Creditors Cannot Seize Stimulus Checks From Ohioans

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Most Ohioans will soon be getting a stimulus check as part of a federal aid bill signed into law last month. Banks and creditors might see this as an opportunity to collect. But, Ohio’s law enforcement chief is putting them on notice that they can’t touch that money.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says the stimulus checks are protected by state law.

“We believe that that provision applies here, that it makes that stimulus check that, frankly is because we are not working and don’t know when we are going to get back to work, it makes that money off limits to bill collectors,” Yost says.

Yost says the stimulus check is a payment that represents future earnings, something that is protected from seizure by creditors from debtors.

“Not only is that money protected by Ohio law, if you start picking fights with Ohioans, you are picking a fight with the attorney general,” Yost says.

Yost says the federal checks are meant to be used during an emergency to keep a roof over your head, lights on and food on the table. He says anyone who receives notice from a creditor trying to get that money should go to the AG’s website for additional information on how to report and prevent that action.