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Oregon governor issues order to prevent debt collectors from seizing stimulus checks

Oregon governor issues order to prevent debt collectors from seizing stimulus checks
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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed an executive order Friday barring debt collectors and creditors from seizing stimulus checks sent to Oregonians under the latest coronavirus relief package.

“Many Oregonians, through no fault of their own, are struggling to pay their bills, their rent, or even buy essentials like groceries and prescription drugs,” Brown said in a statement. “These recovery checks were meant to provide relief, not reward debt collection agencies for preying on Oregonians who have lost their livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Brown’s executive order grants stimulus checks awarded under the CARES Act the same protection from garnishment as other government payments, such as Social Security, disability and veterans’ benefits.

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The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, which was signed into law late last month, grants checks for Americans for up to $1,200, based on income. However, it does not include language preventing debt collectors from seizing relief checks, which Brown called an “oversight.” 

Brown’s order does not stop the checks from being garnished to help pay off restitution or civil judgments based on a criminal conviction. Overdue child support can also be deducted from the stimulus checks once they’re deposited.

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington state officials warn providers offering VIP vaccine access Legislators go after governors to rein in COVID-19 powers Inslee rebukes hospital over vaccine appointments for donors MORE (D) issued a similar order this week.