MEDICAL DEBT PAYOFF

Thank you to the generous donors of Desperation Church!

For Immediate Release – 6/24/2020

Desperation Church Eliminates 2.87 Million in Medical Debt for 2,000 Alabama Families.

  • Desperation Church partnered with the non-profit organization RIP Medical Debt to purchase and forgive $2,873,390.75 of unpaid medical bills for 2,009 Alabama families. The partnership began after learning medical debt is the leading cause of consumer bankruptcy in the United States. Medical debt has destroyed the financial stability of our most vulnerable Americans including: the sick, the elderly, the poor as well as our veterans. Desperation Church meets in locations in Blount, Cullman, Marshall, and Walker Counties and has a heart to serve the community in practical ways.  Initially our goal was to eliminate medical debt for those identified by RIP Medical Debt as meeting criteria for financial hardship in the counties we serve.  The generous hearts of Desperation Church donors enabled expansion to neighboring counties and then to other locations across Alabama. 
  • Credit scores are damaged when a person is unable to pay medical bills. Damaged credit scores have a trickle effect on getting an apartment, a job, a loan and lower interest rates. These negative effects will begin to change in the next few weeks for over 2,000 recipients when they receive notification that their debt has been acquired and eliminated thanks to the generosity of Desperation Church.
  • Desperation Church is led by Pastor Andy Heis and has multiple central Alabama locations. Over the past 10 years, the church grew from one location in Cullman to four locations including Arab, Hayden, Jasper as well as a worldwide online audience.  For more information, visit www.desperationchurch.tv.

Learn More:

  • Medical debt has destroyed the financial stability of large segments of America’s most vulnerable people: the sick, the elderly, the poor, and veterans.
  • 42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). Over a third of those were unable to pay for food, heat or housing because of medical bills. (Kaiser Family Foundation & New York Times)
  • 60% of personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills, making it one of the leading causes of homelessness in the USA. 75% of all individuals in medical bankruptcy had health insurance coverage.
  • When a person cannot pay their medical bills, it results in damage to their credit score. That then makes it harder to get an apartment, harder to get a job, harder to get a loan, and interest rates and fees on loans are much higher due to the credit damage.

Here’s What We Have Done:

  • We mapped out locations in Alabama representing the counties we serve, as well as neighboring counties.
  • We then worked with RIP Medical Debt – a nonprofit organization – and learned that there was over $2 million of outstanding medical debt owed by people in those counties earning less than 2 times the federal poverty level. We were able to purchase that debt and forgive it for just pennies on the dollar.
  • RIP Medical Debt identifies recipients meeting certain hardship criteria: Those with medical debt who make less than 2 times the federal poverty level, individuals with financial hardship (5% or more of annual income going to out-of-pocket medical bills), and individuals who are insolvent. 
  • Thanks to the generosity of church donors, we expanded beyond the initial goal to purchase a total of $2,873,390.75 of unpaid medical debt for those meeting hardship criteria in Walker, Winston, Cullman, Blount, Marshall, Morgan, and Marion county and forgave all of it in Jesus’ name. We were able to extend to even more locations across the State of Alabama and forgive the debt of a total of 2,009 recipients. No more harassment from debt collectors. No strings attached.

What’s Next:

  • Each person will receive a letter letting them know their medical debt has been cleared by an act of generosity from Desperation Church. RIP Medical Debt will then work with the credit unions to repair the credit damage from the medical debt thereby lifting the credit score of each person. As they recover from their illness, the improved score will make it easier for them to get a job, get an apartment, and help them get back on their feet, and avoid homelessness.
  • This is an act of Biblical justice and generosity on behalf of the poor done in Jesus’ name. The 2000+ people will get letters with the good news!

To the Desperation Church family – THANK YOU!  Your generosity is making a real impact.

To our friends and neighbors across Alabama – You Are Loved.  This simple act of kindness from your friends at Desperation Church has no strings attached. It is just a reminder that Jesus loves you, and so do we.

Join Us:
“Welcome Home” is our favorite greeting.  It’s more than a motto, it’s who we are. It’s an open invitation to anyone to be a part of a Desperation Church worship experience at one of our area locations, or online from wherever you are.  For more information about locations, service times, and what to expect, visit our homepage at www.desperationchurch.tv. Be sure to follow us on social media @dccampusnews

Be a part of making a difference with the Desperation Church family. Heart for the House is an ongoing giving partnership funding similar strategic initiatives of importance to our church family.  Learn more about our Heart for the House giving partnership at www.desperationchurch.tv/heartforthehouse.

*For those inquiring about medical debt and  more information about the partnering organization, RIP Medical Debt, please visit www.RIPmedicaldebt.org.  

© Copyright 2020 Desperation Church // Cullman, AL // 256.255.5979 // info@desperationchurch.tv
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