North Texas

Don’t Throw Away Yellow Envelopes Being Delivered In Your Mailbox

There is no way to buy the debt of one particular patient

Craig Antico has seen it happen to many families: They say yes to medical treatment. Next, they're in a massive amount of debt.

"You're one illness away, or accident away, from financial ruin in this country," said Antico.

Antico worked in the debt collection industry. When hospitals are unable to get a family to pay their bill, they put those accounts in one big file. Antico and debt collectors like him would pay just pennies on the dollars for that file of bills.

"I can buy debt for $10, $1,000 of debt for 10 bucks. I can buy a million dollars of debt for $10,000," explained Antico.

He would them get you to pay the full or some slightly discounted amount, and he got to keep the difference.

Antico decided it was time for a change: from a business to a charity. He would still buy debt at pennies on the dollar except instead of trying to collect on it he would forgive it, wipe it away.

Antico works now to raise money allowing him to buy more debt.

In February, NBC Owned Television Station donated enough money to abolish more than $2 million of debt for 902 people in North Texas.

Bobbie Carter, a cancer survivor, was one of them.

"I said, 'that's a yellow envelope!' I said, 'no, that's not it — oh glory to God!'"

More letters like the one Bobbie received were mailed this week. They're being delivered Thursday and Friday, so watch out for them.

Please understand, NBC 5 or RIP Medical Debt has no way of buying bills for one person.

Hospitals choose which bills they want to sell, and they are sold in bulk in one large pack. There is no way to buy the debt of one particular patient.

If you would like to help donate, you can do so HERE.

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