Sarah Forman Studio
About Our Fundraiser
Did you know that Louisiana has the most medical debt per capita in the country, keeping our friends and neighbors in poverty?
We’re tired of being #1 at the expense of our communities. So a group of us has come together to raise $19,000 by the end of the year so that we can erase $1.9 million of medical debt for New Orleans’ poorest citizens. This is a rare opportunity to directly improve our community because with every $1 donated, $100 worth of medical debt will be forgiven completely.
To do this we are working with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit that searches large debt portfolios to locate accounts that meet the criteria for relief, and then negotiates to buy millions of dollars of it at a steep discount, usually a penny or less on the dollar. Sound too good to be true? Just check out some of their amazing success stories in Fast Company and NBC News, or late night host John Olivers’ personal testimony of helping his community through RIP Medical Debt below!
When you give, instead of another dreaded bill, those in debt will receive a yellow notice saying they are no longer obligated to pay even a cent of their original medical debt. They will have no tax consequences from the forgiveness, and can start to rebuild their financial lives again. Imagine getting this kind of a letter after months, if not years, of health problems followed by aggressive calls and letters from debt collectors?!
We can’t finish raising all of the funds without you. Please give a donation of any size. With a 1:100 ratio of impact, no donation is too small!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is this for real?
Most things in life that sound too good to be true, often are. But this is 100% for real!! RIP Medical Debt has a proven track record of buying and forgiving this kind of debt. They can do this when no one else can because the organization’s founders worked in the debt collection for many decades–in fact, they wrote a book on it last year! Below you can see just some of their successes in case studies and media pieces.
The organizers of this New Orleans campaign deeply vetted the organization before launching this campaign. We looked at RIP Medical Debt's past tax returns and current financial audit and researched their CPA. We interviewed their staff multiple times. And, then we reviewed early data from a group of scientists who are studying the impact of debt forgiveness and RIP Medical Debt’s work. It’s hard to believe that small things can lead to such a big impact, but in this case it definitely does!
Who’s debt will be forgiven?
RIP Medical Debt has identified $1.9 million in medical debt owed by New Orleanians who either:
- Make less than 2 times the federal poverty level
- Have financial hardship - 5% or more of their annual income goes to out-of-pocket medical expenses, or
- Are insolvent (debts greater to their assets).
As donors to this campaign, we won’t have access to the names of these people–as part of the way this can be tax-deductible donors don’t know the identities of those receiving forgiveness. But RIP Medical Debt will give us a report outlining demographic information (numbers of people affected by the debt forgiveness, their zip codes, age, gender, race, etc.) once the debt has been bought and forgiven.
Wow! How can I spread the word about this?
We need all of the help we can get! Feel free to share this page with others through your newsletters, websites, and social media. You can also borrow any of the graphics or text to repurpose. We have found that direct emails asking for donations have raised the most money. If you have any questions, reach out to email@example.com.
Can my business, organization or place of worship help out?
We would love help to raise funds and awareness for this campaign! Feel free to share this page through your business, organization or place of worship’s newsletters, websites, and social media. Some businesses will be doing fundraiser nights, where a portion of their proceeds for one night will go to this campaign. If you are interested in doing something like this, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is organizing this campaign?
This campaign was started by a group of New Orleans artists, activists, students, service industry workers, creatives, and others. We like to eat, drink and have fun while organizing around small actions that have exponential impact for our community and culture.
RIP Medical Debt’s Solution: 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.
Please see the full RIP FAQ below and visit www.ripmedicaldebt.org for more information.
Want to make a donation by cash or check?
Please mail to to any cash or check (payable to "RIP Medical Debt") to the address below and make sure to notate on the memo line or letter that your gift is designated to "NOLA Campaign."
RIP Medical Debt / 80 Theodore Fremd Ave. Rye, NY 10580
John Oliver explains how RIP Medical Debt works - and then forgives nearly $15M in Medical Debt for 9,000 Americans
Read more about how people across America has partnered with RIP to abolish MILLIONS in medical debt:
Who is RIP Medical Debt? RIP Medical Debt (RIP) is a national 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to empower donors to forgive the billions of dollars in oppressive medical debt at pennies on the dollar. RIP locates, buys, and abolishes destructive medical debt for individuals, veterans, and families. Since inception in 2014, RIP has relieved more than $600 million in medical debt for individuals across the U.S., impacting over 250,000 individuals.
How Does RIP Medical Debt Work? RIP, working with third-party credit data providers, searches through large debt portfolios to locate accounts meeting their criteria for relief. RIP then negotiates to buy millions of dollars of this debt at a steep discount, usually a penny or less on the dollar.
Facts about Medical Debt
- 42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills, which creates an adverse impact on debtor patients, physicians, and hospitals (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
- Six in 10 of both insured and uninsured people say they have difficulty in paying other bills as a result of medical debt. Over a third were unable to pay for food, heat or housing because of medical bills. (Kaiser Family Foundation & New York Times)
- Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults under age 65, or 116 million people, had medical bill problems or debt, went without needed care because of cost, were uninsured for a time or were underinsured — insured but had high out-of-pocket medical expenses or deductibles relative to income. (Kaiser Family Foundation & New York Times)
- Medical debt contributes to more than 60 percent of the bankruptcies in the U.S. Until satisfied, debt lingers on a person’s credit report to negatively impact their ability to buy a home, get a loan or even gain employment. (The American Journal of Medicine)
Whose unpayable medical bills does RIP forgive?
- Individuals who make less than 2 times the federal poverty level
- Individuals with financial hardship - 5% or more of their annual income goes to out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Individuals who are insolvent (debts greater to their assets)
Why Donate to RIP Medical Debt?
- Your dollar goes a long way! On average, $1 abolishes $100 of debt.
- 100 percent of your donation goes towards abolishing medical debt.
- RIP Medical Debt is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and our EIN number is 47-1442997. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
- We have specific programs for veterans and active service members of the US military.
- There are no tax consequences for those whose medical debts are forgiven. The forgiveness is a gift from a detached and disinterested third party (RIP) is an act of generosity, so forgiveness of the
- does not count as being income to the gift recipient.
RIP Medical Debt's Federal Tax ID: 47-1442997
Disclaimer: In the event that a campaign is unable to meet RIP Medical Debt's local campaign contribution goal, all funds will be attributed to our national funds for general or veteran medical debt.
Michelle Lee donated $52.50 to Campaign to Forgive $1.9M of Medical Debt in New Orleans
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