Groups hail Indiana restrictions on stimulus check seizures

Creditors cannot seize federal coronavirus relief payments from Indiana residents under a ruling from the Indiana Supreme Court that was applauded by groups that sought the proscription.

The court’s 4-1 decision issued Monday prohibits new court orders from seizing or garnishing those relief payments to satisfy overdue debts owed to auto dealers, credit card companies, hospitals and other businesses. The court’s order doesn’t apply to overdue child support payments or some judgments.

“It is a relief that stimulus payments will be able to be used to meet urgent needs like housing, food, medicine and utilities,” said Jessica Fraser, director of the Indiana Institute for Working Families.

The group was one of several, including legal aid providers Indiana Legal Service and Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, that petitioned the court for relief on behalf of low-income Hoosiers.

ILS on its Facebook page praised the order, saying it “will ensure stimulus payments are available for life’s necessities during this unprecedented time.”

Likewise, NCLC posted, “We’re grateful that the Indiana Supreme Court issued an emergency order to protect Hoosiers’ stimulus payments.”

Justice Geoffrey Slaughter dissented from the relief granted by the court majority.

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