Occupy Crowdsourcing Debt Forgiveness
Strike Debt, an Occupy Wall Street offshoot, launched Rolling Jubilee late last week to buy back and forgive debt. To do so, it’s collecting funds and then purchasing debt in arrears:
Banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors. The Rolling Jubilee intervenes by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it. We’re going into this market not to make a profit but to help each other out and highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities. Think of it as a bailout of the 99% by the 99%.
As of this morning, Rolling Jubilee has raised over $350,000 with which it has purchased (and forgiven) over $7.1 million in debt.
Small change when compared to the $1 trillion in student loan debt Americans owe but important to consider. As Rolling Jubilee notes, part of the effort is to “highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities.”