Stimulus check could have been garnished

What are the debts for which the stimulus check could have been garnished?

If your check was garnished, in whole or in part, it may be due to some debt you had. Read on to know which debts are those that could be responsible for a missing or reduced check.  

Alimony debts could be the reason you did not receive the stimulus check distributed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in conjunction with the Department of the Treasury since April.

This is because provisions in the CARES Act, under which the funds are distributed, establish that the money of a beneficiary can be garnished for child support payments.

The diversion of funds is done through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) which collects federal and state debts, and if under that program you appear as a debtor, the entity will intervene and retain the money from the stimulus payment to credit it against the pension debt.

If your payment is more than 90 days late, your check will most likely go toward that obligation or be reduced by the amount you owe.

It should be noted, however, that the Federal Office of the Fiscal Service must send you a letter notifying that an economic stimulus payment was reduced as a result of the above.

But child support debts are not the only motive for which federal authorities can redirect funds.

If you have other debts, like medical debts, for example, there is a risk that stimulus payments will be garnished by creditors or debt collectors.

Bank debts with the institution that receives the direct deposit from the IRS would also lead to the funds being seized by the bank.

In situations like those mentioned above, the CARES Act does not provide potential beneficiaries of tools to claim.

The cases where checks are not supposed to be garnished would be for owed taxes to the IRS or student loan debt.

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