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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Occupy activists buy up Americans' personal debt

Posted by on Dec. 1, 2013 at 1:43 AM
  • 15 Replies
1 mom liked this


Sunday, December 01, 2013 5:11 AM GMT

For a year and a half, 80-year-old Kentucky resident Shirley Logsdon received repeated calls from a debt collection agency over an unpaid medical bill.

Then one day, out of the blue, she received a letter saying the $983 debt had been handled -- purchased by Rolling Jubilee, a group linked to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"I was dumbfounded but delighted, of course," Logsdon, who is retired along with her husband of 62 years, told AFP.

"We got a letter saying that everything had been resolved -- finally it is over, you don't have to worry, you don't owe us anything. (...) I didn't know these people. It was a godsend."

So what is Rolling Jubilee? The group is an outfit launched just a year ago by former Occupy Wall Street members now grouped under the nationwide Strike Debt collective.

"Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will and collective refusal," it says on its website, rollingjubilee.org.

The idea? Buy up the personal debt of those who are struggling to fulfill their basic needs, like health care or housing.

For the New York-based group's first anniversary, it announced this month that in one fell swoop it had bought up the equivalent of nearly $13.5 million in medical debt that some 2,693 people owed to hospitals and medical offices.

The group purchased the debt for only $400,000 -- mainly paid for by small donations made to the organization over the Internet.

In the United States, when a bill is not paid within 90 days, a bank can attempt to reduce its losses by selling the loan at a discounted price to professional debt buyers. These are then resold on a secondary debt market.

On its website, Rolling Jubilee says that "banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors."

According to Strike Debt member Ann Larson, "for every dollar of debt we abolish, we paid only two cents."

The group has no idea whose debt it was purchasing: sales are made anonymously and it's not until the end of the transaction that Strike Debt has access to the addresses to which it will send letters, such as the one it mailed to Logsdon.

Medical bills are one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy in the United States.

In 2013, one in five Americans will have struggled paying medical bills and more than 35 million people will be contacted by debt collectors, according to a study by NerdWallet, a company specializing in personal finance and credit options.

Logsdon, who was treated in Louisville for a back injury, said she had no idea what was coming financially.

"I was really upset," she said. "Almost $1,000 in debt is unreal when you have Medicare. They usually cover everything."

"I was very embarrassed," she added. "We hit rock-bottom."

Then the reprieve from Rolling Jubilee arrived. The letter said: "It is our belief that no one should have to go into debt for the basic things in our lives such as healthcare, housing and education."

For Larson, the gesture of those who donated "really shows that people help each other and people understand that the debt system we have in America is really wrong."

Next to tackle on the group's list is student debt. Each year, 60 percent of American students must borrow to pay for their studies.

In September, the burden of student debt was more than $1 trillion in the United States, according to the Federal Reserve.

LINK

Wow! What a bunch of spoiled, selfish and self-serving criminals. Damn OWS losers.

Oh, wait...that is just what SOME on the Right claim everyone involved with OWS is.

D'oh!

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

by on Dec. 1, 2013 at 1:43 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Friday
by HRH of MJ on Dec. 1, 2013 at 12:57 PM

BUMP!

FrogSalad
by Sooze on Dec. 1, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Great story.

Cutenessmom
by Bronze Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Well I love them to help me out :0

tanyainmizzou
by on Dec. 1, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Good for helping the medical debt, but I doubt it only is going to apply to something not done from their o spending.


Everyone now hopes that if they overspent on their credit cards (and don't even go there that people don't), they will pay them off.



Friday
by HRH of MJ on Dec. 1, 2013 at 3:50 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting FrogSalad:

Great story.

Thanks. I thought it was pretty cool. Especially considering the way that many of the Rep/Cons on CM keep insisting OWS is just a bunch of lazy criminals.

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

tanyainmizzou
by on Dec. 1, 2013 at 3:52 PM

When many vandalize, steal, break things, trash places, demand college loans are forgiven, demand credit card debt is forgiven, and insist on a more socialist government, how can others believe some aren't criminals or lazy users?

Quoting Friday:


Quoting FrogSalad:

Great story.

Thanks. I thought it was pretty cool. Especially considering the way that many of the Rep/Cons on CM keep insisting OWS is just a bunch of lazy criminals.


lizzielouaf
by Gold Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM
1 mom liked this

It appears there are guidelines to the type of debt paid, housing and medical. Regardless, this isn't a sucky thing they're doing. 

Quoting tanyainmizzou:

Good for helping the medical debt, but I doubt it only is going to apply to something not done from their o spending.


Everyone now hopes that if they overspent on their credit cards (and don't even go there that people don't), they will pay them off.





FrogSalad
by Sooze on Dec. 1, 2013 at 3:56 PM
1 mom liked this

It reminded me that I had a $50 Kiva balance that I needed to reloan.

While not the same as forgiving someone's debt, it does help people become more self-sufficient.

Friday
by HRH of MJ on Dec. 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting tanyainmizzou:

When many vandalize, steal, break things, trash places, demand college loans are forgiven, demand credit card debt is forgiven, and insist on a more socialist government, how can others believe some aren't criminals or lazy users?

Quoting Friday:


Quoting FrogSalad:

Great story.

Thanks. I thought it was pretty cool. Especially considering the way that many of the Rep/Cons on CM keep insisting OWS is just a bunch of lazy criminals.


I never said some weren't but I have seen many here insist that they were all bad people, with few if any redeeming qualities, when I know that's not the case.

Obviously some were criminal losers but every person I have known that supported OWS were upright citizens and weren't looking for any handouts but to let Wall Street know that the people weren't cool with the crap they pulled.

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 4:44 PM
It's heartwarming to read this! What a great idea and cause these people came up with!
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