Move over Oprah Winfrey, you have been bested for most generous TV giveaway.
English comedian and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight dropped a charitable bombshell on viewers during Sunday’s show.
Following an in-depth segment on the hideous debt-buying industry, Oliver revealed he and the show were writing off $15 million of medical debt – roughly £10.3 million.
Check it out:
As reported by The Guardian, Oliver explained:
Once the company has bought your debt, whether the information is accurate or not, they are going to try to collect on it.
Debt-buying is a grimy business and badly needs more oversight, because as it stands any idiot can get into it. And I can prove that to you because I am an idiot and we started a debt-buying company. And it was disturbingly easy.
The show set up a debt recovery company in Mississippi for just $50 called Central Asset Recovery Professionals Inc – aka. CARP.
CARP then purchased $14,922,261.76 worth of medical debt at ‘less than half a cent on a dollar, which is less than $60,000.’
But rather than demand payment from roughly 9,000 debtors, CARP partnered with charity RIP Medical Debt and forgave what was owed.
Co-founder of RIP Medical Debt, Craig Antico said:
Thanks to this 5 June airing of the HBO comedy series, Last Week Tonight show with John Oliver, there are a lot more of us now privy to this collection industry practice and the debt treadmill it creates.
In a painfully hilarious (debt as funny? Somehow, yes) piece, John Oliver triumphantly out-Oprah’s Oprah in giving away valuable gifts.
Oprah had set the bar high after giving $8 million worth of cars away to her audience in the now infamous ‘You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!’ segment, so well done to Oliver and his team for clearing it.
What an unbelievable act, and an incredible way to raise awareness about the bottom-feeder industry!