RIP Medical Debt
$1.7 Million Paid!
Hard-working families in the Central Valley are getting sick and then facing huge financial obligations. Faced with aggressive collections agencies and garnished wages, many are stuck in a cycle of poverty with bankruptcy as the only solution.
But because of God’s goodness and your generosity, we helped turn the tide and bless 1,024 families by paying off their medical bills–with no strings attached!
“We thought this might be a Christmas present, or a great way to start the new year, but as it turns out the paperwork took a while to complete. But there was a silver lining in that delay, because these debts were paid off in the middle of a pandemic when economic uncertainty is at its highest. Usually the letters that come in the mail are bills, but we are hoping these letters were a breath of fresh air to each one of the families who received them.” – Bryan Fojtasek, Lead Minister.
Final Result: $1.7 Million Paid!
1,024 Families Were Blessed.
“We really wanted to do something big to show the community how much we love them and how much we care. This community has been so good to us over our fifty years in Bakersfield, and we wanted to say thank you to our friends and family in Kern County for their ongoing love and support. We wanted them to know they always have people on their side.”
Bryan Fojtasek, Lead Minister
What was the Result?
Westside paid off debts for 1,024 individuals in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Bernardino and Tulare Counties. 396 of those individuals were in Kern County. The total amount of debt paid off was $1,707,437.79, $643,221.80 of which was for Kern County. Click here to give now.
Why is Westside Doing This?
Simply put, God has been incredibly generous to us over our 50 years in Bakersfield, and we know he wants us to pay those blessings forward to people in need. This is our way of giving back to the Central Valley community that has been kind enough to show us their love and support throughout the years.
Do These Families Face Consequences Through This Plan?
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. There are no strings attached and no taxes due on the amount that is paid off by our donations.
You're a Church, Not a Debt Relief Agency. Why Do This?
Jesus commands us to love our neighbors. And love isn’t just nice talk–it’s real action. Besides, we know what it’s like to have our debts paid off. Jesus paid the ultimate price to set us free from our debt (sin). We are grateful to be able to join with Jesus in proclaiming good news to the poor (Luke 4:18) in a tangible way.
Who Qualified for This Debt Relief?
An nonprofit organization called RIP Medical Debt buys the debt of those who: earn less than 2x the federal poverty level (varies by state, family size), have debts that are 5 percent or more of gross annual income, are facing insolvency — their debts are greater than their assets. By purchasing large portfolios of debt, they are able to become the legal owners of these medical bills at a steep discount.
How Much of My Donation Goes to These Families?
100% goes to the debt abolishment program. Overhead is covered by separate donations marked “where needed most.”
How Does This Happen to Local Families?
Someone gets hurt, sick, or develops a chronic condition that needs medical attention.
They go to the doctor for treatment, not knowing how much anything is going to cost.
Surprise! They get a huge bill from the doctor or insurance that is far beyond their ability to pay.
Collections agencies hound families with threatening letters & phone calls, ruining their credit.
RIP Medical Debt buys the debt from collections at a steep discount to become the legal owners of the debt.
Generous donors (like you!) pay off the medical debt. Every $1 in donations forgives $100 in debt