John Oliver just bought and forgave $15 million of US medical debt


He’s known for his incredibly well-researched and hilarious segments on “Last Week Tonight”, but soon John Oliver’s fame as a philanthropist will precede him. If not for the world, then for those who he brought incredible relief. In this week’s episode he covered a story where companies purchase records of debtors and collect on them. To demonstrate how things work, the show set up a company that acquired $15 million worth of debt owed to hospitals across Texas. These debts were then forgiven, thus demonstrating goodwill of ‘Oprah proportions’ on TV.


The segment was 20 minutes in length and was aimed at exposing companies who purchase these debts and then use inappropriate means to recover money. These include threats and harassment. What’s more is that they do without verification of why the debt was unpaid. “Once the company has bought your debt, whether the information is accurate or not, they are going to try to collect on it,” said Oliver.

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“Debt-buying is a grimy business and badly needs more oversight, because as it stands any idiot can get into it. And I can prove that to you because I am an idiot and we started a debt-buying company,” said Oliver. “And it was disturbingly easy.”

The beneficiaries of this action amounts to about 9,000 people! Bravo John.

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[ Via : Businessinsider ]