Non-profit

RIP Medical Debt

Website:

www.ripmedicaldebt.org

Location:

RYE, NY

Tax ID:

47-1442997

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $11,416
Expenses: $23,468
Assets: $1,922

Formation:

2014

Executive Director:

Ted Sann

RIP Medical Debt is a private organization that allows donors to buy debt portfolios at pennies on the dollar, then forgive that debt on behalf of individuals. [1] Since the group was founded, it claims to have forgiven $715 million in medical debt for 240,000 Americans. [2]

History

RIP Medical Debt was founded by former debt-collection executives to change the nature of collecting on more than $100 billion in unpaid medical debt in the United States. [3] According to the group, allowing outside organizations to forgive individual debt, rather than placing responsibility on individuals in debt, will help better the doctor-patient relationship, encourage people to seek care, and keep hospitals in business. [4]

RIP’s primary goal is to abolish $1 billion in personal medical debt by raising approximately $14.4 million in donations, a goal they have nearly reached in the past five years alone. [5] In June 2016, talk show host John Oliver of “Last Week Tonight” purchased $14.9 million in medical debt live on his show, and then forgave that debt through RIP Medical Debt. [6] Since then, RIP has received extensive national media attention and now counts NBCUniversal among its corporate partners. [7]

Activity

RIP Medical Debt connects individual donors, philanthropists, and organizations with individuals facing medical debt, allowing donors to purchase debt portfolios at pennies on the dollar. [8] Rather than collecting on the debt, donors write the purchase off as a charitable contribution to RIP, who then uses the funding to forgive medical debts for random individuals across the United States.

RIP uses targeted data to assemble debt portfolios which consist of individuals who earn less than twice the federal poverty level, individuals whose debts are 5 percent or more of annual income, and individuals whose debts outweigh their assets. [9]

In 2017 alone, RIP expanded its debt-forgiveness program while launching new initiatives and targeting new groups. Throughout the year, RIP hosted four mini-summits, each with targeted goals. [10] RIP also launched new corporate partnerships with TransUnion and OBASHI to help better the credit reports of those whose debts are forgiven and assist in maintaining medical data privacy. [11] Alongside corporate partnerships, RIP joined the Campaign to End Medical Debt, which forgave $5 million in debt in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. [12]

In November 2017, RIP announced the launch of a 2018 campaign to forgive $50 million in medical debt specifically owed by US veterans. [13] That same year, a Michigan court set a new legal precedent when it approved a class action settlement against a hospital collection agency in the amount of $500,000. Instead of being distributing to over 600,000 class members in amounts of less than one dollar, the settlement money was given to RIP, which used it to abolish $40 million of unpaid medical bills in Michigan. [14]

RIP has introduced an increasingly popular method of philanthropic giving due to the large return on investment of debt buying and forgiveness, especially for smaller scale organizations. More recently, a wave of churches across the United States has begun to donate to RIP. [15] [16]

RIP has also become popular for individuals seeking to help particular communities. In July 2019, journalist Jim Branscome and author Bill Bishop gave $100,000 to wipe out medical debt for 10,000 people in 70 counties across Central Appalachia. [17]

People and Funding

RIP Medical Debt is funded by partnerships with individuals, community groups, and foundations.

RIP was founded by Craig Antico and Jerry Ashton in 2014 and granted tax-exempt status in 2016. [18] Antico has a 30 year career history in finance and debt-buying. [19] In 2012, Antico advised the Rolling Jubilee Fund, a 501(c)(4) that helped to erase $50 million in medical debt, student loans, and payday loans. [20] Rolling Jubilee is a part of left-wing movement Occupy Wall Street and has been criticized by groups on the left for encouraging “unfair” lending practices, as well as on groups on the right for removing loan repayment incentives and disregarding the personal responsibility of individuals who take out loans. [21]

Jerry Ashton spent more than 40 years in the credit and collections industry. [22] Ashton is the founder of CFO Advisors, a financial consulting corporation which at one point serviced more than $500 million in receivables for large corporations annually. [23]

References

  1. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  2. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  3. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  4. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  5. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  6. “Blog.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/blog/ ^
  7. “Get Involved.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/#getInvolved ^
  8. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  9. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  10. “2017 in Review.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/2017-in-review/ ^
  11. “2017 in Review.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/2017-in-review/ ^
  12. “2017 in Review.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/2017-in-review/ ^
  13. “2017 in Review.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/2017-in-review/ ^
  14. “2017 in Review.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/2017-in-review/ ^
  15. Baer, Maria. “How US Churches Cover Millions in Medical Debt.” ChristianityToday.com. Christianity Today, August 19, 2019. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/september/forgive-us-our-medical-debts-rip-churches.html ^
  16. Hammill, Roxie. “Churches Take Lead in Helping Poor with Medical Debt.” oregonlive.com. oregonlive.com, June 9, 2019. https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2019/06/churches-take-lead-in-helping-poor-with-medical-debt.html. ^
  17. Axelrod, Tal. “Donors Help Forgive Medical Debt for 10,000 in Appalachia.” TheHill. The Hill, July 27, 2019. https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/454998-donors-pay-off-medical-debt-for-10000-in-appalachia. ^
  18. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  19. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  20. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  21. Smith, Yves. “Why Occupy Wall Street’s Rolling Jubilee Puts Borrowers at Risk.” naked capitalism, December 3, 2012. https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/12/strike-debts-rolling-jubilee-puts-borrowers-at-risk-to-politicize-debt-issue.html. ^
  22. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
  23. “About.” RIP Medical Debt, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.ripmedicaldebt.org/about/#. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2016

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form 990EZ $11,416 $23,468 $1,922 $13,820 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $2,800 $2,646 $154 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    RIP Medical Debt

    80 THEODORE FREMD AVE
    RYE, NY 10580-2891