The United States is riddled with personal debt. According to the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York's Quarterly Household Debt and Credit Report, money owed by Americans is over $12 trillion dollars! Yes...TRILLION!! And of that, $36 billion is "seriously delinquent," meaning 90 days or more past due.

In a report by The States Project, Louisiana is the 31st most indebted state.

And as you try to pay off your debt as painlessly as you can, it might make you mad as a hornet to know that your debt may not be owned by the people you originally owed. First off...did you know that debt can be owned?

Yes...and it's BIG business. If you have an old credit card that you owe money on, your bank can sell that debt to a company for pennies on the dollar, then that company can come after you for the full amount. Or they can sell it to another company...and the circle continues. A bit disheartening, yes, but even more so when you find people who have been dragged into this situation who don't even have any debt. Their information was sold, and they got stuck with an old bill.

One person, this last week, helped out a little bit.

John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight on HBO, set up a debt buying company. His company, CARP, bought over $15 million in unpaid medical debt from Texas for just over $60,000. Then...he forgave it, giving over 9000 Texans a little piece of mind. Say what you want about John Oliver, that was an amazing thing to do!

Below is a video of the entire segment of his show where he talked about the debt crisis, then essentially gave away $15 million. It's a long video, and the language is a little harsh, so you might want to watch it on your lunch hour.

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