This article discusses the 1974 West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, hereinafter referred to as WVCCPA. A summary of the Act is undertaken early in the article, detailing for the reader what the Act does. Beyond this summary there is no section by section restatement of the WVCCPA in the article nor is every section or group of sections discussed. The purpose of the article is to discuss why the WVCCPA was passed and what it attempts to do, and in some areas, to discuss how well the Act accomplishes its purpose. To place the WVCCPA in its evolutionary context, the article first provides a brief look at traditional common law problems in this area and at early statutes providing consumer protection. The second part of the article details the legislative history of the WVCCPA and contains a statement of its broad purposes and a detailed summary of its contents. A substantial portion of the article analyzes how successfully the Act controls finance charges and how it regulates those engaged in extending small loans for consumer purposes. Finally, a few of the many provisions in the WVCCPA that protect consumer debtors from abusive or unfair credit practices are examined in detail, such as several of the provisions giving all purchasers of consumer goods, including those who pay cash, protection from and remedies for deceptive selling tactics or defective goods. The West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act is intended to: (1) increase the availability of consumer credit by raising allowable finance charges (interest rates) and move toward equalization of rates available to consumers whether they borrow the money from a lender or buy the goods on credit from a seller; (2) regulate the rate of finance charges allowed for consumer credit transactions by prescribing rates and rules for computation; (3) regulate those businesses which make small consumer loans and which were formerly regulated by the small loan act; (4) protect consumers who purchase goods or services on credit or through consumer loans from deceptive selling techniques, unconscionable contract terms, and undesirable debt recovery and collection practices; and (5) protect consumers who purchase goods or services for cash or credit from, and to give them remedies for, defective or shoddy goods and services and unfair and deceptive selling practices.
Vincent P. Cardi,
The West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act,
W. Va. L. Rev.
Available at: https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/wvlr/vol77/iss3/3