New Mexico church wipes out nearly $1.4M worth of medical debt for 782 households

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St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Santa Fe, N.M., paid off $1,380,119.87 in medical debt belonging to 782 households, NBC affiliate KSNV reported July 12.

The church wiped out the debt via a partnership with RIP Medical Debt. For every $100 donation, the New York City-based nonprofit forgives $10,000 in medical debt. RIP Medical Debt limits its debt purchases to people who earn less than twice the poverty level, have out-of-pocket medical expenses that total more than 5 percent of their income or face bankruptcy.

St. Bede’s donated $15,000 to the nonprofit.

The church said it paid off all the available medical debt for all families who owed in New Mexico, as well as several counties in Arizona: Apache, Gila, Graham, Mohave, part of Maricopa and all Navajo counties.

Households that had their debt forgiven received a letter in the mail that said, "St. Bede’s Episcopal Church has paid off the medical debt you have been struggling with for the past number of years. No strings attached."

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