OWS Buys Up Debt — To Abolish it

Search form

OWS Buys Up Debt — To Abolish it

OWS Buys Up Debt — To Abolish it
Tue, 11/13/2012 - by Matthew Sparkes
This article originally appeared on The Telegraph

The Rolling Jubilee project is seeking donations to help it buy up distressed debts, including student loans and outstanding medical bills, and then wipe the slate clean by writing them off.

Individuals or companies can buy distressed debt from lenders at knock-down prices if it the borrower is in default or behind with payments and are then free to do with it as they see fit, including cancelling it free of charge.

As a test run the group spent $500 on distressed debt, buying $14,000 worth of outstanding loans and pardoning the debtors. They have now raised $115,000, which they say is enough money to buy and cancel more than $2.3 million of debt. After a variety show and telethon this Thursday, both sums will surely rise substantially.

David Rees, one of the organizers behind the project, writes on his blog: "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.

"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."

A video released to promote the project says: "We shouldn't be forced into debt to cover basic needs like healthcare, housing and education. We need a jubilee, a clean slate. The math is on our side; a little bit of money goes a long way. If we can raise $50,000 we can buy a million dollars worth of debt and abolish it.

"We bailed-out the banks and in return they turned their backs on us. We don't owe them anything, we owe each other everything. It's time for a bail-out of the people, by the people."

Read more: The Deliciousness of the Rolling Jubilee, Occupy Gets Into the Debt Market.

Article Tabs

Grappling with a shrinking budget and limited manpower, the EPA now pursues criminal charges in “fewer than one-half of one percent” of total legal violations.

A lot has changed since we last published this report during the Occupy movement in 2011. With major protests in the news again, we decided it's time to update our cell phone guide for protestors.

Indigenous communities on the front-lines of tar sands extraction lead a spiritual march through a landscape of poisonous lakes, dead earth, open-pit mines, and refineries.

With a shift in media underway, there's an opportunity for alternative online news sources to turn youth apathy into engagement and cynicism into a demand for social and political change.

Thousands of climate activists from across Europe are expected to join local protesters on the German-Polish border for a mass demonstration against a huge coal mining project.

Public university-paid social scientists identify "threats" from mass movements and Muslim NGOs on behalf of U.S. military intelligence.

Posted 5 days 3 hours ago

An Austin grand jury asserts Perry abused his official powers by promising – then carrying out – a veto on $7.5 million in funding for public corruption prosecutors.

Posted 5 days 3 hours ago

Groups engaged in activism for social change are susceptible to being ranked higher on the radicalism threat-scale by the Pentagon's Minerva research program.

Posted 3 days 21 hours ago

Can peacefully exercising First Amendment rights create lasting change if police have weaponry and, apparently, legal authority to immediately and violently disperse crowds?

Posted 3 days 20 hours ago

Arizona State University’s Defense Department-sponsored data-mining algorithms would enhance CIA "signature" drone strike targeting.

Posted 2 days 21 hours ago

Considering that 94 percent of Americans believe animals raised for food should be free from abuse and cruelty, the modern meat industry has good reasons to fear the public finding out that Old MacDonald's farm isn't so happy these days.

Andrew ‘weev’ Auernheimer was sentenced Monday to 3.5 years in prison for revealing to the media that AT&T had configured its servers to allow access to iPad owners’ unsecured email addresses.

In India last month, a furor erupted over a leaked intelligence bureau report which claimed that NGOs and civil society organizations like Greenpeace posed a threat to national security.

Surely, the Occupy Movement had its flaws, but the decision to avoid allowing the Movement to be co-opted by Congress was one of the strengths of Occupy, not its fatal flaw as "The Newsroom's" Will McAvoy alleges.

Opinion: 100 years after the Titanic -- and we're still sinking

The owners of the Titanic had too few lifeboats on board because they weren't legally forced to provide more. Now that reckless, greed-driven banking and financial executives have sunk our economy, here's a thought: Before you bet the farm that high-risk enterprises are inclined to self-regulate, have a word with Alan Greenspan.

Sign Up