abolish personal debt," per its VP, and it did so in a big way this month: by purchasing and then eliminating more than $1 million of debt. The individual bills of $26 to $8,790 had been owed to area doctors and were sold to collection agencies and other third parties after they went unpaid. The nonprofit purchased the debt from those third parties using $22,000 in donations—then set the amount due to zero.

The group, started by Occupy Wall Street protesters, sees a double standard: Big banks get bailed out, while the 99% has no such luck. "We believe that no one should have to go into debt for the basic things in our lives, like health care, housing, and education," says the VP. Certified letters informed the former debtors, who are so far still anonymous, that their debts had been retired: "It is gone, a gift with no strings attached," the letters read. The group has previously purchased and relieved debt in Upstate New York, and has raised more than $500,000 for its activities so far.

  (Shutterstock)
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