square Stimulus Check - Your Stimulus Check Maybe At Risk - The Merna Law Group
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By John G. Merna, Esq.

For most in Virginia life has gotten less hectic even quiet as we shelter-in-place.  But the quietness hides an undeniable reality: creditors, collection agencies, and collection attorneys are busier than ever trying to garnish wages and bank accounts.  This sinister underground activity at a time when many are out of work or receiving less income due to cuts even threatens your stimulus payment.

This week millions of Virginians will begin receiving the government stimulus payment under the Cares Act directly to the bank account on record with the IRS if they have filed tax return in either of the last two years. The stimulus payment is $1200 per person with income under $75,000 and $500 per dependent as listed on your last filed tax return.  It will vary depending on income and circumstance. Other who do not opt for electronic deposits of their tax refunds will receive their stimulus check by mail.


News of the courts closure for non-emergency cases may have left some Virginian’s with the impression that lawsuits, garnishments, and attachments could not proceed.  This is not true.  What has been halted by closure of the courts to non-emergency cases is new civil lawsuits to collect debt.  It has not halted the ability for a creditor who obtained a judgment in court prior to the closure from requesting either a wage or bank garnishment.

In other words, if you have any unpaid judgment in the past 10 years (longer if the judgment was renewed) you are vulnerable to your bank account being attached and your stimulus check being taken.


With the courts shutdown to new non-emergency lawsuits and evictions, collection attorneys have little else to focus on other than collecting on the outstanding judgments in their stable of past cases.  This means that they are increasing their emphasis on skip-tracing debtors to find banking and employment locations to implement a garnishment.  With their primary source of revenue, getting new judgments for their creditor clients, shut down due to the temporary court closure, collections attorneys have had to shift emphasis to maintain their income and insure their survival.  This means anyone with an outstanding unpaid judgment, even if they are not getting a stimulus check, is at greater risk of being garnished than ever before.  We have seen a spike at our offices in calls about garnishments.


First step, if you are not sure the bank you used to get your last tax refund, is to check with the IRS by visiting this link.  You can also change your banking info on the linked webpage to notify the IRS where to send your payment if you did not filing a tax return in the last two years or were not required.

Step two is to choose a bank account that is less vulnerable.  The longer you have had a bank account the greater the risk it is known or can be found by a collection attorney.  Also, brick-and-mortar banks with a physical presence in Virginia are much easier to garnish than virtual or internet banks.  So if you are at risk of a garnishment because you have outstanding judgments consider using Paypal, an internet bank, or debit card service.

Secure your bank today.  If received your check and were lucky enough to not have it immediately garnished and you have outstanding judgments, move the money to a safer account or take it out.


If you are unlucky enough to have your stimulus check garnished, Merna Law can help you get it back through several options including filing a bankruptcy to permanently eliminate all your debt and put you on the road to a higher credit score and buying a house within three years.   Call us today.  We are fully operational and filing bankruptcy completely virtually without you even leaving your home.  All meetings are via telephone. Document exchanges are via out Client Services Portal at https://www.MernaLaw.info .  Any even your bankruptcy hearing with be conducted via telephone while you sit in the comfort of your home.  There is no reason to wait to file until this pandemic passes.  Call us today at 800-662-8813!!.

We all clearly have greater things to worry about other than our poor credit past.  Get your fresh start today before the line gets too long.

Keywords: stimulus check garnished, bankruptcy, 

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