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Mnuchin’s Treasury Dept. Is Letting Banks Seize Coronavirus Relief Checks Up to Full $1200 to Pay Off Debts

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Overdrawn? Late on your mortgage? Owe late fees to your bank or credit card company?

If you are expecting a coronavirus relief check, which most Americans are, up to $1200, be prepared to see a portion of it seized by the bank to pay off those debts.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, headed by multi-millionaire Secretary Steve Mnuchin, has authorized banks to seize however much of your emergency coronavirus relief payment to pay off debts owed to your bank, according to The American Prospect’s Executive Editor David Dayen.

Congress passed the CARES Act to help the tens of millions of Americans who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic put food on their tables, pay their rent or mortgage – literally continue to live. Last week Mnuchin’s Treasury effectively told the banks it’s OK to seize what they deem you own them from those payments.

“Banks would be first in line to grab the payments to offset a delinquent loan or past-due fees,” Dayen reports. “Even if the individual thinks their account with that bank is closed, if the payments post there, the bank could conceivably use them to cover old debts.”

While the Treassury didn’t tell banks to go grab the cash, Treasury regulators made clear they are welcome to do so, as Dayen explains:

“The Treasury Department effectively blessed this activity on a webinar with banking officials last week. In audio obtained by the Prospect, Ronda Kent, chief disbursing officer with Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, can be heard explaining that banks had posed questions to her about ‘whether these payments could be subject to collection from the bank to which the money is deposited, if the payee owes an outstanding loan or other payments to the bank.’ She responded—twice—that ‘there’s nothing in the law that precludes that action,’ while counseling that the banks’ compliance officers should consult with their legal offices about what policies their banks will implement. ‘You will want to know for your bank what your bank has decided to do,’ Kent said.”

That’s how it works.

Basically, “we’re not telling you you can’t, so do as you please.”

One official told Dayen, “We don’t want to say anything explicitly and are telling you to make a business decision.”

Common Dreams notes Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says the “payments are supposed to help individuals and families put food on the table during this crisis, not enrich debt collectors.”

Dayen says the Treasury Dept. could easily rescind this grant if it chose to.

Read the entire report here.

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GRIFTERS

Trump’s ‘Save America’ PAC Raised $75 Million This Year as He Lies About the Election – Cash Pays for His Travel: Report

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Donald Trump, the erroneously embittered one term former U.S. president has raised $75 million this year through his “Save America” leadership PAC by lying about the 2020 election, an election he and his supporters, surrogates, and allies falsely claim was “stolen.” The funds, collected the PAC, can be spent in a wide variety of ways, including to pay for the flailing Arizona recount, or similar efforts in other states, but according to The Washington Post Trump’s PAC has not spent a dime on those efforts.

“Instead, the Save America leadership PAC — which has few limits on how it can spend its money — has paid for some of the former president’s travel, legal costs and staff, along with other expenses, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of the anonymity to describe the group’s inner workings. The PAC has held onto much of its cash,” The Post reports.

“Even as he assiduously tracks attempts by his allies to cast doubt on the integrity of last year’s election, Trump has been uninterested in personally bankrolling the efforts, relying on an array of other entities and supporters to fund the endeavors, they said.”

Commenting on the report, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow mocked the former president on Twitter, saying, “So he’s, like, living off the STOP THE STEAL money?”

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Trump and GOP Began Fundraising Off ‘Frivolous’ Lawsuit ‘Within Minutes’: Report

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It took Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) just “minutes” to begin fundraising off of what some are calling the former president’s “frivolous” lawsuits against Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

Politico’s Sam Stein posted this text from the joint Trump-RNC fundraising committee:

The New York Times’ Nick Corasaniti posted these screenshots from the Trump/RNC fundraising organization:

“Trump’s baseless Big Tech lawsuit is all about fundraising,” the tech and culture website Mashable reports. “Keep on grifting.”

“After Trump filed federal lawsuits against Google, Twitter, and Facebook for allegedly violating the First Amendment by banning or suspending him from their platforms, the NRCC and NRSC, the fundraising arms of the House and Senate GOP respectively, each sent out text alerts,” Forbes reports. “‘IT HAPPENED,’ said the NRSC – which, along with the NRCC, has spent months hyping Trump’s plans to start his own social media site – adding, ‘Trump announced he is fighting CENSORSHIP by SUING Big Tech companies.'”

Related –
‘Not Competent’: Legal Experts Pan Trump’s Lawyers and ‘LOLsuit’ Against Twitter and Facebook as ‘Going Nowhere’

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GRIFTERS

Busted: Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught Illegally Claiming a ‘Big Tax Break’ in Georgia

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Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.

“A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one,” WSB-TV reported Friday.

“But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties,” the network reported.

WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican’s office.

“In a statement, Greene’s office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a ‘pathetic smear’ when he asked them about the homestead exemptions,” the network reported. “Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents.”

 

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