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West Virginia

You may not know this but West Virginia was once part of Virginia. It broke off to join the Union rather than the Confederacy and became a state on June 20, 1863, via a proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. West Virginia is considered to be both the southern most northern state and the northern most southern state. It is where high school student Danny Heater once scored 135 points in a basketball game, which is a Guinness world record to this day. The state has our oldest population as it averages 40 and America’s oldest governor, Cecil Underwood, who turned 77 on November 5, 1999.

The first Civil War battle between Union and Confederate soldiers was the Battle of Philippi, West Virginia. It was fought on June 3, 1861.

Famous West Virginians include Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, test pilot Chuck Yeager, gymnast Mary Lou Retton and baseball star George Brett.

West Virginia is our ninth smallest state with an area of 24,230 square miles. Its population numbers 1,852,994. This ranks it our 37th most populous state. This yields a population density of 75.1 people per square mile.

The median household income in West Virginia is $43,553. This puts it substantially below the US median household income of $51,017. Its unemployment rate as of November of last year was just 5.9%, which ranks it 17th in the country. Also, West Virginians carry credit card debt of just $4315 vs. the US average credit card debt per borrower of $5,235. However, West Virginian’s average credit score is just 607 or 80 points lower than the US average credit score of 687. On a brighter note, 79% of West Virginia’s population owns their own homes. This is much better than the US home ownership average of 65%.

West Virginia’s total labor force is 710,540. Of this, Office and Administrative Support Occupations is the largest segment with 114,590 employees. The second-largest labor sector in West Virginia is Sales and Related Occupations with 68,900 workers. And the state’s third-largest segment is Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations with a total of 64,090 employees.

Charleston is West Virginia’s largest city with a population of 51,400. The state’s second largest city is Huntington whose population is 49,138. And its third-largest city is Parkersburg with a population of 31,492.

As noted above, the unemployment rate in West Virginia is just 5.9%, ranking it 17th in the nation. The city of Huntington is in slightly worse shape with an unemployment rate of 6.2%. But Charleston ranks higher with an unemployment rate of 5.4%. Finally, Parkersburg’s unemployment rate is considerably higher at 6.7%.

Debt Relief Services Available In West Virginia

West Virginia Debt Reduction Programs and Laws

There may be help available for those West Virginia residents struggling with unsecured debts if you qualify. A good option is a credit counseling company. You can search for one here.

At the very least, allow us to provide you with the information that will help you learn about the best debt relief options in your state.

Credit card debt settlement is a way to reduce your debts with the creditor or collection agency to only pay back a fraction of the original amount owed. This method works because you pay less yet the creditor still recovers some of their loss.

However, you may not have to even apply for credit card debt settlement if the statute of limitations is up in your state and the debt no longer appears on your credit report. Legally, credit companies must recover the debt in a period of time specified by the state or the debt is no longer recoverable after this time period. Read on to find out if the statute of limitations is up for you.

Debt Collection

(This is intended to be a helpful and informational debt resource for West Virginia consumers and does not constitute legal advice.)

West Virginia follows the set of laws that are collectively known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

  • Original creditor or creditor collecting own debt must comply with all the provisions of the FDCPA.
  • Original creditor or collector cannot:
    • Misrepresent themselves, the debt amount and any actions taken to force or threaten the debtor to pay.
    • Accuse you of any crime.
    • Use profane languages, call during odd hours, or resort to abusive behavior.
    • Make the debtor pay for any collect calls or telegrams.
    • Call anyone to discuss the debt apart from the debtor or their lawyer.
    • Put additional charges and fees on the debt.

Violators of the debt collection laws can be sued by individual debtors affected. Lawsuits filed can be awarded up to $1,000 if the judge rules in favor of the debtor. If the collector caused you to lose your job, you will also be awarded for lost wages. This can even get your debt cancelled. This is on top of the violations that can be filed with the FDCPA.

Maximum Interest Rate a Collection Agency Can Charge in West Virginia: 6%

West Virginia Wage Protection: 80% of disposable weekly earnings (after tax income) or 30 times federal hourly minimum wage, whichever is greater.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a law that sets forth the maximum period of time, after certain events, that legal proceedings based on those events may be initiated. For debt, the statutes of limitation apply to the maximum period of time after a consumer has become delinquent on their payments. The key point to remember is that you are considered delinquent not from the date of your last payment, but rather the day after you have gone past due. In other words, if you made your last payment on 3/3/03 and your next payment was due the same day of the next month, the statute of limitations on the debt would not start running until 4/4/04. The statutes of limitations vary from state to state and depend on the type of debt and where the original transaction took place (i.e. if you took the loan out in Florida but currently live in West Virginia, the applicable statutes of limitations would be Florida’s). Oral Agreements: 5 years
Written Contracts: 10 years
Promissory Notes: 6 years
Open Accounts (credit cards): 5 years

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