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See West Virginia Judgment Enforcement Law below.
Below are Judgment Enforcement Collection Companies in your state and are here to serve your Judgment Recovery Needs, including asset searches, wage garnishments and bank account locators.
Judgments and Enforcement:
A judgment issued by the courts of the State of West Virginia may be enforced within a period of ten (10) years from the date of its entry. A writ of execution may be issued and renewed within the said ten (10) year period but not after the expiration thereof . (§18-3-18, §38-3-19.)
All of the real property of a judgment debtor to which he is entitled or becomes possessed, at or after the entry of the judgment, is subject to a judgment lien. (§38-3-6.) However, a judgment lien is not enforceable as against bona fide purchaser unless an abstract of judgment is recorded in the county in which the real property is located prior to the recording of a deed to the bona fide purchaser. (§38-3-7.)
The process for the execution of a money judgment is a writ of fieri facias. (§38-4-5.) The writ may be levied upon a judgment debtor's goods and chattels, current money and bank notes, stamps, certificates of stock in a corporation, negotiable warehouse receipts, negotiable instruments, or any other negotiable evidences of indebtedness calling for a liquidated sum of money. (§38-4-6.) Garnishment of wages is permitted by way of a suggestee execution. A suggestee execution issued against a judgment debtor becomes a lien and continuing levy upon sums due or to become due to the judgment debtor as salary or wages to an amount equal to 20% thereof and no more, but in no event shall the payments in satisfaction of such an execution reduce the amount payable to the judgment debtor to less than $20 per week. (§38-5B-3.) In a consumer transaction, such limitation may 20% oof the debtor's disposable income or the amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed thirty times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by section 6(a) (1) of the "Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938," U.S.C. Title 19, Sec. 206(a)(1), in effect at the time the earnings are payable. (§46A-2-130.)
The State of West Virginia generally adopts the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. (§55-14-1, et seq.) Any judgment, decree or order of a court of the United States or of any other court is entitled to full faith and credit in the State of West Virginia. (§55-14-1.)
A judgment creditor seeking to enforce a foreign judgment may file with the appropriate court, an authenticated copy of the foreign judgment and an affidavit showing the name and last known post office address of the judgment debtor and the judgment creditor. Promptly upon the filing of the foreign judgment and the affidavit, the clerk of the court and the creditor are required to mail a written notice of the filing of the foreign judgment to the judgment debtor at the address given. The notice must include the name and post office address of the judgment creditor and, if the judgment creditor has an attorney in this state, the attorney's name and address. Lack of mailing notice of filing by the clerk does not affect the enforcement proceedings if proof of mailing by the judgment creditor has been filed. (§55-14-3.) No execution or other process for enforcement of a foreign judgment may be issued until 30 days after the mailing of the notice to the judgment debtor. (§55-14-3(c).) A judgment so filed has the same effect and is subject to the same procedures, defenses, and proceedings for reopening, vacating, or staying as a judgment of a court in the State of West Virginia and may be enforced or satisfied in like manner. (§55-14-2.)
A citizen of the State of West Virginia is entitled to the same exemption from execution, attachment or seizure and sale as a citizen of the state where the original judgment was entered. In an action where the enforcement of the foreign judgment is sought by a debt collector, he must ensure that any suggestee execution or other legal process seeking to seize property of a debtor must clearly state, on the face of the petition or other filing, any property exempt in the state in which the original judgment was entered, and it must specify that the property is exempt from execution, attachment or seizure and sale in the State of West Virginia. Any person in violation of this provision is liable to the judgment debtor for a penalty in an amount not more than $1,000. If the violation is willful, such person may be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, may be fined not more than $1,000 or confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined. (§55-14-2.)
Legal rate: 6% per annum for loan or forbearance of money, or other thing with a minimum of $1.00. (§47-6-5(a).)
Written Contract rate: Parties to a written contract may agree to an interest rate not to exceed 8% per annum for a loan or forbearance of money. (§47-6-5(b).)
Judgment rate: 10% per annum. (§56-6-31.)
In general, a debtor may claim exemption of his homestead and certain personal property from attachment and execution of a judgment.
The homestead of a debtor, his spouse, parent or other head of a household residing in the State of West Virginia, or the infant children of deceased or insane parents, is exempt up to the value of $5,000 from all debts and liabilities, except debts incurred for the purchase money thereof, or for the erection of permanent improvements thereon, and claims for taxes or county or district or municipal levies due thereon. (§38-9-1.) Homestead is defined as property owned and used as the principal home for the debtor, his spouse or a dependent, or any or all of them, whether classified as real property, chattel real, a fixture or personal property. (§38-9-2.) In a situation where the debt or liability was for hospital or medical expenses incurred from a catastrophic illness or injury, the exemption value may be increased to $7,500. "Catastrophic illness or injury" means a medically verified illness or injury for which any insurance or other applicable benefits have been exhausted, and which incapacitates and creates a financial hardship upon the debtor, his or her spouse or sibling or dependent of the debtor, who uses the homestead as a principal home at the time the debt was incurred. (§38-9-3(b).)
The personal property of a judgment debtor, up to the value of $1,000 may be exempt from execution or other process. The working tools of a mechanic, artison or laborer's trade or occupation may be exempt up to the value of $50. The total exemption however may not exceed the $1,000 limit. (§38-8-1.)
In a bankrutpcy proceeding, debtors who are domiciled in the State of West Virginia are not permitted to claim exemption of those property specified under the provisions of 11 U.S.C. 522(d). Instead, a debtor may claim exemption from property of the estate interest in real or personal property not to exceed $15,000 in value which are used as a residence by the debtor or his dependent or in a burial plot; one motor vehicle not to exceed $2,400 in value; household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops or musical instruments, that are held primarily for the personal, family or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor not to exceed $400 in value in any particular item and not to exceed $8,000 in total value; jewelry held primarily for personal, family or household use of the debtor or his dependent not to exceed $1,000 in value; any property not to exceed $800 in value plus any unused amount exempt under subsection (a) of §38-10-4; any implements, professional books or tools of the trade not to exceed $1,500 in value; any unmatured life insurance contract owned by the debtor other than a credit life insurance contract; any accrued dividend or interest under, or loan value of, any unmatured life insurance contract not to exceed $8,000 in value; professionally prescribed health aids for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; social security benefit, unemployment compensation or local public assistance benefit, veteran's benefit, disability, illness or unemployment benefit; alimony, support or separate maintenance to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor or any dependent of the debtor; limited payment under a stock bonus, pension, profit sharing, annuity or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age or length of service, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor; award under a crime victim's reparation law; a payment on account of the wrongful death of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor; a payment under a life insurance contract that insured the life of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent on the date of such individual's death, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor; a payment, not to exceed $15,000 on account of personal bodily injury, not including pain and suffering or compensation for actual pecuniary loss, of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent; a payment in compensation of loss of future earnings of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is or was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor; and payments made to the prepaid tuition trust fund on behalf of any beneficiary. (§38-10-4.)
Statutes of Limitation:
Civil actions generally can be commenced only within certain time limitations. The time generally runs from the date a cause of action accrues or from the date injury or damages are discovered or should have been discovered.
When a cause of action accrues is a critical issue and may be different on a case by case basis. A creditor should always consult actual legal counsel to determine its right to action under the applicable statutes. Some of the time limitations relevant to credit and collection matters are as follows:
Written Contract 10 years §55-2-6
Oral Contract 5 years §55-2-6
Accounts between merchant and merchant 5 years
Contract for sale of goods 4 years §46-2-725(1)
Damage to property 2 years §55-2-12
Personal action not otherwise prescribed. 2 years