FAQ about Debt Sharks
Who are the Debt Sharks?
The Pensacola Debt Sharks were founded in August of 2016 by Samir Boussarhane, Joshua Williams, and Falen McClellan, three Pensacola high school IB juniors. The three students created The Debt Sharks for their community service project and plan to relieve $1,000,000 by raising $10,000 for RIP Medical debt who will use the money to relieve the debt of those who cannot afford to pay it in the Mobile and Pensacola area. This project is the first of its kind to be done in the local area and is planned so that it holds a large impact on the community. All donations made to The Debt Sharks are tax deductible due to the 501(c3) status of RIP Medical Debt.
FAQ about RIP Medical Debt
What is RIP Medical Debt?
RIP Medical Debt locates, buys and forgives medical debt on behalf of individual donors, philanthropists and organizations who step up to provide financial relief for people burdened by unpaid and unpayable medical bills. Debt forgiveness is a collective message of care from and for the communities we serve. We incorporated on July 25, 2014, as Medical Debt Resolution, Inc., a New York-based not-for-profit doing business as RIP Medical Debt.
What is the Goal of RIP Medical Debt?
The mission of RIP Medical Debt is abolishing $1 billion dollars in personal medical debt. We estimate that raising $14.4 million in donations will allow us to purchase and forgive $1 billion in medical debt.
Are There Strings Attached to Debt Forgiveness?
No. The debt is being forgiven as a gift to the recipient. Nothing is expected in return. Thank-you notes are welcome, naturally, and we love hearing how debt forgiveness helps a person’s life. We’re also discovering that when relieved of burdensome debt, people tend to “pay it forward” by sending their own messages of hope and abundance.
Why Are You Doing This?
More than $100 billion in unpaid medical debt every year has an adverse impact on debtor patients, physicians, and hospitals.
Unpaid medical debt negatively affects the doctor-patient relationship, causing many patients to shun needed care and even file personal bankruptcy. Unpaid medical debt is detrimental to the health of the medical industry, too. Unpaid patient debt has led to the closure or sale of physician practices and community hospitals.
The vast majority of unpaid medical accounts end up on the desks of third-party collectors, who subject patients to a campaign of phone calls and letters demanding payment. Once a collection agency siphons what it can from a medical debt portfolio, remaining accounts often are sold to a second agency when the letters and calls begin anew. More than 52 percent of Americans have a medical collection action on their credit reports. RIP Medical Debt intends to drive a stake through the heart of this medical debt collection cycle. We want to put it to rest, forever.
Is This Something New?
The idea of debt forgiveness goes all the way back to biblical times of a “Jubilee,” when all debts are canceled and all those in bondage are set free. Such traditions exist in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
What About Taxes?
For donors, the IRS recognizes Medical Debt Resolution (RIP Medical Debt) under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Our EIN number is 47-1442997. For those whose medical debts are forgiven, the forgiveness is a gift from a detached and disinterested third party (RIP) as an act of generosity, so forgiveness of the debt does not count as income to the debtor. We will not file a Form 1099-C with the IRS. Consult a qualified tax accountant with specific questions about your situation.