ST. JOSEPH MI, October 17, 2019 – Harbor Country Mission, Lake Street Community Church and I CAN Cafe have raised enough money to clear more than $1.5 million in medical debt for more than 1000 Michigan families in Berrien, Van Buren and Cass counties.”Our joint project is intended to ease the burden of excessive medical bills, which is the No. 1 cause of personal bankruptcy”, stated Dave Heyn, Executive Director of Harbor Country Mission at today’s meeting of the Berrien County Board of Commissioners.

The 3 organizations have worked with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based charity, to erase medical debt for more than 1500 Michigan individuals or families in southwest Michigan. Because RIP Medical Debt acquires debt for a fraction of the value, the organizations are able to pay $15,000 to abolish $1.5 million in medical debt. “More than $100 billion in unpaid medical debt every year has an adverse impact on debtor patients, physicians and hospitals. And, more than 52 percent of Americans have a medical collection action on their credit reports.” added David Yardley, Director of Development for Harbor Country Mission.

RIP Medical Debt, Director of Development Scott Gannon Patton

“RIP is proud to stand with Harbor Country Mission on this important project to relieve a minimum of $1.5 million of medical debt in Berrien, Van Buren, and Cass counties.”

RIP Medical Debt’s mission is to empower donors to forgive the billions in oppressive medical debt at pennies on the dollar.

Pastor Dalton Stanage of Lake Street Community Church sees how medical debt hurts his church members health:

“When you’re already in debt because of your health care, you let chronic illnesses go until it’s an emergency, people don’t go to the doctor, they don’t get their medications filled. Too many people are just one medical emergency away from a bankruptcy.”

As soon as the debt is purchased, the debtors will receive a letter in the mail letting them know their debt has been forgiven.