New West Virginia State Specific Text Requirements Effective June 6, 2014

New West Virginia State Specific Text Requirements Effective June 6, 2014

Effective June, 6, 2014, debt collection entities collecting debt in West Virginia will need to update their collection letters to comply with new notice requirements when pursuing debts that are beyond the statute of limitations, including informing the consumer that the creditor or collector cannot sue to collect the debt.  This is a trend that follows Connecticut (similar requirement became effective earlier this year & case law from the 7th Circuit that impacts the collection of debts past their applicable statutes of limitations).

Debt collectors pursuing debts that are beyond the statute of limitations in West Virginia need to make modifications to collection notices to comply with recent changes to the West Virginia Code.  The bill (2014 H. B. 436) created a new text disclosure under W. Va. Code § 46A-2-128(f) that is required when debts are beyond the applicable statute of limitations.

The law requires that a debt collector seeking to collect on a debt beyond the statute of limitations for filing a legal action must inform the consumer that the creditor or collector cannot sue to collect the debt and disclose whether the debt can still be reported to a consumer reporting agency. The required disclosure reads as follows:

[When collecting on a debt that is not past the date for obsolescence provided for in Section 605(a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U. S. C. 1681c]

“The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, (INSERT OWNER NAME) cannot sue you for it. If you do not pay the debt, (INSERT OWNER NAME) may report or continue to report it to the credit reporting agencies as unpaid.”

[When collecting on debt that is past the date for obsolescence provided for in Section 605(a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U. S. C. 1681c]

“The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, (INSERT OWNER NAME) cannot sue you for it and (INSERT OWNER NAME) cannot report it to any credit reporting agencies.”

The notice must be provided in the initial written communication when the debt is beyond the statute of limitations.  Debt collection entities collecting debts in West Virginia should act immediately to comply with this new requirement.

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