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Millions of Americans could lose stimulus payments to debt collectors

Super Contributor

Re: Millions of Americans could lose stimulus payments to debt collectors

@DaveInAZ wrote:

@Saeren wrote:

@Trudy Thank you for answering a question I was wondering about myself. As someone on a CMHS HCBS waiver, I was curious. Your post prompted me to look it up and it seems like this stems from SSI saying they won't count it for 12 months and SSI recipients all get Medicaid so it automatically trickles down to anyone who gets Medicaid. 

As for the article in question, nobody can take money from anyone's bank account without a pre-existing judgment with a garnishment order. Banks aren't going to leave themselves open to liability by doing something that they aren't legally allowed to do. People who have garnishment orders know they have one and will most likely pull the money ASAP anyway. 

A number of banks beg to differ - (NY Post)

- USAA kept $2,400 from a Minneapolis woman and her disabled veteran husband because they had an overdrawn account, according to the paper. The woman was reportedly planning to use the money to pay rent and buy formula for her infant daughter.

- Benji Pedro of South Carolina told the Times that Safe Federal Credit Union kept his entire $1,200 stimulus payment to help pay back an account that was overdrawn by $2,650 because he had forgotten to cancel a pair of music subscriptions.

- Another woman had to battle with Digital Credit Union in Massachusetts to keep all of the $2,400 that she and her husband were due to receive, the Times reported. The credit union reportedly kept $1,000 at first because of an overdrawn account


The USAA story was pretty big, I saw it several times in my FB and Google News feeds. The disabled veteran husband claimed his account was overdrawn last year due to fraudulent activity but USAA denied their fraud claim. After the publicity of the story suspended all collection of overdrawn account retroactively. And DCU also relented after publicity. Yes, an overdrawn account is money owed, but these are extraordinarily difficult times for many, be extraordinary.

Overdrawn accounts are entirely different than a debt collector grabbing funds. Repayment of that overdraft is in your bank terms when you open the account, regardless of the situation that caused it. 

Message 11 of 14
Valued Contributor

Re: Millions of Americans could lose stimulus payments to debt collectors

Here's some updated information on which states are preventing seizure of stimulus funds:

(CNBC) Will your stimulus check get seized? It could come down to where you live 


Oregon was added on Friday, April 17th.


25 state attorneys general have asked Treasury to specifically prohibit these actions.

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Message 12 of 14
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Millions of Americans could lose stimulus payments to debt collectors

@M_Smart007 wrote:

Many years ago (25+) .. I once had the IRS freeze my WF savings account, because I had failed to file a tax return.

It put undue hardship on me. I called and said if they did not release part of my money to eat on ..they would be sued.

Within 48 hours they lifted the freeze on about $8K out of around $33KIIRC


Filed the return within about 3-5 days or so, they lifted the freeze on all my monies.

I did not owe them a red cent!


Was told by a friend, it would be a lot harder for someone to levy or get monies from a brokerage account.

He said; ..  "Many more hoops to jump through" ..



Don't believe that for a second.  Can't hide a brokerage account as they will always report.  


IRS swiped 40K out of a Schwab account a while back in my case, may or may not be additional hoops but they will go through it.  

Message 13 of 14
Epic Contributor

Re: Millions of Americans could lose stimulus payments to debt collectors

@Revelate, I never plan on testing the brokerage theory out.

And I believe you, If they want it, they will come after everything lock stock and barrel.

Message 14 of 14
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