The Montclair Interfaith Clergy Association is comprised of leaders from a broad variety of houses of worship in Montclair, NJ. We seek to "present a loving vision of diverse, inter-religious cooperation in the wider community." As such, we now join together to recognize the crippling impact of medical debt on families in Essex County and band together to help eliminate as much medical debt as we can.
More than half of all personal bankruptcies have medical debt at their root. Of those, more than 70% of people had some form of insurance when their primary incident occurred. We are the only country which allows people who get cancer to have to battle their health and personal finances at the same time.
There is more than $30 Million of medical debt inventory available to be eliminated in Essex County. Together, we have the opportunity to eliminate the medical debt for hundreds of families and individuals in Essex County by joining together. We will first seek to eliminate the $1.5 million of debt in Montclair and Bloomfield and then continue to eliminate an additional $1.5 million in other communinities in Essex County. By working with RIP Medical Debt we will be helping families who:
Earn less than 2X the federal poverty level (varies by state, family size).
Have debts that are 5% of more of annual income
Are facing insolvency — their debt are greater than their assets
We like to talk about justice and liberation in our places of worship. This is debt that nobody had any choice in accumulating. The just thing to do is to help people get out from under their medical debt and be freed to focus on other concerns.
Several houses of worship have already pledged to support this campaign. The plan is to celebrate how much debt we have been able to retire on or around Easter Sunday of 2020. Let's join together, work together and then celebrate what we have accomplished together this spring.
Montclair Interfaith Clergy Association
Union Congregational Church, UCC
First Congregational Church of Montclair, UCC
Temple Ner Tamid of Bloomfield
Congregation Shomrei Emunah
Who Is RIP Medical Debt?
RIP Medical Debt uses donations to purchase bundled medical debt portfolios that have gone through collection agencies for months or years. Using third-party credit data providers, it targets debt incurred by people facing financial hardship, and then forgives it. On average, $1 is leveraged to abolish $100 in medical debt.