TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - For the second time in 2019, a Tyler church eliminated millions of dollars in medical debt for thousands of Smith County individuals and families.
Back in September, Green Acres Baptist Church launched its KINDNESS25:40 initiative. As part of the KINDNESS25:40 emphasis, members of the church donated $45,102 through RIP Medical Debt for the first round of debt forgiveness.
Green Acres Baptist Church announced on Tuesday it was paying off the medical debt for an addition 4,919 households in Smith County. The total debt forgiveness between the two donations is more than $9 million, according to the church. The average amount, they said, is $918 per family.
RIP purchases medical debt bundled in large portfolios for pennies on the dollars. For this reason, $1 donated to RIP relieves an average of $100 of medical debt.
“Well, the reason we do this is to show God’s love to people," said David Dykes, pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church. “Because He has been so generous to forgive us, this idea of forgiving unpaid debt is just a reflection of God’s love for us."
In the most recent round of debt clearance, Green Acres requested all military veterans who are carrying unpaid medical debt be included.
If you receive a yellow envelope in the mail from RIP Medical Debt, the church said do not throw it away. Look for a bright red “Good News!” and Green Acres stamp near the top left corner, which explains the forgiven debt.
“While these recipients will still get their medical debt forgiven, they may not know about it for 3-6 months until their credit score is reviewed to reveal the credit to their accounts,” the church said in a media release. “In the interim those people may be still laboring under the misconception that their credit score is the same and consequently delay needed additional credit available to them for medical or personal needs. Some of these people may be strapped financially and forced to make choices from day to day about their healthcare versus food or other pressing personal needs.”