Millions of people received their stimulus payments from the federal government this week, but some are at risk of immediately losing the money if they owe credit card, medical, or private student loan debts. Reported by Katie Lobosco, CNN 4-16-2020.

The IRS began sending out payments this week, starting with those who already had bank account information on file so that it could directly deposit the money. For others, the IRS will send out paper checks — though it could take weeks, or even months, for people to receive those. A collection agency can’t garnish the check unless you deposit it into an account it has access to. To avoid having the stimulus payment garnished by a debt collector, monitor your bank account closely and take out the money as quickly as possible, suggests Lauren Saunders, associate director at the National Consumer Law Center.

Sherry Ellis