Coronavirus stimulus checks could be swiped by debt collectors, officials warn


Treasury has the authority to issue regulation preventing the cash from garnishment by debt collectors

As many as 80 million can expect to receive their economic impact payments from the federal government by Wednesday – but some state officials are concerned the money could be seized by debt collectors before it ever reaches consumers. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week, a group of 25 state attorneys general requested that the government stipulate that the coronavirus relief payments would not be subject to garnishment by creditors and debt collectors. “Unfortunately, in what appears to be a legislative oversight, the CARES Act does not explicitly designate these emergency stimulus payments as exempt from garnishment, as similar government payments (such as social security, disability and veterans’ benefits) are,” the letter read. “As a result, there is a risk that stimulus payments may be garnished by creditors or debt collectors, which would undermine the purpose of the CARES Act … “


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