Charity buys and erases past-due medical debt for Christmas

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — After a lifetime collecting debt, Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico are eliminating them.

The co-founders of RIP Medical Debt buy millions of dollars in past-due medical debt for pennies on the dollar. But instead of hounding people to pay, they send letters saying the debt is erased, no strings attached.

The Rye, New York-based organization uses donated money to erase crushing medical debt that threatens the financial well-being of thousands of American families. The charity says it has erased $475 million in debt for more than 250,000 people since it was founded four years ago.

Ashton says it’s their best interim solution for unpayable medical debt until a better financial structure is worked out for the U.S. health care system.

This holiday season, RIP is using a $2 million anonymous donation to erase $250 million in debts, including $50 million for veterans.

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