Interest rates in the state of West Virginia are dealt with in Section 47-6-5 of Article 6, Chapter 47 of West Virginia Code. Pursuant to Section 47-6-5, the legal interest rate should be at the rate of six dollars upon one hundred dollars for a year for any contract agreed upon between parties, other than in writing. In Subsection (b) of the above mentioned Section, the parties can agree upon a contract in writing for the payment of interest for the loan or forbearance of money at a rate not exceeding eight dollars upon one hundred dollars for a year.
According to Section 47-6-6, any contract made for the loan or forbearance of money or other thing at a greater rate of interest than permitted by law will be void. If any original lender or creditor receives interest higher than lawfully allowed from the borrower or debtor, then the borrower or debtor can recover an amount equal to four times all interest agreed to be paid and will receive a minimum of one hundred dollars in any event. Pursuant to Section 46A-5-103 of West Virginia Code, a regulated consumer lender who willfully makes charge in excess is guilty of misdemeanor and should be fined not more than $5000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned. In any action brought under Section 46A-5-104 for any prohibited debt collection practice the court can award all or a portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees.
According to Section 56-6-31 of West Virginia Code, every judgment or decree for the payment of money, entered by any court of this state will bear interest stated in the Judgment. The rate of prejudgment and post-judgment interest should not exceed eleven percent (11 %) per annum or be less than seven percent (7 %) per annum.
Pursuant to Section 46A-3-111 of West Virginia Code, any judgment rendered on a pre-computed consumer credit sale or consumer loan should bear an interest at the rate of ten percent (10 %) per annum. Pursuant to Section 33-13-8 of West Virginia Code, loan insurer is exempted from the usury limits on proper assignment of pledge of the policy and on the sole security.
According to Section 46A-3-101, a consumer credit seller may contract for and receive a sales finance charge higher than the lawfully allowed rate. Pursuant to Section 47-6-11, installment sale for business purposes and loans for business purposes are exempted from usury limits.
W. Va. Code § 47-6-5
Legal rate of interest; agreements in writing fixing rate of interest; agreements in writing fixing rate of interest for residential real estate purposes; providing there may be no penalty upon prepayment; quarterly reports required.
(a) Except in cases where it is otherwise specially provided by law, legal interest shall continue to be at the rate of six dollars upon one hundred dollars for a year, and proportionately for a greater or less sum, or for a longer or shorter time, and no person upon any contract other than a contract in writing shall take for the loan or forbearance of money, or other thing, above the value of such rate: Provided, That a charge of one dollar may be made for any loan or forbearance of money or other thing, where the interest at the rate aforesaid would not amount to that sum, and the same shall not be a usurious charge or rate of interest.
(b) Parties may contract in writing for the payment of interest for the loan or forbearance of money at a rate not to exceed eight dollars upon one hundred dollars for a year, and proportionately for a greater or less sum, or for a longer or shorter time, including points expressed as a percentage of the loan divided by the number of years of the loan contract.
W. Va. Code § 47-6-6
Usury and usurious contracts; penalties and forfeitures.
All contracts and assurances made directly or indirectly for the loan or forbearance of money or other thing at a greater rate of interest than is permitted by law shall be void as to all interest provided for in any such contract or assurance, and the borrower or debtor may, in addition, recover from the original lender or creditor or other holder not in due course an amount equal to four times all interest agreed to be paid and in any event a minimum of one hundred dollars. Every usurious contract and assurance shall be presumed to have been wilfully made by the lender or creditor, but a bona fide error, innocently made, which causes such contract or assurance to be usurious shall not constitute a violation of this section if the lender or creditor shall rectify the error within fifteen days after receiving notice thereof.
W. Va. Code § 46A-5-103
(1) A regulated consumer lender who willfully makes charges in excess of those permitted by the provisions of article four [§§ 46A-4-101 et seq.] of this chapter, pertaining to regulated consumer lenders, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.
W. Va. Code § 46A-5-104
In any claim brought under this chapter applying to illegal, fraudulent or unconscionable conduct or any prohibited debt collection practice, the court may award all or a portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees, court costs and fees, to the consumer. On a finding by the court that a claim brought under this chapter applying to illegal, fraudulent or unconscionable conduct or any prohibited debt collection practice was brought in bad faith and for the purposes of harassment, the court may award to the defendant reasonable attorney fees.
W. Va. Code § 46A-3-111
(4) If the maturity of a precomputed consumer credit sale or consumer loan is accelerated for any reason and judgment is obtained, the debtor is entitled to the same rebate as if the payment had been made on the date judgment is entered and such judgment shall bear interest until paid at the rate of ten percent per annum.
W. Va. Code § 33-13-8
Loans on policies.
(a) There shall be a provision that after the policy has a cash surrender value and while no premium is in default beyond the grace period for payment, the insurer will advance, on proper assignment of pledge of the policy and on the sole security thereof, at a specified rate of interest not exceeding eight percent per annum, or seven and four-tenths percent per annum if payable annually in advance, an amount equal to or, at the option of the party entitled thereto, less than the loan value of the policy. The loan value of the policy shall be at least equal to the cash surrender value at the end of the then current policy year: Provided, That the insurer may deduct, either from such loan value or from the proceeds of the loan, any existing indebtedness not already deducted in determining such cash surrender value including any interest then accrued but not due, any unpaid balance of premium for the current policy year, and interest on the loan to the end of the current policy year. The policy may also provide that if interest on any indebtedness is not paid when due it shall then be added to the existing indebtedness and shall bear interest at the same rate, and that if and when the total indebtedness on the policy, including interest due or accrued, equals or exceeds the amount of the loan value thereof, then the policy shall terminate and become void. The policy shall reserve to the insurer the right to defer the granting of a loan, other than for the payment of any premium to the insurer, for six months after application therefor. The policy, at the insurer’s option, may provide for automatic premium loan, subject to an election of the party entitled to elect. In any policy issued by conversion of a term insurance policy in force prior to the effective date of this act, the policyholder shall be entitled to a loan at an interest rate in effect on the date of original purchase.
W. Va. Code § 46A-3-101
Finance charges generally.
(1) With respect to a consumer credit sale, other than a sale of real estate subject to the provisions of section one hundred two [§ 46A-3-102] of this article or a sale pursuant to a revolving charge account, a seller may contract for and receive a sales finance charge not exceeding eighteen percent per year on that part of the unpaid balance of the amount financed which is fifteen hundred dollars or less and twelve percent per year on that part of the unpaid balance of the amount financed which is in excess of fifteen hundred dollars calculated according to the actuarial method.
W. Va. Code § 47-6-11
Certain business debts exempt from usury laws.
No law limiting interest rates or providing for forfeiture, penalty, or other loss or liability because of the rate of interest charged may be applied:
(1) To any debt that is incurred by a loan, installment sale, or other similar transaction, and is incurred primarily for a business purpose; or
(2) To any addition to or refinancing in whole or in part of a debt meeting the requirements of subdivision (1) of this section, providing such addition or refinancing is also primarily for a business purpose: Provided, That if the debt described in subdivision (1) of this section is incurred by a natural person, the provisions of this section shall not apply unless such debt is in a principal amount of twenty thousand dollars or more.
For the purpose of determining the applicability of this section the term “business” means and includes any activity that is engaged in primarily for the purpose of generating “gross income,” as that term is defined in section one [§ 11-13-1], article thirteen, chapter eleven of this Code: Provided, That “business” does not mean or include farming or any other agricultural activity engaged in by a producer of agricultural commodities, livestock, or other farm products.