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Stacy B Miller (Abbie) On 4th Apr,16
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Occupy's Rolling Jubilee proves even debt collectors can be friends

Have you heard about the Occupy Wall Street? If you haven't, it's time to sit up and take notice since they can wipe out your notion about unscrupulous debt collectors.

Occupy Wall Street is a originally a group of activists who buys your debt from the creditors, just as debt collectors do. However, instead of running behind you and starting to collect as much of the owed amount as possible (like the typical debt collectors), they cancel it!And, you thought all debt collectors are bad! Didn't you?

The activists had kicked off the Rolling Jubilee project a year ago, in November, 2012. As a part of the project, the group successfully bought around $14.7 million of U.S. consumer debt at $400,000 and forgiven the entire amount. The plan chiefly focussed on medical debts till now, but the group intends to go for private student loans in the future as well. Around $620,000 had been raised by the group for the purpose, out of which $400,000 has been spent in the first year of the plan.

Rolling Jubilee also had its fair share of criticism in the past, when people had been sceptical about the plan and whether it was going to work or not. Doubts existed about whether the creditors will be willing to sell the debts if they knew those were going to be cancelled, or if the cancelled debts will count as income for the debtors and they'll be charged tax for it. However, with everything falling in place and the desired outcome at the end of a year, 'Strike Debt' (the organization which started the movement) is already being identified as the Robin Hood of the secondary debt industry.

More than 2700 people were relieved of the stress across 45 states and Puerto Rico, and the debtors were sent letters to inform them that their debts have been forgiven. Even so, an inside source accepts that, not many of the debtors have responded after their debts were cancelled. Somewhere, this might be a blow to the "Rolling Jubilee" plan, since initially it was hoped that consumers who were freed of their debts would donate to the fund thereby, "rolling" the jubilee forward.

It's true that the attempts had been successful, which boosts the spirit of the group and brings the existence of secondary debt market into the limelight. However, if the total consumer debt in the U.S. is measured, this $15 million might merely be a fraction. The group, on the other hand, measures its success on the basis of awareness that has been the result of this approach. The spokesperson for the Occupy's Strike Debt group, Mr. Andrew Ross, pointed out the fact that often the lenders and creditors sell the debts to the collection firms at a fraction of the amount, while it's unfortunate that they don't allow the chance to the debtors. It is hoped that if consumers know how collectors get a cheap deal with the lenders but try to collect the full dues, they'll be able to negotiate with the collectors without being intimidated.

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Last Updated on: Mon, 4 Apr 2016

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