Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Occupy Wall Street Launches ‘Rolling Jubilee’ To Buy Up And Forgive Debt

By Pat Garofalo  

"Occupy Wall Street Launches ‘Rolling Jubilee’ To Buy Up And Forgive Debt"

Share:

google plus icon

Members of Occupy Wall Street — various branches of which have recently been saving families from foreclosure and aiding victims of Hurricane Sandy — have launched a new initiative. Coined the “Rolling Jubilee,” Occupiers are raising money to buy distressed debt from financial firms.

But while purchasers of debt usually hound debtors in order to make a return on their investment, Occupy plans to simply abolish the debt for the lucky individuals whose accounts they grab. As explained on the Rolling Jubilee website:

We buy debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, we abolish it. We cannot buy specific individuals’ debt – instead, we help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.

Organizer David Rees explained further:

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.

Average student debt currently stands at more than $26,000. Nationally, nearly 25 percent of homeowners are underwater, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth.

‹ Fox News Claims Obama’s Win Triggered ‘Massive Layoffs Across America’

CHART: The Great Recession Set The Middle Class Back 20 Years ›

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.