Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, and 12 of his colleagues are calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to pass an Executive Order protecting New Yorkers’ stimulus checks from debt collectors.
In a letter dated April 15, Hoylman writes, “At a time when unemployment claims are experiencing an unprecedented surge in New York, and residents across the state are increasingly concerned about how they will pay their rents or mortgages next month, the Economic Impact Payments provided by the CARES Act [The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security] are literal lifelines. This is money that should be used to keep individuals and families safely sheltered and fed — not immediately seized by creditors.”
The CARES Act includes a provision ensuring that individuals are provided an economic impact payment of up to $1,200. These checks would allow New Yorkers extra spending money for basic necessities such as rent, groceries and household items.
However, under federal legislation, this money isn’t exempt from being garnished by debt collectors or creditors, which could ultimately hurt New Yorkers at an already vulnerable time.
“Throughout this crisis, however, we’ve seen countless examples of why we cannot rely on the Trump Administration to act in the best interest of New Yorkers, which is why we are looking to the State to take swift action,” Hoylman said.
Sen. Hoylman is asking the governor to classify the stimulus checks as personal property, exempt from money judgment under Section 5205 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, and to do all that he can to protect New Yorkers from debt collectors and creditors.
Joining Sen. Hoylman in co-signing the letter is Sen. Leroy Comrie, Sen. Gounardes, Sen. Todd Kaminsky, Sen. Liz Krueger, Sen. Rachel May, Sen. Shelley Mayer, Sen. Jen Metzger, Sen. Zellnor Myrie, Sen. Julia Salazar, Sen. James Skoufis, Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky and Sen. Kevin Thomas.