Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed an executive order that prevents debt collectors from garnishing federal stimulus funds from most Californians.
The order is effective immediately and is retroactive, but it doesn't apply to people who owe child support or alimony.
"The executive order denies the ability for debt collectors to garnish your CARES Act dollars. It's also retroactive. So if you're a debt collector, and you did garnish those checks, you gotta give them back," Newsom said.
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), passed by Congress, gave Americans an advanced tax credit of up to $1,200, depending on income.
The governor also announced a 90-day forbearance period on student loan debt.
The agreement was reached with 21 out of 24 of the largest student loan services in the state, Newsom said. Under the agreement, there will be no late fees, fines and no impact to credit scores.