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RIP Medical Debt

‘Predatory Givers’ Make Medical Debt Disappear

Meet RIP Medical Debt, the anti-collection agency that’s buying millions in unpaid medical bills and forgiving the debts at no cost to patients.

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He'd lost his house. His kids couldn't afford to enroll in college. His wife was putting their silverware in hock. But RIP Medical Debt co-founder Craig Antico felt he had no choice but to continue.

"We love this. I don't care if I'm about to fall off the earth, I'm gonna do it," Antico said.

What is "it"? It's freeing people from medical debt — something Antico began doing after a chance encounter turned his life upside down.

For most of his career, Antico had worked as debt buyer and bill collector. It was his job to identify opportunities, then track people down and get them to pay.

But everything changed for Antico after his friend and former business partner Jerry Ashton got him involved with what became known as the "Rolling Jubilee." The term "jubilee" dates back to Biblical times, with the Book of Leviticus describing how in certain years, debts would be forgiven. Suddenly, Antico found himself buying up the same type of debt he had as a collector, only now, instead of collecting, he was simply making those debts disappear. And he was loving it.

"I told my wife, 'I know that we're taking a tremendous amount of risk here going into poverty for three or four years, but you know something? It's what needs to be done,'" Antico says. "We're not creating wealth here, but we are creating good."

The Rolling Jubilee led Antico to find his new calling as a "predatory giver," someone who buys up old debts in order to free people from them. In this episode, you'll hear how that led him and Ashton to form RIP Medical Debt. Their organization has forgiven more than $120 million in debts to date — and is taking aim at billions more.

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