(Albany, NY) The first wave of stimulus checks have gone out, and Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) is fighting to ensure these payments cannot be garnished by debt collectors.
Carlucci announced today that he is drafting legislation to prevent coronavirus stimulus checks from being subject to wage garnishment in New York State.
"Creditors should not receive a windfall, while hard-working New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet," said Senator David Carlucci. “People are dealing with record unemployment, making rent, paying off student loans, and other daily expenses. The last thing that should happen is debt collectors freezing your check and garnishing your stimulus check.”
Over the weekend, Carlucci started a petition to protect residents’ stimulus checks by urging the federal government to code the stimulus payments as federal benefit payments.
If this is done, banks cannot freeze payments, as they will automatically be identified as subject to the garnishment protections under state and federal law.
“We can’t wait on this administration to do the right thing. We have seen time and time again, delays and inaction. We need to protect New Yorker’s through this financial crisis, and ensure their hard earned money stays in their bank account,” said Carlucci.
Currently, about a third of Americans or some 71 million adults have debt in collections, according to the National Consumer Law Center.
Meanwhile, the federal government has already processed 80 million stimulus checks expected to arrive this week with additional checks arriving through May.
“I am not telling Americans don’t pay your debt. This is about food on someone’s table or rent being paid first. Debt collectors should not get to profit of this,” said Carlucci.
Residents can sign Carlucci’s petition here.