Stimulus Payments Will Be Off Limits to Debt Collectors After Attorney General James Issues Official Guidance

Posted to Applied Web NY on Sat, 04/18/2020 - 17:15

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today took action to protect millions of New Yorkers and block debt collectors from raiding billions of dollars in emergency stimulus payments authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Attorney General James issued official guidance to New York State banking institutions, creditors, and debt collectors, making clear that financial relief provided through stimulus payments are exempt from garnishment under New York law. The CARES Act authorized the U.S. Department of Treasury to send billions of dollars to Americans struggling as a result of the economic fallout of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health crisis, but these emergency stimulus payments were not designated as exempt from garnishment, allowing debt collectors to potentially benefit before consumers.