On September 23, 2021, the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office (AG) announced that it had filed a complaint against a New York-based debt collection agency for violations of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act (WVCCPA) .
The complaint alleges that the debt collection agency violated West Virginia law by operating without proper authorization and by using illegal, high-pressure collection tactics. Specifically, the debt collection agency was allegedly collecting debts without (1) a collection agency license from the State Tax Department and (2) a certificate of authority from the West Virginia Secretary of State—both of which are required to engage in the business of debt collection in West Virginia. Additionally, the company allegedly used improper collection tactics, such as “failing to notify consumers of their right to dispute debts within five days after the first debt collection contact; demanding payment in full before expiration of the 30-day dispute period; demanding payment of debts without any proof of the alleged debt in its possession; [and] contacting consumers at their place of employment after they request that such contacts cease,” among other alleged conduct.
As relief for the unlawful debt collection practices, the West Virginia AG is seeking civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation of the the WVCCPA, restitution, and an injunction prohibiting the company from collecting debts in West Virginia.