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West Virginia Amends Consumer Credit and Protection Act; Exempts Collection Agencies from Licensing

On March 26, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice approved House Bill 3143 which amends the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

First, current law provides that a Regulated Consumer Lender License is required for:

  1. Making regulated consumer loans; or
  2. Taking assignments of or undertaking direct collection of payments from or enforcement of rights against consumers arising from regulated consumer loans (W. Va. Code § 46A-4-101).

The amendment excludes from licensing under this section collection agencies that are licensed pursuant to the West Virginia Collection Agency Act.

Second, the bill increases the dollar thresholds for certain loans to which maximum finance charges apply:

  • 31% for loans unsecured by real property in the amount of $3,500 or less (increased from $2,000 or less)
  • 27% for loans secured by real property in an amount greater than $3,500 to $15,000 (increased from greater than $2,000)
  • 18% for loans greater than $15,000 (increased from greater than $10,000)

The effective date of the amendments is June 7.

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Eric Rosenkoetter is based in Maurice Wutscher’s Austin office. For many years, he has focused his practice on various aspects of financial services law. As a litigation attorney, he has conducted every aspect of the litigation process, including countless depositions, motion proceedings, bench and jury trials, and appeals in various courts. In addition, he has significant experience as a compliance and transactional attorney, providing strategic, business growth, legislative, compliance and regulatory advice to national corporations and trade associations. For example, he has drafted consumer contracts and disclosures designed to state-specific statutory requirements, and developed “Best Practices” guides and state-by-state compliance grids, for national financial services companies. He also conducted research and crafted a metrics report for a national trade association with analysis designed to counter the claims of advocacy groups. Eric’s experience also includes working for a national corporation as Executive Counsel, Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer, and Director of Legislative Affairs, and as a federal lobbyist and Director of Government and Public Affairs for a national financial services trade association. In the government sector, Eric presided over approximately 6,000 state administrative hearings, served as a staff attorney for the Missouri Senate, and handled litigation in 33 counties as a regional managing attorney. Eric frequently speaks to audiences on topics relevant to the financial services industry and related advocacy initiatives.

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