Deena Merlen Featured in Yahoo Money Article on Landlords Checking on Renters’ Stimulus Payments
Last week, Yahoo Money published an article discussing the growing concern over landlords and other creditors checking on the status of renters’ federal stimulus payments through the IRS’s online “Get My Payment” portal. Because landlords often have renters’ social security numbers and birthdates on hand, some have taken to checking up on their renters’ payments, without authorization from their renters, largely in order to make sure they would receive rent. As RPJ Partner Deena Merlen is quoted saying in the article, “There have absolutely been instances where not just landlords, but a range of creditors, are finding it pretty easy to learn if someone has gotten the stimulus checks.” She added, “Landlords may not take time to read the huge letters with exclamation points that the [IRS payment tracker] is for authorized use only.”
Merlen goes on to discuss the potential liability landlords and creditors could face if they do look into the payments. She also highlights that the language of the CARES Act does not address the issue of whether or not creditors and debt collectors may seek to garnish stimulus payments, and that advocates across the country are actively trying to address this gap.
Read Merlen’s full comments and discussion in the article here.