RIP Medical Debt

A Special Lenten Offering to Benefit Alabama
Our Own Jubilee Campaign

“One of the greatest pictures of the kingdom of God that we find in the Old Testament is what’s
called the Year of Jubilee. In Leviticus, we learn that one of the most important things that happened
in the Year of Jubilee is that people were forgiven for debts and obligations that they could not
repay. This was an expression of mutual responsibility and care for the vulnerable.”

“During this past Advent, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairhope along with other churches in the
Presbytery of South Alabama (PSA) participated in a special offering to help end medical debt in
Alabama (with an emphasis on the counties where there is a PSA church located). PSA partnered
with RIP Medical Debt to purchase bundled medical debt portfolios and then forgive that debt
at pennies on the dollar. On average, $1 is leveraged to abolish $100 in medical debt!
When debt relief recipients open the yellow envelope from RIP, they are told that their debt has
been bought by PSA churches and erased with no strings attached. They owe nothing on the debt
and face no tax penalty.”*

How RIP Works

  • You make a donation.
    RIP uses data analytics to pinpoint the debt of those most in need: households that earn less
    than 4x the federal poverty level (varies by state, family size) or whose debts are 5% or
    more of their annual income.
  • RIP buys uncollectible medical debt in bundles, at a steep discount – millions of dollars at a
    time at a fraction of the original cost. This means your donation relieves about 100x its value
    in medical debt.
  • Together we wipe out medical debt.
  • People across the country receive letters that their debt has been erased. They have no tax
    consequences or penalties to consider. Just like that, they’re free of medical debt.

Results of the PSA Advent Offering, and Our Goal for Lent

The Advent Jubilee Campaign set a goal of reaching $40,000. Amazingly, they exceeded their goal
and raised in excess of $64,787. “This donation will be able to buy $11.8 million in existing medical
debt in Alabama – or approximately 75% of the medical debt in Alabama.

Now it’s our turn. Spring Hill, and perhaps some other churches in our Presbytery, will continue the
Jubilee celebration with our own special Lenten offering – continuing through the end of March. To
completely erase all medical debt in our state would take another $9,300.
While this amount of money is an aspirational goal, every dollar counts, and every dollar x 100 is
magical. In this Lenten season, instead of “giving up” something you enjoy, let’s “give forward”
something that can change a life forever! I think we can do this. Jubilee contributions will be taken
during the Wednesday Lenten services, online, and on Sunday mornings.

*Direct quotes are from initial information provided by Matt McCollum, Senior Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian
Church, Fairhope, AL.

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