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Viral sermon leads to $46.5 million in medical debt forgiveness

Living in Ohio, you may be familiar with a church called Crossroads. Crossroads recently had a sermon called "The Marks of Multiplication" that talked about the burden of medical debt on individuals in the community. He stated that the congregation could, if they wanted to, donate to help free others from medical debt.

That campaign wasn't a challenge, but the group took it to heart. Working together with RIP Medical Debt, which would wipe out $100 per $1 donated, the church was able to eliminate over $46.5 million in medical debt throughout the United States. Around $42 million of those funds were used to help people in Ohio.

The church is based in Cincinnati, so the majority of the money stayed in the state. The sermon, however, was played online. That meant that people around the country could donate and participate.

RIP Medical Debt is able to track donations, so it could identify where donations came from and give back to those in that community. For example, if you donated in New York, you'd receive funds back to your state.

In total, the church reported that it was able to eliminate $42.8 million in medical debts across 41,233 homes in 103 zip codes, which helped thousands of Americans get out from under the struggle of medical debt.

Haven't heard of RIP Medical Debt? You're not alone

RIP Medical Debt is a a nonprofit organization that works to pay off medical debts. RIP Medical Debt is essentially a collector who buys old debts. The only difference is that the organization then pays off the debts instead of trying to collect.

Is RIP something you can look into if you're struggling with medical debt?

It's possible, especially if you earn less than twice the federal poverty level. That's around $25,000 per year for individuals. There are other qualifying requirements as well.

Medical debt elimination doesn't have to be a challenge

While stories like this are amazing and heartwarming, the reality is that this kind of debt forgiveness isn't your only option. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, for example, will also allow you to eliminate medical debts and discharge them, so long as you qualify.

What you should take away from this information is that there is hope. Your debts may seem overwhelming now, but with organizations working to pay them down and options like bankruptcy to help when other methods don't, you can get out of debt.

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