CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Gov. Jim Justice has signed a law revising terms for debt collections, giving creditors a chance to fix or settle their errors and violations before borrowers can sue and file counterclaims.
The amendment to West Virginia’s consumer protection statute requires the borrower or his attorney first notify the collector by certified mail of an alleged violation and the factual basis.
It then allows 45 days for the lender or his agent to make a settlement offer and provides the consumer 20 days to accept or refuse it.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says this will “reduce frivolous lawsuits” and improve the state’s legal and business climate.
The law prohibits “unfair or unconscionable means” in attempts to collect debts and requires notice to borrowers when the legal collection deadline has passed.