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When will stimulus checks be deposited? Can checks be garnished? We asked the experts

You have questions about the American Rescue Plan stimulus checks. So we found some answers.

ATLANTA — IRS Stimulus checks are already showing up in some people’s bank accounts this weekend and that will continue for the next several weeks. The United States Treasury Department estimates 85 percent of Americans are getting a stimulus check from President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

11Alive is Where Atlanta Speaks and we asked financial expert Andrew Poulos questions we received from viewers. 

The top question was when people would see their money. He said it’ll happen soon but in increments.

“The most important thing is … do not panic or freak out if you don’t see your money in your bank account this weekend,” he said. “The IRS is issuing payments as they’ve done before in stages and phases.”

It also depends on if you’re getting it via direct deposit, paper check, or by debit card. Poulos also explained one major difference between other stimulus checks and this relief package is this time, your money can be garnished if you owe any private debt to collectors. That was another top question.

He added that while the $1,400 check can't be garnished to pay government debts like back taxes and child support, however, private debt collectors can garnish for debts such as private student loans, credit card debt, and medical debt.

“We haven’t seen anyone right now or heard of any cases because this is just all happening overnight with the first round of stimulus payments going out this weekend,” Poulos said.

But, for those who do owe money in the private market, he suggests they be prepared to receive less.

If you have stimulus questions, text them to us at (404) 885-7600.