What If We Could Buy Debt for Cheap and Then Forgive That Debt (WE CAN)

The geniuses at Strike Debt—creators of The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual—have a new project, and it’s awesome.

They are raising money to BUY DEBT CHEAP DISTRESSED DEBT AND THEN FORGIVE THAT DEBT. They are “treating debt like corporations and the 1% do: as a business decision, not a moral obligation.”  

They’re calling it the Rolling Jubilee. The name and concept comes from ye olden times: “In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, a Jubilee year is mentioned to occur every fiftieth year, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.” They can’t buy specific debt, but instead buy packages of debt and forgive it. They’ve already bought and forgiven $$100,000 in defaulted medical debt.

It all starts November 15th with a variety show and telethon in NYC featuring some famous people including Janeane Garofalo, Lizz Winstead, and Jeff Mangum. Tickets start at $25, which will buy an estimated $500 worth of debt. Their goal: To buy and forgive $1 million in debt with $50K.

More information: A video explaining how it works; lineup and tickets for the benefit.


4 Comments / Post A Comment

I can’t even find anything bad to say about this. Sounds great!

Tuna Surprise (#118)


How about cancelled debt is typically considered taxable income to the debtor? So if the IRS gets wind of this, you may be slapping some person with a tax bill from the IRS – who will probably be more determined to collect.

minijen (#656)

@Tuna Surprise That would still be a fraction of the original debt amount.

deepomega (#22)

This is pretty great – but it’s STILL a moral decision dude. The moral/immoral line is whether the debt holder is willing to forgive it. It’s about two-party consent, and just letting debt go by going into bankruptcy or whatever is more of a moral gray area than agreeing with the debt holder to let bygones be bygones.

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