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What You Need to Know About Debt Collection Laws in West Virginia

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From cars and boats to credit cards, carrying debt is not uncommon for most Americans. Some statistics show that the average American has a debt balance of approximately $96,371.

If you’re dealing with creditors and can’t seem to keep up with the debt you have, there are some laws designed to protect you.

Read on to learn more about the debt collection laws in West Virginia and what you can do about your current debt issues.

West Virginia Legislation

The West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act prohibits certain actions by debt collectors and lenders for residents of the state. The laws work hand-in-hand with federal standards.

All debt collectors and collection agencies must be fully licensed and have a surety bond of $5,000. The maximum amount of contractual interest in West Virginia is eight percent. The general and judgment penalty interest rate is a maximum of six percent.

If you owe creditors money, West Virginia law also has some protections regarding creditor harassment. There are also some statutes of limitations in place, which we’ll dive into below.

Debt Collection Statutes of Limitations

Most federal and state laws have some form of statute of limitations when it comes to debt collection. These limits refer to the amount of time that any violations of the law can be brought to court.

The specific limit that’s given to contracts is determined by the contract’s place of origin. In West Virginia, the statute of limitation for credit cards (or open accounts) is five years. It’s 10 years for written contracts, six years for promissory notes, and five years for oral agreements.

With this law, it may start with the first missed payment instead of the previously completed, cleared payment. When in doubt, it’s best to consult with a professional attorney who specializes in consumer finance law. They can help you navigate the law and where you stand.

Rules and Best Practices

When it comes to debt collection practices in West Virginia, there are rules set in place to protect the consumer. If creditors break these laws, they may be subject to penalties of up to $1,000 per violation. 

As for wage garnishment, a maximum of 25 percent, or 30 times the federal minimum wage is protected. But in West Virginia, debt collectors may file for collection of your personal property to help repay any unpaid debts.

it is legal to collect or reveal information related to your spouse in West Virginia. Phone calls to debtors are allowed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Debt collectors may also attempt to contact debtors through their employer if there is no address or home phone number available. 

However, it is illegal for creditors to try and collect a debt through child support payments. Creditors may also not make any emotionally or physically demanding threats to you or your family. Finally, they may not reveal the nature of the debt to anyone other than your spouse or your attorney.

Know Your Rights

Even if you’re facing debt collection, it’s important to know your rights under the law. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you get the advice and assistance you need through bankruptcy and other financial difficulties.

If you need a skilled lawyer in West Virginia, be sure to contact Michael at Cary Law Office today.

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