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2018 West Virginia Legislative Session, the WVCCPA and the West Virginia Safe Mortgage Licensing Act
March 28, 2018
The 2018 West Virginia legislative session was a busy one regarding consumer finance law. Legislators focused on the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act and the West Virginia Safe Mortgage Licensing Act. The West Virginia Legislature passed at least three bills this past session that affect consumers or financial transactions.
 
HB 2464 and WVCCPA
 
HB 2464 amends Article 6 of the WVCCPA, specifically section 46A-6-107, prohibiting the disclaimer of warranties and remedies for goods that are the subject of or intended to be the subject of a consumer transaction.
 
Amended section 46A-6-107 will include a new provision related to consumers who purchase used manufactured homes, which will permit those consumers to waive certain warranties related to the manufactured homes. Under that amendment, the consumer:
 
may waive the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, or waive a warranty as to a particular defect or malfunction which the merchant has identified and disclosed in writing to the consumer, if the used manufactured home is not being sold for human habitation.
 
The bill provides that the waiver is not effective unless it:
  1. Is in writing;
  2. Is conspicuous and is in plain language;
  3. Identifies with particularity the disclosed defect or malfunction, if any, in the used manufactured home for which the warranty is to be waived;
  4. Describes any additional defects or malfunctions, if any, disclosed to the merchant by a previous owner of the used manufactured home or discoverable by the merchant after an inspection of the used manufactured home;
  5. States the warranty being waived applies only to the disclosed defect or malfunction, if any, to the extent the merchant intends to waive a warranty as to a specific defect;
  6. Acknowledges the used manufactured home will not be used for human habitation: Provided, the consumer shall sign or initial such provision in order to evidence the consumer’s acknowledgement thereof; and:
  7. Is signed by both the consumer and the merchant before the sales contract is executed.
 
The bill is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.
 
 
HB 4150 and WVCCPA
 
The other amendment to Article 6 of the WVCCPA that was passed with this year’s West Virginia legislative session is HB 4150, related to telemarketing companies. The bill amends section 46A-6-501 of the WVCCPA, which prohibits certain unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The bills adds to the list of eight such prohibitions, a new provision, which makes it a violation of the WVCCPA:
 
To engage in transmission of misleading or inaccurate caller identification information, including, but not limited to, circumventing technology that allows the consumer to identify from what phone number, location or organization the call has originated from, or to otherwise misrepresent the origin and nature of the solicitation: Provided, That the provisions of this subsection do not apply to a communications service providers that deliver a communication originated by another person or entity.
 
HB 4150 is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature. It will be the first change to section 46A-6-501 of the WVCCPA in 20 years.
 
 
HB 4285 and the West Virginia Safe Mortgage Licensing Act
 
The last bill for discussion is HB 4285, which amends three sections of the West Virginia Safe Mortgage Licensing Act.
 
First, the bill amends section 31-17A-4(a) of the Act to increase the state license application fee from $50 to $200.
 
Second, it amends section 31-17A-6 of the Act by increasing the number of training hours to meet the prelicensing education requirement for loan originators. The bill increases the requirement for training on West Virginia mortgage and consumer laws or issues from two hours to four hours, which increases the total number of training hours from 22 hours to 24 hours.
 
Third, the bill amends section 31-17A-9 of the Act by increasing the number of annual continuing education requirements for licensed mortgage originators from eight hours to nine hours, requiring an additional hour of training in West Virginia law or regulations.
 
HB 4285 is effective May 31, 2018.
 
If you have any questions about these bills, please contact us.
 
 
Consumer Finance Tai Shadrick Kluemper
304.357.4476
tshadrick@spilmanlaw.com