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Maryland bans stimulus payments from being garnished

As stimulus payments begin to land in bank accounts, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed an order that they cannot be garnished by the courts.

The governor’s order, issued Monday, states that banks cannot use money in customers’ accounts from the stimulus payments to satisfy debts that are subject to legal garnishment.

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Hogan’s order states that it is “reasonable” to prohibit garnishments “to ensure that Marylanders may use the full benefit of that financial assistance to protect their lives and property.”

Under the recently-passed American Rescue Plan, an estimated 75% of Maryland households are expected to receive stimulus payments, according to the state comptroller’s office.

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Payments are $1,400 for individuals or $2,800 for married couples, plus $1,400 per dependent, subject to income limits of $75,000 for an individual or $150,000 for joint filers. Payments are decreased above those amounts up to $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for joint filers, according to the IRS.

Hogan, a Republican, issued a similar order last year that banned garnishments of payments made to individuals under the federal CARES Act.

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