That's the spirit behind Strike Debt's Rolling Jubilee project, and the letters mailed to the 44 people so far who have benefited from it: "You no longer owe the balance of this debt. It is gone, a gift with no strings attached. You are no longer any obligation to settle this account with the original creditor, the bill collector, or anyone else."
Today's economy is weird and complicated, working in ways more mysterious than God. Part of it involves the speculation market--companies buying, insuring, and ultimately gambling with our debt. Basically, for pennies on the dollar, the part of you that Company XYZ used to own now belongs to Company ZYX. They don't expect you to fully pay it off--in fact, if you do, then they have one less chip in the game. Debt is big money, and with the Rolling Jubilee, Strike Debt is buying in.
Originally, the goal was to raise $50,000, use that to buy $1,000,0000 worth of distressed medical debt on secondary debt markets, and then... let it go. The project launched on November 15, 2012, and by the end of that day the site had raised nearly 10x its goal. In mid-December, the first purchase was made: $5,000 was enough to absolve 44 lucky people of their medical debts.
Please, check out the Rolling Jubilee website. Read it all over (more important than money is knowledge, and the site provides several kinds of it) and, if possible, make a donation. Even if you con't make a donation, consider spreading the word. Share it on Facebook. Share it on Twitter. Tell your mom about it. Tell your pastor, your neighbor, your bartender, the person beside you on the bus.
In the first two days of the campaign, enjoying a good amount of media attention, the site raised nearly $500,000... and yet, in the sixty-four days since then, the site has raised less than $50,000 more. I don't have the money to spare for a donation, but clearly, this idea takes off when it gets attention.
And I believe it deserves attention.