Can My Stimulus Check Be Garnished

Due to the CARES Act, stimulus checks issued by the government are generally protected from garnishment. This means that creditors cannot take the money from your bank account to pay off debts. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you owe child support or back taxes, your stimulus check may be subject to garnishment. If you are concerned about whether your stimulus check can be garnished, you should contact an attorney for advice.

Wage Garnishment and Stimulus Checks

Wage garnishment is a court order that allows creditors or certain government agencies to take a portion of your wages to pay off a debt.

Stimulus Checks

Stimulus checks are payments made by the government to individuals to help offset the economic impact of events such as pandemics or economic downturns.

Stimulus checks are generally not subject to garnishment. However, there are a few exceptions:

  • Overpayment: If you received a stimulus check for an amount greater than what you were eligible for, the overpayment portion may be subject to garnishment.
  • Child support: Stimulus checks can be garnished for child support payments that are in arrears.
  • Federal taxes: If you owe federal taxes, your stimulus check may be subject to garnishment.

In general, stimulus checks are protected from garnishment for most types of debts. However, it’s important to check with your local and state laws to confirm the specific rules in your jurisdiction.

Type of DebtCan Stimulus Check Be Garnished?
Credit card debtNo
Medical debtNo
Student loan debtNo
Child supportYes
Federal taxesYes

Federal vs. State Debt Collection

The federal government and states have different rules regarding the garnishment of stimulus checks. Understanding these differences is essential to know your rights and financial options.

Federal Debt Collection

  • General Rule: Stimulus checks are not subject to garnishment for federal debts, such as unpaid taxes or student loans.
  • Exceptions: Stimulus checks can be garnished for certain types of court-ordered debts, including child support and spousal support.

State Debt Collection

Whether stimulus checks can be garnished for state debts varies depending on specific state laws:

StateCan Stimulus Checks Be Garnished?
New YorkNo

Note: This table is not comprehensive and may not reflect the most up-to-date information. Consult your state’s laws or an attorney for specific guidance.

Can My Stimulus Check Be Garnished?

Whether or not a stimulus check can be garnished depends on the reason for the garnishment.

Child Support and Stimulus Garnishment

  • Yes, child support: Stimulus checks can be garnished for past-due child support.
  • No, future child support: Stimulus checks cannot be garnished for future child support payments.

The table below summarizes the rules for stimulus check garnishment:

Reason for GarnishmentCan Stimulus Check Be Garnished?
Child support (past due)Yes
Child support (future)No
Other debts (e.g., taxes, student loans)No

Bankruptcy and Stimulus Checks

If you file for bankruptcy, your stimulus checks will not be considered part of your bankruptcy estate. This means that the checks will not be taken by the bankruptcy trustee and distributed to your creditors. Instead, you will be able to keep the checks.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you have already received your stimulus check and have spent it, you may have to repay the money to the government. This is because the government has the right to recover any overpayments of government benefits, including stimulus checks.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you should consult with an attorney to discuss how the bankruptcy process will affect your stimulus checks.

Well, folks, there you have it. Now you know the ins and outs of stimulus check garnishments. Keep in mind, things can change quickly, so be sure to check back in with us for the latest updates. Thanks for stopping by!