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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:53 AM

OWS to Buy, Forgive Distressed Consumer Debt

Posted at Discourse.net on November 8, 2012 by Michael Froomkin


This is very cool: The People’s Bailout — Occupy Wall Street plans to buy distressed consumer debt for pennies on the dollar … and then forgive it.

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.



read: http://www.discourse.net/2012/11/ows-to-buy-forgive-distressed-consumer-debt/

http://howtosharpenpencils.tumblr.com/post/35285338188/the-peoples-bailout

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Reply OWS to Buy, Forgive Distressed Consumer Debt (Original post)
bigtree Nov 2012 OP
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #1
Generic Other Nov 2012 #2
Leopolds Ghost Nov 2012 #3
xchrom Nov 2012 #4
Cracklin Charlie Nov 2012 #5
djean111 Nov 2012 #6
99Forever Nov 2012 #7
Le Taz Hot Nov 2012 #8
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #9
woo me with science Nov 2012 #10
randome Nov 2012 #11
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #83
navarth Nov 2012 #12
reformist2 Nov 2012 #13
SammyWinstonJack Nov 2012 #14
djean111 Nov 2012 #15
PoliticAverse Nov 2012 #25
Sophiegirl Nov 2012 #42
randome Nov 2012 #46
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #106
Doc Holliday Nov 2012 #156
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #158
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #159
Ms. Toad Nov 2012 #48
joeunderdog Nov 2012 #139
tavalon Nov 2012 #146
DiverDave Nov 2012 #152
Ms. Toad Nov 2012 #163
Ms. Toad Nov 2012 #162
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #71
distantearlywarning Nov 2012 #16
onethatcares Nov 2012 #18
tavalon Nov 2012 #147
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #17
handmade34 Nov 2012 #19
SidDithers Nov 2012 #20
Hell Hath No Fury Nov 2012 #55
dchill Nov 2012 #65
Dark n Stormy Knight Nov 2012 #94
Scootaloo Nov 2012 #143
LineLineNew Reply .
Luminous Animal Nov 2012 #109
UnrepentantLiberal Nov 2012 #128
tavalon Nov 2012 #148
TBF Nov 2012 #21
groundloop Nov 2012 #22
silvershadow Nov 2012 #23
AllyCat Nov 2012 #24
Kip Humphrey Nov 2012 #53
AllyCat Nov 2012 #72
dangerdoll Nov 2012 #63
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AllyCat Nov 2012 #73
Kaleva Nov 2012 #77
calimary Nov 2012 #98
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #107
Bibliovore Nov 2012 #130
one_voice Nov 2012 #133
myrna minx Nov 2012 #155
judesedit Nov 2012 #26
Lucy Goosey Nov 2012 #27
Fire Walk With Me Nov 2012 #28
SamKnause Nov 2012 #29
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #30
AnneD Nov 2012 #31
AllyCat Nov 2012 #33
AnneD Nov 2012 #36
AllyCat Nov 2012 #37
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #84
Downtown Hound Nov 2012 #32
efhmc Nov 2012 #34
liberalmuse Nov 2012 #35
robinlynne Nov 2012 #38
stevenleser Nov 2012 #39
randome Nov 2012 #86
stevenleser Nov 2012 #108
LeftofObama Nov 2012 #117
stevenleser Nov 2012 #161
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #127
heaven05 Nov 2012 #40
WillyT Nov 2012 #41
Sophiegirl Nov 2012 #43
Barack_America Nov 2012 #44
lark Nov 2012 #45
msanthrope Nov 2012 #47
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lunatica Nov 2012 #50
Magoo48 Nov 2012 #51
ret5hd Nov 2012 #52
Buddyblazon Nov 2012 #54
Barack_America Nov 2012 #74
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #85
airplaneman Nov 2012 #67
lame54 Nov 2012 #56
BillyJack Nov 2012 #57
ohheckyeah Nov 2012 #58
demhottie Nov 2012 #59
Hell Hath No Fury Nov 2012 #60
jwirr Nov 2012 #80
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #100
reformist2 Nov 2012 #66
robbob Nov 2012 #81
randome Nov 2012 #82
Zorra Nov 2012 #115
groundloop Nov 2012 #119
druidity33 Nov 2012 #124
dlwickham Nov 2012 #134
MADem Nov 2012 #61
adieu Nov 2012 #62
airplaneman Nov 2012 #64
yellerpup Nov 2012 #68
mmonk Nov 2012 #69
Kaleva Nov 2012 #70
EarthGurl2012 Nov 2012 #75
jwirr Nov 2012 #76
JNelson6563 Nov 2012 #78
glinda Nov 2012 #79
solara Nov 2012 #120
dexter76 Nov 2012 #87
uppityperson Nov 2012 #88
dexter76 Nov 2012 #91
AllyCat Nov 2012 #122
footinmouth Nov 2012 #89
dexter76 Nov 2012 #92
myrna minx Nov 2012 #97
azurnoir Nov 2012 #103
Tsiyu Nov 2012 #112
tomm2thumbs Nov 2012 #114
Mopar151 Nov 2012 #144
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #110
mick063 Nov 2012 #90
eridani Nov 2012 #105
mick063 Nov 2012 #118
ChillZilla Nov 2012 #93
djean111 Nov 2012 #102
TheUnspeakable Nov 2012 #95
jtuck004 Nov 2012 #96
djean111 Nov 2012 #99
djean111 Nov 2012 #101
Doremus Nov 2012 #104
limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #111
johnnyrocket Nov 2012 #113
roguevalley Nov 2012 #116
undergroundpanther Nov 2012 #121
aggiesal Nov 2012 #123
Matariki Nov 2012 #125
Auntie Bush Nov 2012 #126
Politicub Nov 2012 #129
lonestarnot Nov 2012 #131
silverweb Nov 2012 #132
JonathanBrowne Nov 2012 #135
DianaForRussFeingold Nov 2012 #142
djean111 Nov 2012 #164
GrannyK Nov 2012 #136
Change has come Nov 2012 #137
bunnies Nov 2012 #138
glinda Nov 2012 #140
Tree-Hugger Nov 2012 #141
Barack_America Nov 2012 #157
tavalon Nov 2012 #145
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #149
DiverDave Nov 2012 #150
lalalu Nov 2012 #151
malthaussen Nov 2012 #153
AnnieK401 Nov 2012 #154
woo me with science Nov 2012 #160

Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:00 AM

1. I love it. Helps those in need and strips some of the power away from

credit rating agencies as well. Also gives those slimy debt collecting businesses some competition.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:07 AM

2. Thinking outside of the box like this

Just may save this country!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:17 AM

3. Where da recs?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:23 AM

4. Du rec. Nt

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:27 AM

5. Occupy is amazing!

I find their altruistic actions very inspiring. And I also think Occupy influence was very evident in the results of Tuesday's elections. I think Occupy is the perfect foil to use against the 1% ers who rail about the 47% who just want to "get stuff". In many ways, the power of Occupy demonstrates why people like Rove, Guiliani, Palin, etc belittled the President's community organizer work...they do NOT want the 99% to be "organized". That would be anathema to the conservative mission.

The possibilities for doing good work are endless, unfortunately. Now that the election is over, I plan to spend more time on what Occupy has been up to, lately.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:32 AM

6. Oh, that is AWESOME!!!!!!

And ramifications - maybe debt collectors go out of business?
But then maybe it will be more expensive to buy debt?
But this is a wonderful idea, and yes, outside the box.
I have been hearing about calls for a Jubilee for years and years, but this is the first concrete and doable thing I have seen to actually do it.
Just think how much debt could have been erased with the money spent on the election.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:34 AM

7. Way cool.

OWS, the People that actually do care.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:35 AM

8. This needs to spread like

Habitats for Humanity spread. Kudos to Occupy!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:35 AM

9. K&R This is a model for success. Hopefully it will catch on and rich people will start funding it.

 

Think how much more good will come of this compared to political "donations". Maybe Ted Turner has another billion lying around?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:39 AM

10. K&R Support OWS.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:41 AM

11. This sounds useful.

A charity to buy up debt.

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Response to randome (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:18 PM

83. Sort of like KIVA

wherein people "lend" small amounts of money which is combined with other small amounts to make a loan to people all over the world who want to start or expand a very small business.
It works on the order of someone in Somalia wanting to buy 3 cows enlarge their small herd, etc.

In the past few years, my KIVA donations have been going to people impacted by Katrina.
And then I just "re-loan" the money when it is paid back.
But...the OWS thing is better than Kiva, in that there does not seem to be a middle man who gets part of the loan in return for servicing the loan.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:44 AM

12. HUGE. Kick!!

These are REAL Americans

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:45 AM

13. This will put the debt-collection thugs out of business - best idea ever.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:48 AM

14. rec!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:49 AM

15. I they forgive the debt, do the debtors have to pay income tax on the amount forgiven?

I know they do if they settle.
This is, of course, a great thing to do - I am just curious.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:21 AM

25. "Canceled Debt – Is It Taxable or Not?"

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:22 PM

42. Then don't cancel the debt.

Insist on payment.....

$0.01 should do it.

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Response to Sophiegirl (Reply #42)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:35 PM

46. Sounds like a good idea if possible.

But I wonder if that still means the remaining part of the debt is canceled.

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Response to Sophiegirl (Reply #42)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:31 PM

106. I think it'd have to be $1.00 at a minimum.

There's some obscure principle at law that doesn't recognize amounts less than $1 as "legal tender" IIRC.

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #106)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:56 AM

156. We could revive

the old phrase "for one dollar in hand and other valuable considerations."

This is an incredible idea.

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Response to Doc Holliday (Reply #156)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:41 AM

158. Quitclams and releases still employ that language, as far as I know.

Appear in a video for you employer? The release will have that language. Getting a divorce and want to buy a home for yourself to live in separate from your (soon to be ex-)spouse? The quitclaim will use that language. Indeed, giving over the marital residence in a quitclaim to her will have also used that language (and be part of the "valuable consideration.")


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Response to Sophiegirl (Reply #42)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:44 AM

159. If they are smart, they would not do it

 

By paying anything on the debt, they are (legally) acknowledging they owe the debt.

I would assume it was a trick to get me to admit to a debt I either A) didn't owe or B) didn't want to admit I owed.

Realistically, it is more likely that it was a company trying to trick them into acknowledging an old debt than a group just wanting to forgive the debt.

Just forgiving it outright (or asking them how much of the debt they want forgiven and spread it out over several years) would be the way to go.

Granted, I don't know the tax implications of forgiving a debt they do not acknowledge as theirs...

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:48 PM

48. It might be able to be structured as a gift.

Which is excluded from income.

If it can't be excluded from income, depending on the size of the debt, and the income level of the debtor, it may not result in any taxable income. And, the new owner of the debt might also be able to spread the cancellation out over a number of years to minimize the impact.

But it is a good question. Sometimes good intentions have unintended consequences.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #48)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:32 PM

139. <$10,000/year

Make the loan for $9999/year and forgive it as a gift.

This trick was taught to me by an IRS investigator.

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Response to joeunderdog (Reply #139)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:07 AM

146. Please pass this on to:

http://rollingjubilee.org/

Just in case that hasn't already been ironed out. Thanks!

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Response to tavalon (Reply #146)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:41 AM

152. I really wish I could afford, well maybe

a few bucks, this is really an awesome thing to do.
I wonder when the first bill will be introduced by a republican making this illegal.
For all those hard working debt collection agencys, you know

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Response to tavalon (Reply #146)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:48 AM

163. It isn't accurate information

(even for individuals), but it is not even applicable when the donor is not a person.

The concept (checking out tax implications) is very good - but this specific information would only confuse matters.

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Response to joeunderdog (Reply #139)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:46 AM

162. It's not quite that simple

Gifts are always tax free to the recipient.

Not so for the donor. Any person can make annual gifts to any individual up to a certain amount without any tax consequences. The amount used to be $10,000 (not $9999). For 2012, the amount is $13,000. Beyond that any person can make tax free gifts (in any amount in any year) so long as the total lifetime gifts (over the annual exclusions) plus estate on death does not exceed $5,120,000 - so even if the gift is larger than $13,000, as long as all gifts from that person (to other individuals, not the spouse of the donor) over that person's lifetime are bigger than most of us can make, there are still no taxes owed (but there is paperwork owed - and any taxes will be paid only on death).

But that assumes the gift is from a person to a person. These aren't gifts from a person - and I have not spent much time in that realm of tax law (either to know whether the recipient might owe taxes (I don't think so) or what kind of organization would need to be set up so that there weren't tax consequences for the donor).

At least as far as tax law goes, corporations are not yet people.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:44 PM

71. Canceled Debts.... for any of the following exceptions or exclusions are not taxable"

"The exclusion for "qualified principal residence indebtedness," provides canceled debt tax relief for many American home owners involved in the mortgage foreclosure crisis currently affecting much of the country. The exclusion allows taxpayers to exclude up to $2,000,000 ($1,000,000 if married filing separately) of "qualified principal residence indebtedness".
say the IRS link.

http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc431.html

The OP mentions that OWS plans involved talking to the IRS, so I feel safe in assuming they know to present the loan forgiveness in a way that does not harm the recipient.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:49 AM

16. Wow. This is one of the best grassroots ideas I've heard in a very long time.

I can't believe someone hadn't thought of doing this before now.

But this is amazing. As someone who is in fact better off than I was 4 years ago, I would love to make a contribution towards this cause!

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Response to distantearlywarning (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:56 AM

18. I would too,

I could divert my tithe to this cause and really throw the money changers out of the temple.

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Response to distantearlywarning (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:08 AM

147. http://rollingjubilee.org/

Let's get it going! I frickin' love this!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:50 AM

17. K&R. Publsihed to my Facebook network this a.m. One question: who decides

 

whose debts will be forgiven?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:57 AM

19. excellent...

heard about this months ago and glad it is still in works... we need much more thinking and action like this

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:00 AM

20. Good to see they're finally doing something worthwhile...



Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:13 PM

55. You might want to check out the amazing work they are doing --

on Sandy -- massive relief efforts. They've also been keeping people facing questionable foreclosures in their homes. They been doing "worthwhile" things since the beginning.

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:24 PM

65. +1!

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:41 PM

94. Yep. Once again, the MSM lies spread far and wide to discredit progressives.

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #55)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:26 AM

143. Don't mind Sid.

Someone's got to play Chuckles, the Sensible Liberal Woodchuck around here.

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:38 PM

109. .

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 08:02 PM

128. Damn do-gooder liberals.

 

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #20)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:14 AM

148. Yo, Sid,

They is we, you and me. Come join up. We've been doing amazing things since the beginning.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:03 AM

21. K&R nt

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:06 AM

22. That's an amazing idea.

I haven't read the links yet, I'm interested in whether or not they think this can be sustained long term. And yes, if it can turn into something similar to Habitat that would be fantastic.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:13 AM

23. bump.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:18 AM

24. Donation link found!

I'd be happy to take my monthly donation to Obama's campaign and give it to this cause instead.

http://rollingjubilee.org/

$25 donation buys $500 worth of debt!

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:58 PM

53. by that calc, I just forgave $10,000 in debt! WHOOPEEE!!!

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Response to Kip Humphrey (Reply #53)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:45 PM

72. Yeah! Wish I had that much to give, but think I'll

give the money I give to Obama every month to OWS for this. I haven't missed it for months, won't notice it gone now.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:22 PM

63. THANKS for finding/posting the link!

I am SO on this.

My family's doing pretty well while so many others aren't - unlike the Republicans, we realize it's circumstances and not that we've worked hard and others haven't. What was that Michelle Obama said about walking through a door and holding it open for the next person instead of slamming it behind you?

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Response to dangerdoll (Reply #63)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:46 PM

73. !

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:53 PM

77. Bookmarked

Not sure how much, if any, I could donate now but bookmarked just in case. This is one of the most interesting ideas I've seen in some time.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:14 PM

98. Kick! Thanks for posting this, AllyCat!

http://rollingjubilee.org/

$25 donation buys $500 worth of debt!

(Copying the info so it's easier for me to find, later, 'cause it'll be in my journal.)

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:36 PM

107. DAMN! That felt GOOD!!

Even better than a donation to Obama!

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 08:03 PM

130. Excellent! Though I do wonder...

...about the discrepancy between the original post, where a test-case $500 bought $14,000 in debt, and this posted amount, where $25 buying $500 would come to $500 buying $10,000. I didn't actually see a conversion amount on the linked Rolling Jubilee web site or its PayPal donation page, or on the Strike Debt site it links ( http://www.strikedebt.org ). Is the discrepancy a misprint, due to variance in debt cost, due to PayPal or other overhead, or something else?

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 08:59 PM

133. This is a wonderful idea...

they will receive 50 a month from me as long as I can afford to do so. Starting tonight.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #24)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:45 AM

155. Thanks! I love this idea!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:24 AM

26. The people of OWS are AWESOME! They are tenacious, caring, determined, smart and love this country

I wish I could do something more to help further their agenda. Right now, all I can do is show my 99% bumper sticker, cheer them, and give a dollar or two. Unfortunately, I am in the debt crowd now.

Thank you for your hard work, brilliant thinking and refusal to give up....NO snow, rain, hurricane winds, pepper spray, Wall Street $$$$, and/or small minded people have dampened your spirits. Bravo to you! And a major THANK YOU!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:26 AM

27. Wow - that's perfect.

I love it!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:26 AM

28. Whoohoo! K&R!

 

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:32 AM

29. OWS

This is a brilliant approach and solution.

Thank you for all you do OWS !!!!!!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:32 AM

30. Sounds good ...

How are the buying decisions made? What criteria is used?

Do you/Are you going to just buy, say blocks of student loans and retire the debt?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:36 AM

31. You can buy debt sometimes pennies on the dollar......

That sounds like a great idea and one that I would love to help.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:38 AM

33. donation link above and at second OP embedded link.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #33)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:46 AM

36. I was just looking at it.....

Having some trouble linking to it, but then work has a filter . Will have to wait til I get home. I have also been interested in the peoples bank-where you can give low cost loans to folks in need. Great way to cut out the blood sucking middle man.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #36)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:49 AM

37. Oh, I didn't know about People's Bank. Not sure I have that kind of cash, but

would be willing to check it out and see what I could do. Small amounts add up...just ask our re-elected President Do you have a link for them?

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Response to AnneD (Reply #36)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:22 PM

84. "The People's bank"---Are you talking about the Lending Club?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:36 AM

32. And with this single action

OWS has done more for humanity in a little over a year than bankers have done in thousands.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:41 AM

34. Great heavenly days. What a tremendous idea!!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:42 AM

35. This is incredible!

I'm in!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:52 AM

38. Robin hood! how beautifully genius!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:55 AM

39. This is another earthshatteringly brilliant idea by OWS. K&R

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #39)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:36 PM

86. It's neither 'earthshattering' nor 'brilliant'. It is, however, a 'great' idea.

Hyperbole does not help the organizations you want to promote.

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Response to randome (Reply #86)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:37 PM

108. Your concern over my degree of enthusiasm is noted.

I'll be sure to give your concern the consideration it warrants.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #108)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:57 PM

117. It is BOTH earthshattering & brilliant!

Never in a million years would I have thought of something like this! This is definitely one of the best ideas I've ever heard of!

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #117)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:08 AM

161. It IS a fantastic idea, and I am very excited about it.

Nattering naysayers who dont have a point notwithstanding.

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Response to randome (Reply #86)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:50 PM

127. Hypberbole does not help dismiss the organizations you have always wanted to dismiss.

OWS is a brilliant, organization growing every day despite the efforts from those who fear them to try to diminish them, such as yourself actually.

You have always been wrong about OWS, but you gave me many an opportunity to promote this growing Glogal Movement who not only are involved in what is described in this OP but in many other projects all of which are doing more for the people than Congress has done.

They have been busy saving people's homes from the Big Banks, something Congress failed to do.

They are currently outdoing the Red Cross in the effort to help the, now apparently forgotten, victims of Hurricane Sandy according to press reports. They have mobilized tens of thousands of volunteers all over the affected areas and are in the most forgotten areas such as Red Hook and Far Rockaway, delivering supplies and medical help and heat to the tens of thousand whose conditions worsen every day.

This movement has accomplished more while still in its infancy than any other Social Movement in recent history.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:12 PM

40. interesting

articles on spiegel online concerning our election of obama as prez.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:14 PM

41. HUGE K & R !!!




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Response to WillyT (Reply #41)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:25 PM

43. I have $500

Whose debt can I cancel or settle for a penny?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:29 PM

44. What a clever, incredible idea!

I'm going to have to look into this further.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:32 PM

45. Love love love OWS, they are da bomb!!



Talk about caring humanitarians, wow, this is so awesome. I am just amazed at the absolute goodness of this movement. I wish we hadn't been so hard hit by the economy. I'd love to contribute, if I only could.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:40 PM

47. I think that's great. Possibly the most constructive thing I've heard from OWS. nt

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:50 PM

49. They should do a big holiday push.

Donate to buy a Christmas dinner or economic freedom?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:54 PM

50. kick and rec!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:54 PM

51. K&R

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:57 PM

52. So what would happen if a person bought their own debt for pennies on the dollar???

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #52)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:07 PM

54. This....

Why can't I go through them to take care of my own debt?

The wife and I owe about 120k in student loans that we'll literally NEVER be able to pay off. Could I just go to them and tell them I'd like to take care of my own debt THROUGH them?

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Response to Buddyblazon (Reply #54)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:47 PM

74. You'll have to default on them (and trash your credit) first.

They only sell the debt for pennies on the dollar when they feel it's no longer profitable to attempt to collect on it.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #74)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:33 PM

85. I paid off my student loan for 10 cents on the dollar.

Wasn't able to pay it for a long long time and found out it had been sold to a debt collection agency.
When they found me, we haggled, I had the money to settle the debt.
My credit was not trashed
but
this was in the mid 1980's, before all the money gouging systems were in place.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #52)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:28 PM

67. Don't forget the system is rigged for the other side!

They wont let you buy your own debt. I know of multiple stories where homeowners ask the bank to just write off part of their loan like $75K. The bank refuses and short sells the house for $125K less. They would have saved money dealing with the owner but absolutely refuse!
-Airplane

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:14 PM

56. actual solutions to real problems...

OWS rocks

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:41 PM

57. kick

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:42 PM

58. Bravo! n/t

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:50 PM

59. I don't get it

By the time debt is cancelled, it has already destroyed a person's personal credit and will show up on their credit report for 7 years. The people whose debt is at that stage are not answering their phones for creditors anyway.

The end result is that the debt is retired, but I really can't see what the benefit is at that point. It just seems largely symbolic. The original creditor has already written off the debt, personal credit is ruined and there was no recourse for recovering the debt in the first place or it would not be priced at pennies on the dollar.

What am I missing here?

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Response to demhottie (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:57 PM

60. Debt can be sold again and again --

and each new "creditor" can harass the person for that old debt. I have been contacted for payment on debt from someone who has purchased it that is well over 5 years old. This process ends it -- no more ghost debt following folks around forever.

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #60)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:07 PM

80. Exactly - the benefit is you are no longer afraid to answer the phone.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #80)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:18 PM

100. I can't even imagine...

To be free of that stress, and to know many others are as well...we'd all have so much more energy to be productive and do good, be well, and so forth.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:24 PM

66. People will be able to move on with their lives. It's a big deal.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:08 PM

81. Don't forget

If you ever DO manage to dig yourself out of poverty or find a good job or somehow start to rebuild from whatever calamity put you in debt in the first place then the debt would still be there waiting for you. This way you can finally make a clean start.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:10 PM

82. Good questions. Thanks.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:48 PM

115. Well, honestly, what you are apparently missing here is an understanding of

what it feels like to be in debt, and of not being able to pay that debt, and all the ramifications thereof.

The joy and relief that all these debtors are going to feel when they are free of debt will be an enormous acknowledged blessing to every one of these folks lives.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #115)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:10 PM

119. Zorra, you nailed it - it's truly a soul-sucking experience to be mired in debt.

I know how it feels, after I got out of college and was in my first real job the company I worked for went out of business. I lost pretty much everything I had and was having a difficult time making payments on my student loans. Thank goodness I had family to turn to for a place to live, without that I'd have really been in a world of hurt. Being in that situation totally kills your self esteem. It's absolutely sickening to see banking institutions and debt brokers fucking with peoples lives while they're down.



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Response to Zorra (Reply #115)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:42 PM

124. But will they know?

Will they know their debt is paid and who paid it? Otherwise, they'll be happy to not get the phone calls anymore, but will only wonder why they're not calling...



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Response to demhottie (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:47 PM

134. the original creditor may have written off the debt

but it's still out there

a debt company will buy it and keep trying to collect on it

remember that you can't discharge a student loan debt in a bankruptcy; this would go a long way to help those who have had to default on their loans

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:58 PM

61. Now that's productive activism--very well done. nt

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:12 PM

62. Sort of like the non-government version

of eminent domain: buying the foreclosed property for cheap and then letting the current resident/owner live there and pay back at the reduced rent prices.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:23 PM

64. wow this is reverse capitalism !

Instead of buying $14,000 in dept in the hope of screwing as many people as you can to make a profit someone came up with the idea of helping things instead. Nobody ever thought of this before? How un-American but a wonderful idea.
-Airplane

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:28 PM

68. Now, THIS is a Revolutionary Idea!

Wow!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:30 PM

69. We're trying. Thanks bigtree.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:31 PM

70. Rec'd! A very interesting idea.

I think of how just one of the mega-rich could retire such debt.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:48 PM

75. OWS changed everything and keeps on truckin!!!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:49 PM

76. This is the best stimulus package I have seen in this whole mess. I am one of those distressed

debtors and my whole world would become new if this could happen to me. While I would like to see OWS involved I would not kick the idea of government help in the form of buying the debt and letting us pay them what they had to pay - pennies on the dollar. Personal debt is one of the factors in the downturn in spending.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 02:58 PM

78. This is BRILLIANT!

I couldn't be more impressed!

Julie

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:07 PM

79. My world would change if they bought my student loan off....

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Response to glinda (Reply #79)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:11 PM

120. Me too-

the amount I am paying is close to a week's pay for me. And I can't always pay it on time..so even though I am paying it, I am sure they will be hammering me because some of the payments are late. I am doing what I can.



However, this sounds like a great program and might help a lot of people!

Yay for you guys!!!


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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:39 PM

87. excused debt

 

How can I justify voluntarily creating debt for myself and then not pay it back. If I know OWS will erase my debt, whats to stop me from creating more? I could live pretty well on someone else's dime. Sounds very detrimental to human character.

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Response to dexter76 (Reply #87)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:47 PM

88. Did you voluntarily create medical debt? Are you going to create more?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #88)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:57 PM

91. excused debt

 

I'll grant you that some people can be ruined by medical debt and something needs to be done to remedy that. But alot of responses to this are refering to school loans and other debt that is voluntary.

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Response to dexter76 (Reply #91)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:30 PM

122. I think you missed the part about student loan debt and NOT FINDING A JOB!

So it builds character to be in debt up to your eyeballs and not be able to pay it back? Does it build character to have debt collectors calling you and your credit rating in the toilet so you don't get that job because they...check you credit record?

Are there freeloaders in society? Oh yeah. But most of us just want a decent job and to make good on our obligations. But in case you haven't noticed, it's hard to get a decent job. People often work full time or multiple part-time jobs and still have to decide between medicine and food on the table for their kids.

The system is stacked against us all. No one is saying "hey, I just want a free ride here". Everyone is worried about their family, their neighbors, and their community while the banksters run away with all the marbles to the Cayman Islands.

Why should a family be punished with no where to live or no food because of bad debt? People make bad decisions too. We all do. It should not hound us for the REST OF OUR EXISTENCE.

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Response to dexter76 (Reply #87)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:51 PM

89. Stuff happens

Do you really think people take on debt with the intention of never paying it back? Jobs are lost, medical issues arise, etc. There are numerous reasons that people fall behind on their obligations. My son found himself in such a predicament. He's back on his feet now and just repaid his student loan in full. The junk debt buyers own the rest of it. He won't be rushing right out to pay them.

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Response to footinmouth (Reply #89)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:09 PM

92. excused debt

 

Cudos to your son. He is to be congradulated. But the tone of alot of the replies here strikes me as people looking for a free ride.

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Response to dexter76 (Reply #92)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:58 PM

97. No one here but us takers.

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Response to myrna minx (Reply #97)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:29 PM

103. perhaps we could proclaim

We are the 47% and I mean that quite seriously

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Response to dexter76 (Reply #92)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:02 PM

112. The only ones in our society getting a free ride



are employers who get huge gov't subsidies yet pay workers slave wages, politicians who love their own government funded health care but don't want the working class to have any, Bain capital, who bankrupted companies, took huge bonuses and sent jobs to China, rightwing trollbags who HATE education.

Your "concern" about "freeloaders" apparently doesn't give you any insight, curiosity or intellect concerning what CAUSED people to be in debt.

All you care about is the working poor getting a "free ride."

Your posts are laughable, because it's obvious your "morality" is relative.

A JOKE

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Response to dexter76 (Reply #92)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:09 PM

114. Welcome to DU!!!


So glad to have your insightful views to share with everyone. Welcome!!!!

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Response to dexter76 (Reply #92)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:00 AM

144. By the time your debt gets cheap, you've already been screwed to the equator and back n/t

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Response to dexter76 (Reply #87)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:43 PM

110. "Posting privileges revoked"

Color me NOT surprised.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:56 PM

90. Force multipliers

 


Building an Army of goodwill.

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Response to mick063 (Reply #90)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:30 PM

105. Off Topic

Where did you get the pink WA State avatar? Very appropriate now that Ref 74 has offically won.

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Response to eridani (Reply #105)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:59 PM

118. The only one avaiable from DU

 

When I am confident that the fiscal cliff does not cost me employment (not joking), I will buy a DU membership and upload an avatar more to my liking.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:31 PM

93. So what's to stop me from setting up a shell corporation, racking up a bunch of personal debt

 

and then having the corporation buy it at a discount and then I forgive myself of it?

Surely it's not that simple.

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Response to ChillZilla (Reply #93)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:24 PM

102. No it is not that simple.

Your bad debt will be bundled into a block of bad debts, not sold individually.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:48 PM

95. K&R

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:56 PM

96. Cool. This is great for collection agencies, brings them some revenue they might not

otherwise get, saves a debtor some annoying phone calls (that, frankly, would be prohibited if we enforced the debt collection laws we have).

It's a little better than cocaine, (feels good at first, problem still there when you come down), because it actually rids us of something toxic. But the behaviors will still continue, and with few exceptions the people are likely to still be at a level of income the same or lower than when they incurred the debt. I would be really interested to see if there is any real positive change in their lives, or if it just happens again. Heck, the person that needs the help isn't even involved, other than their phone calls decrease for a while, it seems.

It supports the system and behaviors that put our neighbors in such a bad place, that made this necessary in the first place, which helps keep the tyrants in control.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's fine (kinda like rescuing puppies or giving $20 bills to the woman on the street corner with the sign), but it's not confronting power or changing anything I can see.

ymmv...

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:15 PM

99. They don't pay off debt by choosing individuals.

As I understand it, the banks, after they take the loss on their books, bundle up bad debt and sell it in some secondary market, in blocks, like the infamous mortgage blocks. Not in individual accounts. So when OWS buys a block of debt, it only knows what kind of debt, they can't go and buy one person's debt.
So, as seems best to me, it is sort of random - a rolling jubilee in fact.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:23 PM

101. If we just step back and look at this as helping the country full of citizens,

instead of worrying if the neighbor next door is going to be "rewarded" for buying that big screen TV, this will be a good thing.
Yeah, there will some that get undeserved help, but there will be so many that are in debt because of medical problems, job losses, outrageous student loans, etc, that this really is a good thing. More money in pockets, more money spent, more goods are needed.
Right now we are stagnant, to a degree.
I hope this doesn't slide into a version of I've got mine, Jack.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:29 PM

104. Wow, this is a FANTASTIC idea.

Huge props to whomever came up with this --- a WONDERFUL idea!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:46 PM

111. woot. yes we can.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:06 PM

113. Wow, that's an amazing trick. Beat them at their own game. I like it!!

Banks and Walls St get debt forgiven all the time.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:49 PM

116. there are no words of love from me for them that are big enough

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:13 PM

121. OWS I Love YOUS!

WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Anon too!
True patriots,all.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:34 PM

123. This is very cool ...

And imagine if you're one of the distressed consumer who's debt OWS pays off,
you'd be more incline to help the next distressed consumer, so you'll donate what
you can to OWS. Allowing the ball to starts rolling down hill, where OWS can purchase
more distressed consumer debt, get more donations, OWS buys more debt,
and on, on, on, on . . .

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:44 PM

125. THAT! IS BRILLIANT

I want to donate.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:49 PM

126. This is almost to good to be true.

Let it be true!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 08:03 PM

129. Very big. Go OWS

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 08:19 PM

131. Now that is just fucking awesome!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 08:43 PM

132. What a great cause!

Wonderful idea!



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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:21 PM

135. This just gave me an AWESOME idea

What if a non profit was started with this as its goal.

Except instead of just buying debt and forgiving it, which doesn't scale.... here's what you do.


You buy the debt for pennies on the dollar, then instead of predatory calls to collect, you make nice phone calls where you explain that your a collector for "fair debt collection" a non profit agency.

Then the debt is offered to be resolved at something fair like maybe 20% over the price paid for it.

If they are unable to pay instead of being harassed you tell them you will call again in a year unless they would like to be called at a specific time.

You offer very flexible payment plans.

The agency could also offer credit repair for an affordable price.

In addition, the money made from these debt collection activities could be rolled back into forgiving some of the debt for those who have debt that is very hard for them to ever pay.

Personally, I think this is a genius idea and could actually be one of the most effective charities ever.

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Response to JonathanBrowne (Reply #135)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:00 AM

142. The haggle-I think you have a really great idea...

It just made me think of this movie scene and I couldn't resist...

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Response to JonathanBrowne (Reply #135)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:21 PM

164. If you do it like that they are "settling" for a lesser amount

and will definitely have to pay taxes on the amount not paid.
Yes, better than having the debt, but might present a tax problem.
I would like to know the way OWS is handling this. Bankruptcy - no tax, settling - tax.
So maybe they have some other method or category worked out with the IRS.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:34 PM

136. Excellent!

Thanks for posting this.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:02 PM

137. What a great idea!

K&R

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:21 PM

138. huh. I had an outstanding debt disappear from my credit report last week...

This couldnt be why, could it??

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Response to bunnies (Reply #138)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:59 PM

140. Sometimes it depends upon the State Laws and how long the debt has been or

unfortunately it might have gone to another collection agency? Check your State Laws to see if there is an expiration date for debts of various kinds.Or maybe your debt was bought and dismissed. Hope so for your sake.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:02 AM

141. This is amazing and it gives me hope

I am one of those people buried in debt. My husband and I have had a run of bad luck over the last decade when it comes to money and it seems like we can never get ahead. I've got student loan debt and we are stacked with medical bills. It's a very hard place to be. You don't want to ignore that you DO owe for services provided, however the interest rates on these things is just predatory. Besides, the medical debt is something you can't predict. We lost medical insurance and couldn't afford to buy into a new plan. Both my husband and I have a few health and dental issues and we just can't put off going to the doctor. Add to that a few E.R. and hospital visits for my miscarriage and we are in over our head. It seems like we will never dig ourselves out and we'll be stuck in the crappiest apartment (which is no good for our two kids) and will never realize the dream of our own home. It's hard because society looks at you as if you are the most irresponsible leaches when you're actually not - you search everywhere for a way out, but you never find it.

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #141)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:34 AM

157. What a difficult situation.

I really hope that yours is some of the debt that is purchased and canceled. As others have mentioned above, it seems that people's debt is bundled and sold as blocks, so it seems it is the luck of the draw. Hopefully your family will be lucky.

We're working on climbing out of some debt on this end as well. It's hard work every day, but we're starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel (*knock on wood that no more unexpected expenses pop up*).

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:01 AM

145. The direct website to help OWS with this worthy, worthy, worthy, cause is:

http://rollingjubilee.org/

This is something I can get behind. In front of and with, definitely with!!!!

OWS, you are my peeps!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:15 AM

149. K&R nt

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:29 AM

150. Please buy mine...It'll be cheap lol

I have been trying to keep up,, but, well...
I pay what I can, when I can.
Gotten on a first name basis with a couple of folks over at salli-mae.
They arent all bad...

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:34 AM

151. Now that's something Bill Gates can do with his foundation.

 

Great idea.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:42 AM

153. Excellent idea.

A few small donations can make a huge difference in the lives of people. Very well done!

-- Mal

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:44 AM

154. The best news I have heard in a long time - maybe ever! n/t

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:27 AM

160. Kick

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