You Paid For It: St. Charles County family says state put a lien on their house over unemployment funds

You Paid For It

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A St. Charles County family called FOX 2’s You Paid For It team after the Missouri Labor Department slapped a lien on their house and demanded they repay $12,000.

The state says they were overpaid pandemic unemployment funds thru no fault of their own.

But Missouri wants the money repaid. The lien letter also threatens to garnish Michelle Essary’s wages.

When the COVID crisis hit, Michelle was laid off from her job with a school district in St. Charles County. She never had an inkling that anything was wrong until she got a letter back from the state demanding repayment of the money.

The You Paid For It Team contacted the labor department. We got back an email saying they were looking into the matter. Just days later: a small victory for the family when the state said they were lifting the lien and would allow her to appeal the decision.

Approximately 46,000 Missourians are being hit with demands to repay overpayments of the pandemic funds that come to about $150 million.

The Missouri House of Representatives passed a measure 157 to 3 to forgive the repayment of federal money. Some state senators want to forgive state and federal funds.

A stumbling block has been Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who first said he wanted all the money repaid. He may be softening where the repayment of the federal funds is concerned but that still leaves the state money.

Right now, a lot of stress for a lot of Missouri families like the Essarys in St Charles County staring at the prospect of having to repay thousands of dollars for something that wasn’t their fault.

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