CULLMAN, Ala. (WBRC) - More than 2,000 Alabama families are now out from under the burden of medical debt thanks to a Desperation Church and the non-profit RIP Medical Debt.
The two groups paid off $2,873,390.75 of unpaid medical bills for 2,009 Alabama families.
The partnership began after learning medical debt is the leading cause of consumer bankruptcy in the United States.
Desperation Church meets in locations in Blount, Cullman, Marshall, and Walker Counties.
The Church said the initial goal was to eliminate medical debt for those identified by RIP Medical Debt as meeting criteria for financial hardship in the counties they serve, but the generous hearts of donors enabled expansion to neighboring counties and then to other locations across Alabama.
Desperation Church and RIP Medical Debt purchased the debt and forgave it for just pennies on the dollar.
- RIP Medical Debt identifies recipients meeting certain hardship criteria: Those with medical debt who make less than 2 times the federal poverty level, individuals with financial hardship (5% or more of annual income going to out-of-pocket medical bills), and individuals who are insolvent.
According to the post on the Desperation Church website: Each person will receive a letter letting them know their medical debt has been cleared by an act of generosity from Desperation Church. RIP Medical Debt will then work with the credit unions to repair the credit damage from the medical debt thereby lifting the credit score of each person.