On January 31, 2019, Senator Mike Azinger introduced Senate Bill 495 to the West Virginia Legislature (referred to the Judiciary Committee). The Bill proposes amendments to the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act (“WVCCPA”), W. Va. Code § 46A-5-101, which are intended to “bring the Act in conformity with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.”
A key change proposed by Senate Bill 495 is to limit the cap on damages from violations arising under the WVCCPA to $1,000 per civil action. The current rule provides a cap on damages of $1,000 per violation.
In the context of class action lawsuits, Senate Bill 495 also proposes to limit the recovery of class members to $500,000 or one percent of the net worth of the creditor. The current rule provides a cap on damages in class actions to the greater of $175,000 per member or the total alleged outstanding indebtedness.
We will continue to monitor and report on developments in this legislation.