Rep. Cisneros urges Treasury and IRS to prevent banks from garnishing stimulus checks

Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig urging them to use existing regulatory authority to prevent banks from garnishing stimulus checks. To view the letter, click here.

“As families continue to struggle to make ends meet, it’s unacceptable that banks are taking money from their stimulus checks. The American people need immediate relief, and every dollar counts to get the supplies they need to keep their families safe and healthy,” said Rep. Cisneros. “I strongly urge Secretary Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Rettig to quickly use their authority to prevent banks from garnishing stimulus checks. The American people need to come first.”

The American Prospect reported that on April 10, 2020, Ronda Kent, Chief Disbursing Officer with Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, participated in a call and responded to a bank’s question about “whether these payments could be subject to collection from the bank to which the money is deposited, if the payee owes an outstanding loan or other payments to the bank.” Kent reportedly answered — twice — that “there’s nothing in the law that precludes that action,” while counseling that the banks’ compliance officers should consult with their legal offices about what policies their banks will implement. This response implies that banks could seize the recovery rebates of those who have outstanding debts or owe other payments to their banks, some of the most vulnerable in our country.

This article was released by the Office of Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr.