The 2018 West Virginia Legislative Session ended last week, and the legislature has rejected two bills that would have modified the Consumer Credit and Protection Act (“WVCCPA”), the primary statute in West Virginia that regulates how lenders, creditors, collectors, and others deal with consumers in financial transactions.
House Bill 2768
The legislature knocked down House Bill 2768, which would have amended section 46A-5-101 – the penalties provision of the WVCCPA. The bill would have limited recovery from $1,000 per violation to $1,000 per civil action, bringing the statute in closer alignment with its federal counterpart, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and potentially saving financial institutions from economically devastating judgments in debt collection cases. The bill would have also changed the statute of limitations for WVCCPA claims from four years to two years.
House Bill 4418
The legislature declined to pass House Bill 4418, which would have extended the reach of the WVCCPA to fees charged by landlords to their tenants. The bill appeared to be a reaction to a decision issued by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia last year, in which the Court determined the debt collection provisions of the WVCCPA “do not apply to and regulate the fees a landlord may charge to a tenant pursuant to a lease of residential real property.” See Syl pt. 2, State ex rel. Morrisey v. Copper Beech Townhome Cmtys. Twenty-Six, LLC, 239 W. Va. 741 (2017).
Check back next week for a description of three bills that passed this year’s legislative session and our analysis of how those bills will affect financial transactions in West Virginia.