Church raises enough to wipe out $21M in medical debt

Spokane Valley, Wash.-based Valley Real Life’s annual holiday fundraiser had raised about $210,000 as of the morning of Dec. 29, which the church told the Spokesman-Review is enough to forgive $21 million in medical debt for qualifying individuals in the Pacific Northwest.

Valley Real Life partnered with nonprofit RIP Medical Debt for the campaign, which launched over Thanksgiving weekend and will accept donations into mid-January. 

RIP Medical Debt uses donations to purchase and forgive debt portfolios for pennies on the dollar. The nonprofit can transform a $1 donation into $100 of forgiven medical debt on average, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Individuals who qualify to have their medical debt wiped out must have debts greater than their assets, be experiencing financial hardship with out-of-pocket expenses 5 percent or more of their annual income, or earn less than two times the federal poverty level. 

The campaign mails yellow envelopes informing those chosen by the program that their debt has been forgiven, the Spokesman-Review reported.



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