News & Updates


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SAINT PAUL: June 19, 2017 — RIP Medical Debt and the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) today announced forgiveness of $2.6 million in medical debt. Minnesota Nurses chose to abolish local medical debt  as a gesture of thanks for community support of nurses in a four-week strike, which began a year ago today. At a press conference this morning, Minnesota Nurses marked the occasion by cutting in half a blowup of the debt-buying contract. They used large Chamber of Commerce scissors for the cutting. The “Closing Statement” on display showed that MNA donated $28,000 to RIP Medical Debt for the purchase of  1,833 charged-off accounts, worth an […]

Local Relief for Medical Debt: NBC Connecticut Responds

Andrea Gaskins, of Middletown, nearly hit rock bottom while dealing with mounting medical bills and threatening calls from debt collectors and she is not alone. Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States, according to data from credit agencies and the federal government. Roughly, 43 million people are struggling with unpaid medical bills and the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, parent of NBC Connecticut, is making a donation to a nonprofit to forgive $1 million in Connecticut medical debt. The burden of medical debt can take a toll on a family’s […]

Family Struggling With Medical Debt Gets New Home, Thanks to Viewers

Imagine having a child who has battled cancer twice, fighting to keep your kid alive while facing thousands of dollars in medical debt. It’s a struggle one Burleson family knows all too well. But people in North Texas refused to let them fight it alone.

Written By This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending in New Orleans the graduation ceremonies for new physicians in the Tufts University School of Medicine Maine-Track MD program. I was there to celebrate a newly-minted doctor, my niece, Emily Holden. Also on Sunday, I was quoted in the Personal Finance section of USA Today in the article, “3 medical debt mistakes to avoid.” I couldn’t help but appreciate the timing of both. On the one hand, I was watching these inspiring young people take on considerable personal education debt so they could go out […]

Written by Burton Danet, Ph.D.Founder, A Better Community For All Sometimes we have an encounter when it’s possible to cut through all the unfamiliar “stranger” qualities that exist in meeting people for the first time. With Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico, the co-founders of RIP Medical Debt, we felt a fast-developing rapport, as if my wife and I were talking with long-time friends or even family. How often do meetings take place in which absolutely everything outlined before the meeting exactly matched what took place during and after the meeting? To boot, they acknowledged and appreciated our qualifications and […]

When high school student Samir Boussarhane watched Last Week Tonight as John Oliver triumphantly donate a $15 million medical debt portfolio to RIP Medical Debt, so the debt could be forgiven, Samir knew he had to do something locally to make that kind of impact.

Written By At first I was taken aback. The tweet coming from @KarolGajda announced to his following: “In honor of the @GOP and @SpeakerRyan’s wish to put Americans in medical debt, I gave $100 to @RIPMedicalDebt today. Introducing Spitefulness Altruism (and How We Are Giving Away $3,000).” What? First, I assure you that RIP Medical Debt — the 501(c)(3) charity I co-founded — was grateful for the donation. Every penny counts in our efforts. We buy and forgive medical debt for pennies on the dollar (on average at 1 to 100). Now we had 1,000 more pennies to use for abolishing about $10,000 […]

Written By Billions of unpaid and unpayable medical debt are owed by American citizens.  What if we could take it all and deposit it in a very deep grave, putting to rest forever the debt and its killing credit reports? That grave is being prepared, thanks to an alliance between industry leader Global Debt Registry (GDR) and the charity, RIP Medical Debt. “We at RIP have been at the forefront of searching for solutions to eliminate what the collections industry calls ‘Zombie Debt” – debt which goes from collection agency to collection agency for years until the unfortunate debtor […]

Written By Just in time for Veteran’s Day. I was having dinner in NYC earlier this month with my friend, Larry Rivkin, when I brought up the work that RIP Medical Debt, is doing to address a crisis that few people even know exists — that millions of dollars in unpaid and unpayable personal medical debt are being run up by both current and former military members. That’s correct, and Larry as a WWII veteran, couldn’t believe it either. Like most Americans, he is under the impression that our country takes care of its veterans when they return […]

Written By I am chronicling the role of companies, organizations and individuals out of the public eye who are devoting their energy to tackling and remedying the damage done by the existence and pursuit of unpaid and unpayable personal medical debt. I approach this project both as a journalists/blogger well known as a patient advocate and as co-founder of a nonprofit, RIP Medical Debt, that has a singular mission – to locate, buy and then forgive personal medical debt. A billion dollars’ worth of this debt, to be exact. RIP notably came to the public’s attention […]

Written By Houston Health AdvocacyBonnie Sheeren, Independent Patient Advocate Please visit the book’s website. You can order a copy from Amazon or buy directly from the publisher, Hoku House. HOUSTON — As an independent patient advocate, I field phone calls and emails from upset, frustrated people who don’t understand their high medical bills that include incomprehensible explanations for the care they received. I deal mainly with people here in the Houston area and I network with my patient advocate colleagues around the country—and all of us have been grappling with a dysfunctional system that doesn’t seem to work […]

Written By The Last Week Tonight with John Oliver show on debt-buying brought laughs and needed attention to a major U.S. social issue: The seemingly never-ending cycle of medical debt collections and its effects on our people. Oliver and his staff located and purchased the debt and then donated it to us, so we could forgive it. Our charity, RIP MedicalDebt, was brought into existence specifically to do just that, forgive medical debt, and provide relief to the poor or ill that are in hardship. Our donors stand with us to send the message to […]

The 20-minute “Debt Buying” segment originated June 5, 2016, on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. NEW YORK — A June 5 segment of the HBO hit comedy series, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, featured the RIP Medical Debt charity forgiving nearly $15 million worth of donated medical debt for around 9,000 people — a new giveaway record for American television. John Oliver brought attention to debt industry abuses and the specific issue of unpaid medical debt. John Oliver reported that American households collectively owe more than $12 trillion in debt, with $436 billion at least 90 days overdue. He presented LWT’s investigation of the debt buying industry, airing video from […]

The Miracle of Medical Debt Forgiveness on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Written By HBO 20-minute “Debt Buyers” segment on Last Week Tonight, originating June 5, 2016. Medical debt pursuit, or more precisely, the endless harassment of patients unable to pay their bills (as opposed to unwilling), has gained increasing prominence as a major social issue. Among the more egregious practices in the collections industry is the sale of old medical debt – for pennies on the dollar – to bill collectors who will then aggressively pursue this debt at full face value for an additional two to 10 more destructive years. This happens regardless of the personal circumstances of people […]