North Carolina Church Wipes Out $3 Million of Local Families’ Medical Debt

A church in North Carolina recently bought over $3 million worth of medical debt, saving more than 3,000 Davidson County residents from being harassed by debt collectors.

Members of the Trinity Moravian Church in Winston-Salem are in their second year of taking on the Debt Jubilee Project, where they pay off past-due medical bills for people living in their area. The now-annual event is commemorated through a debt-burning service. They held this year’s ceremony on March 26.

Last year, they church forgave $1.65 million worth of debt for 1,356 people in the Forsyth and Davidson counties. This year, they raised $15,048 in cash and used it to buy close to $3.3 million in medical debts for 3,133 families in Davidson county, 155 families in Davie county, and 67 families in Yadkin county.

“The medical system is so broken. Most of these families were making a go of it until someone has to go into the hospital for a few days or to the doctor for a serious (medical condition),” said Rev. John Jackman, pastor of Trinity Moravian Church.

“We can’t fix the system, so this is something we can do,” he added.

Outstanding medical bills, if still unpaid after a few months, are usually collected by a debt collection agency. If it remains unpaid after a certain period of time, the agency can sell this debt to a third-party collector for pennies on the dollar to help recoup a portion of the loss. The group works with RIP Medical Debt which buys these long past-due debts for a penny on the dollar.

The reverend shared that the church last year focused on Forsyth County, and this year on Davidson. The next campaigns will focus on Yadkin, Surry, Stokes, and Rockingham counties.

Information for this briefing was found via the Dispatch, Debt Jubilee Project, Twitter, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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