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John Oliver covered predatory lending in an episode of Last Week Tonight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDylgzybWAw



And bought a massive amount of student loan debt, which was immediately forgiven, giving his show the record for largest TV giveaway (taking the record from Oprah).


It was actually medical debt that at one point may have been worth $15M, but was bought for about $60,000, which is less than one half of one percent of that value. This was essentially worthless non-recoverable and out-of-statute debt. Out-of-statute debt is debt that collectors cannot legally sue for. Lots of symbolism, but no actual relief for debtors.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/06/06/john_oliver_d...


Considering that people are still harassed for out-of-statue debt, and some even pay, there is actually some relief. Of course, not $15M relief that's certain.


They are also harassed for debt that never actually existed, so it might not be any relief at all.


That's a different episode [0] but indeed pretty epic.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUAntt1z2c


Do the people who owe the debt get hit with a tax payment on the portion forgiven? Because if not, that may be a highly effective form of charity.




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