• State Updates: Virginia
  • Renew Your Membership by December 31, 2020
  • Support the RMAI Legislative Fund
  • RMAI COVID-19 Resources

State Updates – Automatic Exemption of Emergency Relief Payments Pending

State of Virginia Protection of COVID Payments from Creditor Remedies

On October 16, 2020, the State of Virginia voted to amend Virginia Code Section 8.01-512.4 to:

  • Extend the protection of COVID-19 payments from garnishment
  • Amend the required notice to judgment debtors to inform them of an additional category exempt funds described as Emergency relief payments

Specifically, Section 34-28.3. defines emergency relief payments as,

“…a 2020 recovery rebate for individuals and qualifying children provided pursuant to Section 2201 of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (P.L. 116-136) or any future federal payments or rebates provided directly to individuals for economic relief or stimulus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not to exceed $1,200 per individual per payment or rebate, and not to exceed $500 for each qualifying child paid to the individual per payment or rebate.”

The amendment makes clear emergency relief payments are deemed to be automatically exempt from the creditor garnishment and lien process. Additionally, the amendment imposes certain duties on financial institutions that receive such payments directly from the federal government with regard to the review and handling of the COVID emergency payments even if they are comingled with other funds.

So, what does this mean? Virginia’s Governor has until October 28, 2020, to take action on House Bill 5068. If signed into law, the exemption created by the amendment takes immediate effect. It does not, however, extend to a garnishment process or any other creditor process that concluded before the enactment of the Act.

Financial institutions that make a good faith effort to comply will be protected from liability in any action concerning its handling of emergency relief payments in accordance with the Act. Account holders will be able to claim the exemption for an emergency payment even if the financial institution that received the payment directly from the federal government failed to comply with the requirements of the amendment.

Remember to Renew Your Membership by December 31, 2020

The 2021 RMAI membership renewal statements were mailed and emailed to all RMAI member Primary Contacts. The deadline to renew is December 31, 2020. If you need assistance with your renewal, contact Membership Services Manager Barbara Souza at

Support the RMAI Legislative Fund
The reach of RMAI’s advocacy efforts extends to COVID-19 related actions as well as state and federal regulatory and legislative activity. You can contribute to the Legislative Fund when you renew your membership for 2021 or click here to donate online.

RMAI COVID-19 Resources

Visit the RMAI COVID-19 resource page on the RMAI website to access other legislative and regulatory guidance and relevant information, RMAI Member Alerts, COVID-19 recorded webinars, and more.

RMAI’s Commitment to Consumers and FAQs is posted in the Resources for Businesses, Employers and Consumers section of the COVID-19 resource page as well as on the Consumers page of the RMAI website.


This alert is intended for members of the Receivables Management Association International and is for informational purposes only and is in no way intended to provide legal advice. Members are encouraged to consult with an attorney of their choice for legal advice concerning this matter.