What was it like to open up a letter announcing that the burden of a large medical debt had been taken away? "I was dumbfounded," replies Terrance Lavalle, referring to a letter he received in November from Occupy Wall Street's working group, "The Rolling Jubilee."
Buying and selling debt has become a big business in the U.S. The FTC found that debt buyers typically purchase portfolios of debt for only four cents on the dollar, on average, and then collect on those debts for the full face value -- which nets them a huge profit.
A coalition of Occupy groups called StrikeDebt is encouraging people to combat debt by way of popular resistance... up to and including complete default. Occupy hasn't left its "radical" roots, but has evolved as a voice on the subject of banking and finance.
What does it say about us as a nation where patients waiting in an emergency room or lying in (or near) recovery rooms after surgery can be confronted by a special "relative" or friend at their bedside? It's your friendly medical debt collector, holding an invoice.