John Oliver 15 million one-time giveaway in television show history

John Oliver forgives $15 million in medical debt

Corruption and sleaziness in the under-regulated industry were disturbing and grim. At one point, he had footage of a Debt Buyers Association conference that featured panelists sneering at how the “unsophisticated consumer” doesn’t generally understand his or her legal rights.

In what he called “the largest one-time giveaway in television show history,” he forgave some $15 million in medical debt for some 9,000 Texans. The stunt came at the end of his brilliantly scathing 20-minute takedown of the debt-buying industry.

For $50, he set up a debt-buying company and named it Central Asset Recovery Professionals, or CARP, “after a bottom-feeding fish,” he explained. Then he made himself the chairman of the board, and bought a portfolio of nearly $15 million in debt for $60,000. Rather than ruthlessly harass the people who owed the money — “I could legally have CARP take possession of that debt and have employees start calling people, turning their lives upside down over medical debt” — he said he was forgiving it all.

http://www.debtconnection.com/debtbuyers.asp

See Rolling Jubilee

A bailout of the people by the people

Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Our latest project The Debt Collective aims to build collective power to challenge the way we finance and access basic necessities such as housing, medical care and education. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.

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