$1400 Checks Aren’t Protected Against Seizure by Debt Collectors
Many Americans may never get their $1400 stimulus checks because COVID-19 doesn’t prevent debt collectors from taking them.
The first round of $1200 stimulus checks in the spring didn’t get protected either, although some states did.
The second payment of $600 was 100% protected.
The $1400 checks won’t be protected since budget reconciliation was used instead of a stand-alone bill. That allowed Senate Democrats to pass the bill with 51 votes, instead of 60.
Any creditor can seize the $1400 payment. Lauren Sauders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center, reports that the two most likely debts to be collected are medical debt and credit card debt. In some cases, stimulus checks can be withheld for private student loan debt.
The IRS can’t seize your payments for back taxes or child support.
As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden announced he intends to file legislation that provides the $1400 stimulus payments as benefits exempt from federal garnishment. However, with checks going out soon, it might be too late