Talk about putting your money where your mouth is.
John Oliver delivered a powerful takedown of the debt industry in Sunday night's episode of "Last Week Tonight."
And he capped it all off by buying, and then forgiving the debts of thousands of people.
In the 20-minute rant (every minute of which is worth watching), Oliver talked about how debtors borrow money from banks and payday loan companies, only for that debt to be "sold off and sold off" to other companies.
He then forcefully attacked debt collection agencies, which have been known to use abusive tactics to get their clients' money back ("You're just a loser, why don't you just go jump in front of a train," one collector is heard saying on a phone call).
But Oliver doesn't just stop at attacking the industry. He does something about the problem.
Toward the end of the rant he explains that he had little trouble setting up a company called Central Asset Recovery Professionals (CARP), and then buying almost US$15 million worth of medical debt of almost 9,000 people — for under $60,000.
But instead of collecting the debt, he forgave it on television — and made TV history, surpassing Oprah's $8 million car giveaway to her audience in a particularly memorable episode.
If that's all it takes, maybe people can just pool money together and buy their own debt back from the lenders.
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