Irwin introduces bill to protect stimulus payments, take on debt collectors

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) has introduced Senate Bill 962 that would prevent creditors from garnishing stimulus payments made under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, or from any future COVID-19 related stimulus payments.  

This legislation would not apply to garnishments related to child support or delinquent taxes. 

“The goal of the CARES act was to provide income for struggling people across our country, not give more money to big banks and debt collectors,” Sen. Irwin said. “Families and communities in our state deserve the emergency benefits that Congress gave them, and my bill ensures that they will get the money they need.”

Under current law and U.S. Department of Treasury guidance, a debt collector can take the stimulus payment that was deposited in millions of bank accounts through the CARES Act and use it to pay off debts that a person owes to creditors.Many other states have already passed legislation to prevent this from happening and passing this bill will protect every person in Michigan who is struggling with the economic effects of COVID-19.

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