USAA is Taking Coronavirus Stimulus Payments Away From Veterans, Trump Treasury Allows It
The U.S. Treasury Department is allowing U.S. financial institutions to seize coronavirus stimulus payments from Americans who have debts, notes Common Dreams.
The American Prospect reports that USAA bank — which has a membership of around 13 million mostly made of current and former members of the military — is seizing the relief money:
USAA, the veteran-serving financial institution, took $3,400 in CARES Act payments from the family of a disabled veteran to offset an existing debt, denying the family emergency funds during a time of personal economic stress…
Text messages from USAA customers show that this is not an isolated incident. In fact, USAA is using a boilerplate statement to respond to customer complaints about taking their payments.
Matthew Hartwig, a USAA spokesman, defended the practice of taking veterans’ stimulus payments away to The New York Times:
Currently, a stimulus payment could be reduced when we execute legal garnishment or lien requirements. A reduction can also occur in circumstances when the stimulus payment is deposited into an account with a negative balance. To better support our members, we are continuing to examine ways to address such occurrences during this pandemic.
Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo are reportedly pausing their collections to give customers access to their stimulus relief money.