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The Rolling Jubilee

vThe Occupy Wall Street movement is trying a new tactic to help folks struggling with debt burdens. Banks and other financial traders buy debts from each other for pennies on the dollar, but still try to collect every bit of it plus interest from the debtor. There’s no reason that those debts can’t be bought up by someone who doesn’t expect to profit from them.

Now OWS is launching the ROLLING JUBILEE, a program that has been in development for months. OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then ERASED THAT DEBT. (If you’re a debt broker, once you own someone’s debt you can do whatever you want with it — traditionally, you hound debtors to their grave trying to collect. We’re playing a different game. A MORE AWESOME GAME.)

This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need — to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy. As you can see from our test run, the return on investment approaches 30:1. That’s a crazy bargain!

Now, after many consultations with attorneys, the IRS, and our moles in the debt-brokerage world, we are ready to take the Rolling Jubilee program LIVE and NATIONWIDE, buying debt in communities that have been struggling during the recession.

The project will officially kick off with a benefit variety show November 15th in New York City. Link to story. Link to website. -via Jason Kottke

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Date
November 9th, 2012

Author
Stranger to the World

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