Donations helps hundreds erase medical debt in SWFL

Reporter: Chris Cifatte
Published: Updated:

For the last six months, WINK News has collected your generous donations and worked with RIP Medical Debt to buy outdated medical debt and forgive it, meaning clear it from credit reports. There are new and impressive numbers to report.

Through donations made to WINK News, 289 veterans and 189 individuals had $3.3 million worth of old medical debt wiped out.

The next time you check your mail, look for a yellow envelope. Right now, they’re sitting in nearly 500 mailboxes across Southwest Florida. You may be a recipient of this joint community effort to wipe out medical debt.

Here’s how it works: RIP uses donated money to buy old debt for pennies on the dollar.

Old medical debt is often sold. And, if a bill isn’t paid, it can be sold again and again. The collection letters and phone calls just keep coming.

RIP works with Transunion, the credit agency, to pick people based on several criteria including income to buy big batches of debt.

In Southwest Florida, nearly one in four adults have medical bills in collection totaling nearly $750 million with so many people drowning in doctor debt.

Another 546 letters valued at $5.4 million dollars are expected to go out by the end of the week.

Anyone helped will remain anonymous because of privacy laws, but we’d like to hear your story and share it with others.

A special thanks to all who donated and helped make this possible.

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