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RIP Medical Debt: Building Beloved Community Campaign

Medical debt is a source of injustice particularly for people of color. Every day, 1 in 4 Americans choose between paying medical bills and covering basic needs. Half of adults skip going to the doctor when they’re sick due to concerns about cost. For Black, Hispanic, and low-income adults, 6 in 10 delay care.

RIP Medical Debt aims to be a source of justice in an unjust healthcare finance system, a unique solution for patient-centered health care providers and a moral force for systemic change. They are a national nonprofit whose purpose is to strengthen communities by abolishing financially burdensome medical debt.

How it works:

  • You make a donation -They use 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 annual income.

  • RIP buys medical debt at a steep discount They buy debt in bundles, 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.

RIP Medical Debt relieves $10,000 in Medical Debt with every $100 donated. With every donation, RIP uses its precise data analytics to pinpoint the medical debt of those most in need of relief: households whose incomes are less than two times the federal poverty level guideline or with medical debt representing at least 5% of gross income. Our donations would allow them to buy debt in bundled portfolios, millions of dollars at a time at a fraction of the original cost.

The Building Beloved Community Campaign

One of the mission projects in FPC-Durham’s capital campaign is to use $50,000 to retire medical debt in Durham and across the 8 NC counties with the highest percentage of residents who identify as African-American: Bertie, Hertford, Edgecombe, Northampton, Halifax, Robeson, Vance and Warren.

Our goal is to raise $50K from our capital campaign and use it to catalyze giving from throughout the New Hope Presbytery with an overall goal to eliminate the medical debt in NC.

  • RIP Medical Debt estimates that there is $35M in medical debt statewide

  • We can raise $350,000 to abolish that debt

The impact would far surpass the amount of money raised. It would:

  • relieve debt,

  • reduce bankruptcy, and

  • eliminate tremendous emotional distress for hundreds of families and individuals.

This is a systemic remedy to a deep injustice that disproportionately impacts African-Americans who have this debt because of illness or injury through no fault of their own.


FPC Durham has set up a Building Beloved Community Campaign site through RIP Medical Debt to allow your congregation to help us to eliminate ALL the medical debt in NC identified by RIP Medical Debt. FPC is raising $50,000 of the $350,00,000 needed to abolish the medical debt in NC. That’s where your congregation comes in. We are inviting you to join this campaign with the members of your congregations – if 30 congregations can raise $10K each, we will reach our goal and eliminate $300 million in medical debt! If 60 congregations raise $5K each we could do the same! Any amount – individually or as a congregation - will help us reach our goal.


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