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Ada church forgives millions of dollars worth of medical debt

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 11:19 PM CST
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ADA , Okla. (KXII) - Matthew 13:23 talks about seed planted in good ground that grows fruit thirtyfold, sixtyfold and hundredfold.

Ada First United Methodist Church Pastor Brian Matthews said his church raised a seed of $10,000 with the help of a national nonprofit, and watched it grow to 308-fold or $3.8 million.

“Part of our mission statement as a church is that we will be a place that will go out and serve and love our neighbors,” said Pastor Matthews. “RIP was able to buy a whole lot more debt than they thought they could. So, our $10,000 paid off $3.8 million dollars worth of debt.”

RIP Medical Debt is an organization that buys those accounts for a fraction of the dollar, making the person who owns the account’s debt disappear.

Pastor Matthews said he and the church were able to help 1,300 people become free of medical debt.

“They’re not buying one person debt, they’re looking in south central Oklahoma and buying thousands of peoples debt at the same time,” said Pastor Matthews.

He said debt works like this, debt is sold to collection companies over and over when a patient can’t pay making the price tag go up.

“So, instead of a 100 to one buying power, which we were hoping for, we ended up getting 380- to one,” said Matthews.

Those who qualify are living twice below the poverty level and owe more than they make. In the next few weeks, life-changing letters will go out to people in Pontotoc, Coal, Garvin, Seminole and Hughes counties.

“If you get a letter in a yellow envelope that says RIP medical debt, it’s not a scam, your debt has really been forgiven,” said Matthews

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