When the debt activism group Strike Debt began planning its Rolling Jubilee, the goal was relatively modest: They would raise $50,000, use it to buy distressed medical debt on secondary debt markets, and then, rather than hounding the debtors like the collection agencies that buy most of this sort of debt, they would wipe it out.
Strike Debt activists with the first debt-forgiveness package they're sending out.
But that was before the Rolling Jubilee caught fire in the public imagination, garnering attention from the likes of Boing Boing, the New York Times, and Fortune Magazine. Even before the group had webcast its star-studded telethon, it had already surpassed its fundraising goal. To date, they've raised nearly half a million dollars -- enough to buy and forgive nearly $10 million of debt.
Most of that money is going to go to purchasing a big hunk of distressed medical debt next month, but as a sort of proof-of-concept, Strike Debt has already spent $5,000 to buy $100,000 of distressed medical debt owed by 44 people in upstate New York.More »