Iowa Legal Aid gives advice on garnishment ban
IOWA CITY — Governor Kim Reynolds has temporarily banned debt collectors and banks from seizing wages and funds from Iowans’ bank accounts. The order putting a hold on all garnishments, except those related to family support, is in effect until May 27th.Iowa Legal Aid’s litigation director Alex Kornya says before this order, there appeared to be an uptick in garnishments as COVID-19 was being detected in the state. Kornya says there could be a lot of difficulties with implementing this pause on garnishments. “It’s important that people who are currently under a continuing garnishment try to contact their bank or employer and let them know that this proclamation has been issued which stops ongoing and new garnishments. So, that should be enough for most employers and banks to just voluntarily release funds,” according to Kornya.Adunni Noibi in Iowa City says it happened to her as she tried to pay her mortgage in mid-March and wasn’t able to transfer funds. She found out a debt collector had frozen her accounts. “This was when everything was coming up with corona, and everyone was out buying groceries, stocking up-we didn’t know what was going to happen. I tried to explain this is all the money I have. They didn’t care,” Adunni says.Noibi got a court hearing and her student debt was forgiven. Iowa Legal Aid is recommending those with existing garnishments notify their bank or employer about the governor’s order to get their money released.