Frequently Asked Questions

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KUTV Medical Debt Forgiveness (Photo: Jay Hancock/KUTV)

Frequently Asked Questions:

How were you able to buy $1.4 million for $12,500?

We teamed up with an organization called RIP Medical Debt. This 501(c)(3) buys up debt portfolios for pennies on the dollar.

Here’s how it works: When a doctor or hospital can't collect on a medical bill, they often sell the debt to a debt collector. When that debt collector can't collect, he'll sell it to another debt collector, who may sell it to another, and another and another. With every sale the amount of what the patient owes goes up because of interest and fees. But how much the debt collector pays goes down, until a debt collector is only paying pennies for the right to collect tens of thousands of dollars from a patient.

Such reduced rates are typically only available to large debt buying organizations. RIP Medical Debt was created to be one of those. But instead of collecting on the debt, after buying it they forgive the debt.

How can I help?

Donate. The rate at which RIP Medical Debt is typically able to buy debt is 1:100. That means for every $1 donated, RIP is typically able to pay off $100 in medical debt, $10 forgives $1,000, $100 forgives $10,000 and so on.

KUTV has partnered with RIP Medical Debt to make sure the money donated by our viewers stays in our viewing area. So the money you give will go to help your family, friends and neighbors.

To donate CLICK HERE.

What about taxes?

For donors, the IRS recognizes Medical Debt Resolution (RIP Medical Debt) under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Their EIN number is 47-1442997.

For those whose medical debts are forgiven, RIP Medical Debt says the forgiveness is a gift from a detached and disinterested third party (RIP) as an act of generosity, so forgiveness of the debt does not count as income to the debtor. RIP Medical Debt says they will not file a Form 1099-C with the IRS.

Consult a qualified tax accountant with specific questions about your situation.

How are people chosen?

RIP Medical debt uses a sophisticated system to make sure they pay off the debt for those most in need. KUTV and Get Gephardt do not get to know who those people are for HIPPA privacy reason. If you received a yellow envelope we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at 801-839-1250 or gephardt@kutv.tv.

Can I pick whose debt I pay off?

Unfortunately, the technology does not exist yet to choose whose debt is paid off. RIP Medical Debt is working on it. However, they say it could take years before they actually are able to pinpoint debt for a specific person.

Can I pay off my own debt for pennies on the dollar?

Unfortunately, the technology does not exist yet to choose whose debt is paid off. RIP Medical Debt is working on it. However, they say it could take years before they actually are able to pinpoint debt for a specific person.

I got an envelope, now what?

Congratulations! We hope this will help.

Make sure you keep the letter. File it away somewhere. This is your proof that the debt has been forgiven and is no longer collectable by anyone.

Give us a call if you’re willing to tell your story. You can reach me at 801-839-1250 or gephardt@kutv.tv.

What is RIP Medical Debt?

RIP Medical Debt locates, buys and forgives medical debt on behalf of individual donors, philanthropists and organizations who step up to provide financial relief for people burdened by unpaid and unpayable medical bills.

RIP Medical Debt incorporated on July 25, 2014, as Medical Debt Resolution, Inc., a New York-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, doing business as RIP Medical Debt.

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