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State 2009 Statute Number 2009 Statute Language2010 Statute Number 2010 Statute Language

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West VirginiaW. Va. Code § 9-7-1. Legislative purpose and findings; powers and duties of fraud control unit.
(a) It is the purpose of the Legislature to continue the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit previously established within the West Virginia Department of Welfare and to provide it with the responsibility and authority for investigating and controlling fraud and abuse of the medical programs of the state Department of Welfare which have been established pursuant to section two, article four of this chapter. It is the finding of the Legislature that substantial sums of money have been lost to the state and federal government in the operation of the medical programs of the state due to the overpayment of moneys to medical providers. Such overpayments have been the result of both the abuse of and fraud in the reimbursement process.
(b) The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the State Department of Welfare shall be continued and shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) The investigation and referral for prosecution of all violations of applicable state and federal laws pertaining to the provision of goods or services under the medical programs of the state including the Medicaid program.

(2) The investigation of complaints alleging abuse or neglect of residents in board and care facilities and patients in health care facilities which receive payments under the medical programs of the state.

(3) To cooperate with the federal government in all programs designed to detect and deter fraud and abuse in the medical programs of the state.

(4) To employ and train personnel to achieve the purposes of this article and to employ legal counsel, investigators, Auditors and clerical support personnel and such other personnel as are deemed necessary from time to time to accomplish the purposes herein.
W. Va. Code § 9-7-1. Legislative purpose and findings; powers and duties of fraud control unit.
(a) It is the purpose of the Legislature to continue the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit previously established within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and to provide it with the responsibility and authority for investigating and controlling fraud and abuse of the medical programs of the state Department of Health and Human Resources which have been established pursuant to section two, article four of this chapter. It is the finding of the Legislature that substantial sums of money have been lost to the state and federal government in the operation of the medical programs of the state due to the overpayment of moneys to medical providers. Such overpayments have been the result of both the abuse of and fraud in the reimbursement process.
(b) The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the State Department of Health and Human Resources shall be continued and shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) The investigation and referral for prosecution of all violations of applicable state and federal laws pertaining to the provision of goods or services under the medical programs of the state including the Medicaid program.

(2) The investigation of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of residents in board and care facilities and patients in health care facilities which receive payments under the medical programs of the state.

(3) To cooperate with the federal government in all programs designed to detect and deter fraud and abuse in the medical programs of the state.

(4) To employ and train personnel to achieve the purposes of this article and to employ legal counsel, investigators, Auditors and clerical support personnel and such other personnel as are deemed necessary from time to time to accomplish the purposes herein.

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W. Va. Code § 9-7-2. Definitions.
For the purposes of this article:
(1) "Assistance" means money payments, medical care, transportation and other goods and services necessary for the health or welfare of individuals, including guidance, counseling and other welfare services and shall include all items of any nature contained within the definition of "welfare assistance" in section two, article one of this chapter.

(2) "Benefits" means money payments, goods, services, or any other thing of value.

(3) "Claim" means an application for payment for goods or services provided under the medical programs of the Department of Welfare.

(4) "Medicaid" means that assistance provided under a state plan implemented pursuant to the provisions of subchapter nineteen, chapter seven, Title 42, United States Code, as that chapter has been and may hereafter be amended.

(5) "Provider" means any individual or entity furnishing goods or services under the medical programs of the Department of Welfare.

(6) "Unit" means the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit established under section one of this article.
W. Va. Code § 9-7-2. Definitions.
For the purposes of this article:
(1) "Assistance" means money payments, medical care, transportation and other goods and services necessary for the health or welfare of individuals, including guidance, counseling and other welfare services and shall include all items of any nature contained within the definition of "welfare assistance" in section two, article one of this chapter.

(2) "Benefits" means money payments, goods, services, or any other thing of value.

(3) "Board and Care Facility" means a residential setting where two or more unrelated adults receive nursing services or personal care services.

(4) "Claim" means an application for payment for goods or services provided under the medical programs of the Department of Health and Human Resources.

(5) "Entity" means any corporation, association, partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity.

(6) "Financial Exploitation" means the intentional misappropriation or misuse of funds or assets of another.

(7) "Medicaid" means that assistance provided under a state plan implemented pursuant to the provisions of subchapter nineteen, chapter seven, Title 42, United States Code, as that chapter has been and may hereafter be amended.

(8) "Person" means any individual, corporation, association, partnership, proprietor, agent, assignee or entity.

(9) "Provider" means any individual or entity furnishing goods or services under the medical programs of the Department of Health and Human Resources.

(10) "Unit" means the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit established under section one of this article.

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W. Va. Code § 29-22B-1709. Criminal penalty for deceptive practices.
(a) A person who knowingly conducts, carries on, operates or exposes for play, or allows to be conducted, carried on, operated or exposed for play, any video lottery game, video lottery terminal, data line connection with the central control computer, or other device, equipment or material which has in any manner been tampered with or placed in a condition or operated in a manner the result of which tends to deceive the state lottery commission or tends to alter the accurate recording of credits played and credits won by the commission's central control computer, or the central control computer's ability to disable and cause not to operate any or all video lottery terminals of a licensed limited video lottery retailer, for the first offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a county or regional jail not more than one year and fined not more than five thousand dollars, except that, in the case of a person other than an individual, the amount of the fine imposed may be not more than fifty thousand dollars.
(b) A second and each subsequent offense under this section shall be a felony and, upon conviction thereof, the person shall be confined in a state correctional facility for at least one year but not more than five years, and fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, except that when the person is not an individual, the amount of the fine imposed may be not less than five thousand dollars nor more than fifty thousand dollars.
W. Va. Code § 29-22B-1709. Criminal penalty for deceptive practices.
(a) A person who knowingly conducts, carries on, operates or exposes for play, or allows to be conducted, carried on, operated or exposed for play, any video lottery game, video lottery terminal, data line connection with the central control computer, or other device, equipment or material which has in any manner been tampered with or placed in a condition or operated in a manner the result of which tends to deceive the state lottery commission or tends to alter the accurate recording of credits played and credits won by the commission's central control computer, or the central control computer's ability to disable and cause not to operate any or all video lottery terminals of a licensed limited video lottery retailer, for the first offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a county or regional jail not more than one year and fined not more than five thousand dollars, except that, in the case of a person other than an individual, the amount of the fine imposed may be not more than fifty thousand dollars.
(b) A second and each subsequent offense under this section shall be a felony and, upon conviction thereof, the person shall be confined in a state correctional facility for at least one year but not more than five years, and fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, except that when the person is not an individual, the amount of the fine imposed may be not less than five thousand dollars nor more than fifty thousand dollars.

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W. Va. Code § 31-17A-1. Purpose.The activities of mortgage loan originators and the origination or offering of financing for residential real property have a direct, valuable and immediate impact upon West Virginia's consumers, West Virginia's economy, the neighborhoods and communities of West Virginia and the housing and real estate industry. The Legislature finds that accessibility to mortgage credit is vital to the state's citizens. The Legislature also finds that it is essential for the protection of the citizens of West Virginia and the stability of West Virginia's economy that reasonable standards for licensing and regulation of the business practices of mortgage loan originators be imposed. The Legislature further finds that the obligations of mortgage loan originators to consumers in connection with originating or making residential mortgage loans are such as to warrant the regulation of the mortgage lending process. The purpose of this article is to protect consumers seeking mortgage loans and to ensure that the mortgage lending industry is operating without unfair, deceptive and fraudulent practices on the part of mortgage loan originators.W. Va. Code § 31-17A-1. Purpose.The activities of mortgage loan originators and the origination or offering of financing for residential real property have a direct, valuable and immediate impact upon West Virginia's consumers, West Virginia's economy, the neighborhoods and communities of West Virginia and the housing and real estate industry. The Legislature finds that accessibility to mortgage credit is vital to the state's citizens. The Legislature also finds that it is essential for the protection of the citizens of West Virginia and the stability of West Virginia's economy that reasonable standards for licensing and regulation of the business practices of mortgage loan originators be imposed. The Legislature further finds that the obligations of mortgage loan originators to consumers in connection with originating or making residential mortgage loans are such as to warrant the regulation of the mortgage lending process. The purpose of this article is to protect consumers seeking mortgage loans and to ensure that the mortgage lending industry is operating without unfair, deceptive and fraudulent practices on the part of mortgage loan originators.

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W. Va. Code § 31-17A-2. Definitions.
For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) "Depository institution" has the same meaning as in section three of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and includes any federally insured credit union; and,

(2) "Federal banking agencies" means the board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;

(3) "Immediate family member" means a spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings and adoptive relationships;

(4) "Individual" means a natural person; and,

(5) "Loan processor or underwriter" means an individual who performs clerical or support duties as an employee at the direction of and subject to the supervision and instruction of a person licensed or exempt from licensing under article seventeen of this chapter.

(A) For purposes of this subsection, "clerical or support duties" may include subsequent to the receipt of an application:

(i) The receipt, collection, distribution and analysis of information common for the processing or underwriting of a residential mortgage loan; and,

(ii) Communicating with a consumer to obtain the information necessary for the processing or underwriting of a loan, to the extent that such communication does not include offering or negotiating loan rates or terms, or counseling consumers about residential mortgage loan rates or terms; or

(B) An individual engaging solely in loan processor or underwriter activities shall not represent to the public, through advertising or other means of communicating or providing information, including the use of business cards, stationery, brochures, signs, rate lists or other promotional items, that such individual can or will perform any of the activities of a mortgage loan originator;

(6) "Mortgage loan originator" means an individual who for compensation or gain or in the expectation of compensation or gain takes a residential mortgage loan application or offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan and is sponsored by a mortgage lender, broker or regulated consumer lender licensed by the Division of Banking.

(A) "Mortgage loan originator" does not include:

(i) An individual engaged solely as a loan processor or underwriter except as otherwise provided in section three of this article;

(ii) A person or entity that only performs real estate brokerage activities and is licensed or registered in accordance with West Virginia law, unless the person or entity is compensated by a lender, a mortgage broker or other mortgage loan originator or by any agent of such lender, mortgage broker or other mortgage loan originator;

(iii) A person or entity solely involved in extensions of credit relating to timeshare plans, as that term is defined in Section 101(53D) of Title 11, United States Code; and

(iv) A manufactured or modular home retailer employee who performs purely administrative or clerical tasks and who receives only the customary salary or commission from the employer in connection with the sales transaction;

(7) "Real estate brokerage activity" means any activity that involves offering or providing real estate brokerage services to the public, including:

(A) Acting as a real estate agent or real estate broker for a buyer, seller, lessor or lessee of real property;

(B) Bringing together parties interested in the sale, purchase, lease, rental or exchange of real property;

(C) Negotiating, on behalf of any party, any portion of a contract relating to the sale, purchase, lease, rental or exchange of real property other than in connection with providing financing with respect to any such transaction;

(D) Engaging in any activity for which a person engaged in the activity is required to be registered or licensed as a real estate agent or real estate broker under any applicable law; and

(E) Offering to engage in any activity, or act in any capacity, described in subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) of this section;

(8) "Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry" means a mortgage licensing system developed and maintained by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators for the licensing and registration of mortgage brokers and lenders licensed pursuant to article seventeen of this chapter and mortgage loan originators licensed pursuant to this article;

(9) "Nontraditional mortgage product" means any mortgage product other than a fixed rate mortgage;

(10) "Person" means a natural person, corporation, company, limited liability company, partnership or association;

(11) "Registered mortgage loan originator" means any individual who:

(A) Meets the definition of mortgage loan originator and is an employee of:

(i) A depository institution;

(ii) A subsidiary that is:

(1) Owned and controlled by a depository institution; and

(2) Regulated by a federal banking agency; or

(iii) An institution regulated by the Farm Credit Administration; and

(B) Is registered with, and maintains a unique identifier through, the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry;

(12) "Residential mortgage loan" means any loan primarily for personal, family or household use that is secured by a mortgage, deed of trust or other equivalent consensual security interest on a dwelling as defined in Section 103(v) of the Truth in Lending Act or residential real estate upon which is constructed or intended to be constructed a dwelling;

(13) "Residential real estate" means any real property located in West Virginia, upon which is constructed or intended to be constructed a dwelling; and

(14) "Unique identifier" means a number or other identifier assigned by protocols established by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.
W. Va. Code § 31-17A-2. Definitions.
As used in this article:
(a) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Banking of this state;

(b) "Depository institution" has the same meaning as in section three of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and includes any federally insured credit union; and,

(c) "Division" means the West Virginia Division of Banking;

(d) "Federal banking agencies" means the board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;

(e) "Immediate family member" means a spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent or grandchild. This includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings and adoptive relationships;

(f) "Individual" means a natural person; and,

(g) "Loan processor or underwriter" means an individual who performs clerical or support duties as an employee at the direction of and subject to the supervision and instruction of a person licensed or exempt from licensing under article seventeen of this chapter.

(1) For purposes of this paragraph, "clerical or support duties" may include subsequent to the receipt of an application:

(A) The receipt, collection, distribution and analysis of information common for the processing or underwriting of a residential mortgage loan; and,

(B) Communicating with a consumer to obtain the information necessary for the processing or underwriting of a loan, to the extent that such communication does not include offering or negotiating loan rates or terms, or counseling consumers about residential mortgage loan rates or terms; or

(2) An individual engaging solely in loan processor or underwriter activities shall not represent to the public, through advertising or other means of communicating or providing information, including the use of business cards, stationery, brochures, signs, rate lists or other promotional items, that such individual can or will perform any of the activities of a mortgage loan originator;

(h) "Mortgage loan originator" means an individual who for compensation or gain or in the expectation of compensation or gain takes a residential mortgage loan application or offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan and is sponsored by a mortgage lender, broker or regulated consumer lender licensed by the Division of Banking.

"Mortgage loan originator" does not include:

(1) An individual engaged solely as a loan processor or underwriter except as otherwise provided in section three of this article;

(2) A person or entity that only performs real estate brokerage activities and is licensed or registered in accordance with West Virginia law, unless the person or entity is compensated by a lender, a mortgage broker or other mortgage loan originator or by any agent of such lender, mortgage broker or other mortgage loan originator;

(3) A person or entity solely involved in extensions of credit relating to timeshare plans, as that term is defined in Section 101(53D) of Title 11, United States Code; or

(4) A manufactured or modular home retailer employee who performs purely administrative or clerical tasks and who receives only the customary salary or commission from the employer in connection with the sales transaction;

(i) "Real estate brokerage activity" means any activity that involves offering or providing real estate brokerage services to the public, including:

(1) Acting as a real estate salesperson or real estate broker for a buyer, seller, lessor or lessee of real property;

(2) Bringing together parties interested in the sale, purchase, lease, rental or exchange of real property;

(3) Negotiating, on behalf of any party, any portion of a contract relating to the sale, purchase, lease, rental or exchange of real property other than in connection with providing financing with respect to any such transaction;

(4) Engaging in any activity for which a person engaged in the activity is required to be registered or licensed as a real estate agent or real estate broker under any applicable law; and

(5) Offering to engage in any activity, or act in any capacity, described in subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) of this section;

(j) "Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry" means a mortgage licensing system developed and maintained by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators for the licensing and registration of mortgage brokers and lenders licensed pursuant to article seventeen of this chapter and mortgage loan originators licensed pursuant to this article;

(k) "Nontraditional mortgage product" means any mortgage product other than a fixed rate mortgage;

(l) "Person" means a natural person, corporation, company, limited liability company, partnership or association;

(m) "Registered mortgage loan originator" means any individual who:

(1) Meets the definition of mortgage loan originator and is an employee of:

(A) A depository institution;

(B) A subsidiary that is:

(i) Owned and controlled by a depository institution; and

(ii) Regulated by a federal banking agency; or

(C) An institution regulated by the Farm Credit Administration; and

(2) Is registered with, and maintains a unique identifier through, the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry;

(n) "Residential mortgage loan" means any loan primarily for personal, family or household use that is secured by a mortgage, deed of trust or other equivalent consensual security interest on a dwelling as defined in Section 103(v) of the Truth in Lending Act or residential real estate upon which is constructed or intended to be constructed a dwelling;

(o) "Residential real estate" means any real property located in West Virginia, upon which is constructed or intended to be constructed a dwelling; and

(p) "Unique identifier" means a number or other identifier assigned by protocols established by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

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W. Va. Code § 31-17A-16. Prohibited acts and practices.
It is a violation of this article for a person or individual subject to this article to:
(1) Directly or indirectly employ any scheme, device or artifice to defraud or mislead borrowers or lenders or to defraud any person.

(2) Engage in any unfair or deceptive practice toward any person.

(3) Obtain property by fraud or misrepresentation.

(4) Solicit or enter into a contract with a borrower that provides in substance that the person or individual subject to this article may earn a fee or commission through "best efforts" to obtain a loan even though no loan is actually obtained for the borrower.

(5) Solicit, advertise or enter into a contract for specific interest rates, points, or other financing terms unless the terms are actually available at the time of soliciting, advertising or contracting.

(6) Conduct any business covered by this article without holding a valid license as required under this article, or assist or aide and abet any person in the conduct of business under this article without a valid license as required under this article.

(7) Fail to make disclosures as required by this article and any other applicable state or federal law including rules and regulations thereunder.

(8) Fail to comply with this article or rules promulgated under this article, or fail to comply with any other state or federal law, including the rules and regulations thereunder, applicable to any business authorized or conducted under this article.

(9) Make, in any manner, any false or deceptive statement or representation with regard to the rates, points or other financing terms or conditions for a residential mortgage loan, or engage in bait and switch advertising.

(10) Negligently make any false statement or knowingly and willfully make any omission of material fact in connection with any information or reports filed with a governmental agency or the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry or in connection with any investigation conducted by the commissioner or another governmental agency.

(11) Make any payment, threat or promise, directly or indirectly, to any person for the purposes of influencing the independent judgment of the person in connection with a residential mortgage loan, or make any payment threat or promise, directly or indirectly, to any appraiser of a property for the purposes of influencing the independent judgment of the appraiser with respect to the value of the property.

(12) Collect, charge, attempt to collect or charge or use or propose any agreement purporting to collect or charge any fee prohibited by this article.

(13) Cause or require a borrower to obtain property insurance coverage in an amount that exceeds the replacement cost of the improvements as established by the property insurer.

(14) Fail to truthfully account for moneys belonging to a party to a residential mortgage loan transaction.
W. Va. Code § 31-17A-16. Prohibited acts and practices.
It is a violation of this article for a person or individual subject to this article to:
(1) Directly or indirectly employ any scheme, device or artifice to defraud or mislead borrowers or lenders or to defraud any person.

(2) Engage in any unfair or deceptive practice toward any person.

(3) Obtain property by fraud or misrepresentation.

(4) Solicit or enter into a contract with a borrower that provides in substance that the person or individual subject to this article may earn a fee or commission through "best efforts" to obtain a loan even though no loan is actually obtained for the borrower.

(5) Solicit, advertise or enter into a contract for specific interest rates, points, or other financing terms unless the terms are actually available at the time of soliciting, advertising or contracting.

(6) Conduct any business covered by this article without holding a valid license as required under this article, or assist or aide and abet any person in the conduct of business under this article without a valid license as required under this article.

(7) Fail to make disclosures as required by this article and any other applicable state or federal law including rules and regulations thereunder.

(8) Fail to comply with this article or rules promulgated under this article, or fail to comply with any other state or federal law, including the rules and regulations thereunder, applicable to any business authorized or conducted under this article.

(9) Make, in any manner, any false or deceptive statement or representation with regard to the rates, points or other financing terms or conditions for a residential mortgage loan, or engage in bait and switch advertising.

(10) Negligently make any false statement or knowingly and willfully make any omission of material fact in connection with any information or reports filed with a governmental agency or the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry or in connection with any investigation conducted by the commissioner or another governmental agency.

(11) Make any payment, threat or promise, directly or indirectly, to any person for the purposes of influencing the independent judgment of the person in connection with a residential mortgage loan, or make any payment threat or promise, directly or indirectly, to any appraiser of a property for the purposes of influencing the independent judgment of the appraiser with respect to the value of the property.

(12) Collect, charge, attempt to collect or charge or use or propose any agreement purporting to collect or charge any fee prohibited by this article.

(13) Cause or require a borrower to obtain property insurance coverage in an amount that exceeds the replacement cost of the improvements as established by the property insurer.

(14) Fail to truthfully account for moneys belonging to a party to a residential mortgage loan transaction.

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W. Va. Code § 32-1-101. Sales and purchases.
It is unlawful for any person, in connection with the offer, sale or purchase of any security, directly or indirectly
(1) To employ any device, scheme or artifice to defraud;

(2) To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they are made, not misleading; or

(3) To engage in any act, practice or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person.
W. Va. Code § 32-1-101. Sales and purchases.
It is unlawful for any person, in connection with the offer, sale or purchase of any security, directly or indirectly
(1) To employ any device, scheme or artifice to defraud;

(2) To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they are made, not misleading; or

(3) To engage in any act, practice or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person.

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W. Va. Code § 32-1-102. Advisory avtivities.
(a) It is unlawful for any person who receives any consideration from another person primarily for advising the other person as to the value of securities or their purchase or sale, whether through the issuance of analyses or reports or otherwise,
(1) To employ any device, scheme or artifice to defraud the other person; or

(2) To engage in any act, practice or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon the other person.

(b) It is unlawful for any investment adviser to enter into, extend or renew any investment advisory contract unless it provides in writing

(1) That the investment adviser shall not be compensated on the basis of a share of capital gains upon or capital appreciation of the funds or any portion of the funds of the client;

(2) That no assignment of the contract may be made by the investment adviser without the consent of the other party to the contract; and

(3) That the investment adviser, if a partnership, shall notify the other party to the contract of any change in the membership of the partnership within a reasonable time after the change.

Subdivision (1) of this subsection does not prohibit an investment advisory contract which provides for compensation based upon the total value of a fund averaged over a definite period, or as of definite dates or taken as of a definite date. "Assignment," as used in subdivision (2) of this subsection includes any direct or indirect transfer or hypothecation of an investment advisory contract by the assignor or of a controlling block of the assignor's outstanding voting securities by a security holder of the assignor; but, if the investment adviser is a partnership, no assignment of an investment advisory contract is considered to result from the death or withdrawal of a minority of the members of the investment adviser having only a minority interest in the business of the investment adviser, or from the admission to the investment adviser of one or more members who, after admission, will be only a minority of the members and will have only a minority interest in the business.

(c) It is unlawful for any investment adviser to take or have custody of any securities or funds of any client if

(1) The commissioner by rule prohibits custody; or

(2) In the absence of rule, the investment adviser fails to notify the commissioner that he has or may have custody.
W. Va. Code § 32-1-102. Advisory avtivities.
(a) It is unlawful for any person who receives any consideration from another person primarily for advising the other person as to the value of securities or their purchase or sale, whether through the issuance of analyses or reports or otherwise,
(1) To employ any device, scheme or artifice to defraud the other person; or

(2) To engage in any act, practice or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon the other person.

(b) It is unlawful for any investment adviser to enter into, extend or renew any investment advisory contract unless it provides in writing

(1) That the investment adviser shall not be compensated on the basis of a share of capital gains upon or capital appreciation of the funds or any portion of the funds of the client;

(2) That no assignment of the contract may be made by the investment adviser without the consent of the other party to the contract; and

(3) That the investment adviser, if a partnership, shall notify the other party to the contract of any change in the membership of the partnership within a reasonable time after the change.

Subdivision (1) of this subsection does not prohibit an investment advisory contract which provides for compensation based upon the total value of a fund averaged over a definite period, or as of definite dates or taken as of a definite date. "Assignment," as used in subdivision (2) of this subsection includes any direct or indirect transfer or hypothecation of an investment advisory contract by the assignor or of a controlling block of the assignor's outstanding voting securities by a security holder of the assignor; but, if the investment adviser is a partnership, no assignment of an investment advisory contract is considered to result from the death or withdrawal of a minority of the members of the investment adviser having only a minority interest in the business of the investment adviser, or from the admission to the investment adviser of one or more members who, after admission, will be only a minority of the members and will have only a minority interest in the business.

(c) It is unlawful for any investment adviser to take or have custody of any securities or funds of any client if

(1) The commissioner by rule prohibits custody; or

(2) In the absence of rule, the investment adviser fails to notify the commissioner that he has or may have custody.

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W. Va. Code § 32-2-201. Registration requirement.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to transact business in this state as a broker-dealer or agent unless he or she is registered under this chapter.
(b) It is unlawful for any broker-dealer or issuer to employ an agent unless the agent is registered. The registration of an agent is not effective during any period when he or she is not associated with a particular broker-dealer registered under this chapter or a particular issuer. When an agent begins or terminates a connection with a broker-dealer or issuer, or begins or terminates those activities which make him or her an agent, the agent as well as the broker-dealer or issuer shall promptly notify the commissioner.

(c) It is unlawful for any person to transact business in this state as an investment adviser unless: (1) He or she is so registered under this chapter; (2) he or she is a federal-covered adviser except that, until the tenth day of October, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, a federal-covered adviser for which a nonpayment or underpayment of a fee has not been promptly remedied following written notification to the adviser of such nonpayment or underpayment shall be required to register under this article; or (3) he or she has no place of business in this state and: (A) His or her only clients in this state are investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, other investment advisers, federal-covered advisers, broker-dealers, banks, trust companies, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, employee benefit plans with assets of not less than one million dollars and governmental agencies or instrumentalities, whether acting for themselves or as trustees with investment control, or other institutional investors as are designated by rule or order of the commissioner; or (B) during any period of twelve consecutive months he or she does not have more than five clients who are residents of this state, other than those specified in this subsection, whether or not he or she or any of the clients who are residents of this state is then present in the state.

(d) Every registration or notice filing expires one year from its effective date unless renewed. The commissioner by rule or order may prepare an initial schedule for renewals of registrations or notice filings so that subsequent renewals of registrations or notice filings effective on the effective date of this chapter may be staggered by calendar months. For this purpose the commissioner by rule may reduce the registration or notice filing fee proportionately.

(e) It is unlawful for any:

(1) Person required to be registered as an investment adviser under this article to employ an investment adviser representative unless the investment adviser representative is registered under this article: Provided, That the registration of an investment adviser representative is not effective during any period when he or she is not employed by an investment adviser registered under this article; or

(2) Federal-covered adviser to employ, supervise or associate with an investment adviser representative having a place of business located in this state, unless such investment adviser representative is registered under this article or is exempt from registration. When an investment adviser representative begins or terminates employment with an investment adviser, the investment adviser (in the case of 401 (g)), or the investment adviser representative (in the case of 401 (f)), shall promptly notify the commissioner.

(f) Except with respect to advisers whose only clients are those described in subdivision (3), subsection (c) of this section, it is unlawful for any federal-covered adviser to conduct advisory business in this state unless such person complies with the provisions of subsection (b), section two hundred two of this article.

(g) An applicant must be registered or qualified in the securities business in the state of the applicant's principal place of business. The commissioner may waive this requirement upon a finding that the applicant is registered with the securities and exchange commission or any other national securities exchange or national securities association registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. A request to waive this requirement must be made upon written application to the commissioner which includes documentation upon which the applicant relies in requesting the waiver.
W. Va. Code § 32-2-201. Registration requirement.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to transact business in this state as a broker-dealer or agent unless he or she is registered under this chapter.
(b) It is unlawful for any broker-dealer or issuer to employ an agent unless the agent is registered. The registration of an agent is not effective during any period when he or she is not associated with a particular broker-dealer registered under this chapter or a particular issuer. When an agent begins or terminates a connection with a broker-dealer or issuer, or begins or terminates those activities which make him or her an agent, the agent as well as the broker-dealer or issuer shall promptly notify the commissioner.

(c) It is unlawful for any person to transact business in this state as an investment adviser unless: (1) He or she is so registered under this chapter; (2) he or she is a federal-covered adviser except that, until the tenth day of October, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, a federal-covered adviser for which a nonpayment or underpayment of a fee has not been promptly remedied following written notification to the adviser of such nonpayment or underpayment shall be required to register under this article; or (3) he or she has no place of business in this state and: (A) His or her only clients in this state are investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, other investment advisers, federal-covered advisers, broker-dealers, banks, trust companies, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, employee benefit plans with assets of not less than one million dollars and governmental agencies or instrumentalities, whether acting for themselves or as trustees with investment control, or other institutional investors as are designated by rule or order of the commissioner; or (B) during any period of twelve consecutive months he or she does not have more than five clients who are residents of this state, other than those specified in this subsection, whether or not he or she or any of the clients who are residents of this state is then present in the state.

(d) Every registration or notice filing expires one year from its effective date unless renewed. The commissioner by rule or order may prepare an initial schedule for renewals of registrations or notice filings so that subsequent renewals of registrations or notice filings effective on the effective date of this chapter may be staggered by calendar months. For this purpose the commissioner by rule may reduce the registration or notice filing fee proportionately.

(e) It is unlawful for any:

(1) Person required to be registered as an investment adviser under this article to employ an investment adviser representative unless the investment adviser representative is registered under this article: Provided, That the registration of an investment adviser representative is not effective during any period when he or she is not employed by an investment adviser registered under this article; or

(2) Federal-covered adviser to employ, supervise or associate with an investment adviser representative having a place of business located in this state, unless such investment adviser representative is registered under this article or is exempt from registration. When an investment adviser representative begins or terminates employment with an investment adviser, the investment adviser (in the case of 401 (g)), or the investment adviser representative (in the case of 401 (f)), shall promptly notify the commissioner.

(f) Except with respect to advisers whose only clients are those described in subdivision (3), subsection (c) of this section, it is unlawful for any federal-covered adviser to conduct advisory business in this state unless such person complies with the provisions of subsection (b), section two hundred two of this article.

(g) An applicant must be registered or qualified in the securities business in the state of the applicant's principal place of business. The commissioner may waive this requirement upon a finding that the applicant is registered with the securities and exchange commission or any other national securities exchange or national securities association registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. A request to waive this requirement must be made upon written application to the commissioner which includes documentation upon which the applicant relies in requesting the waiver.

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W. Va. Code § 32-2-203. Post-registration provisions.
(a) Every registered broker-dealer and investment adviser shall make and keep such accounts, correspondence, memoranda, papers, books and other records as the commissioner prescribes by rule or order, except as provided by section fifteen of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (in the case of a broker-dealer) and section 222 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (in the case of an investment adviser). All records so required, with respect to an investment adviser, shall be preserved for three years unless the commissioner prescribes by rule or order otherwise for particular types of records.
(b) With respect to investment advisers, the commissioner may require that certain information be furnished or disseminated as necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors and advisory clients. To the extent determined by the commissioner, in his or her discretion, information furnished to clients or prospective clients of an investment adviser that would be in compliance with the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the rules thereunder may be used in whole or partial satisfaction of this requirement.

(c) Every registered broker-dealer and investment advisor shall file such financial reports as the commissioner may prescribe by rule or order, except as provided by section fifteen of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (in the case of a broker-dealer) and section 222 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (in the caseof an investment adviser).

(d) If the information contained in any document filed with the commissioner is or becomes inaccurate or incomplete in any material respect, the registrant or federal covered adviser shall promptly file a correcting amendment with the commissioner.

(e) All the records referred to in subsection (a) of this section are subject at any time or from time to time to such reasonable periodic, special or other examinations by representatives of the commissioner, within or without this state, as the commissioner deems necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors. For the purpose of avoiding unnecessary duplication of examinations, the commissioner, insofar as he or she deems it practicable in administering this subsection, may cooperate with the securities administrators of other states, the securities and exchange commission, and any national securities exchange or national securities association registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
W. Va. Code § 32-2-203. Post-registration provisions.
(a) Every registered broker-dealer and investment adviser shall make and keep such accounts, correspondence, memoranda, papers, books and other records as the commissioner prescribes by rule or order, except as provided by section fifteen of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (in the case of a broker-dealer) and section 222 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (in the case of an investment adviser). All records so required, with respect to an investment adviser, shall be preserved for three years unless the commissioner prescribes by rule or order otherwise for particular types of records.
(b) With respect to investment advisers, the commissioner may require that certain information be furnished or disseminated as necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors and advisory clients. To the extent determined by the commissioner, in his or her discretion, information furnished to clients or prospective clients of an investment adviser that would be in compliance with the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the rules thereunder may be used in whole or partial satisfaction of this requirement.

(c) Every registered broker-dealer and investment advisor shall file such financial reports as the commissioner may prescribe by rule or order, except as provided by section fifteen of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (in the case of a broker-dealer) and section 222 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (in the caseof an investment adviser).

(d) If the information contained in any document filed with the commissioner is or becomes inaccurate or incomplete in any material respect, the registrant or federal covered adviser shall promptly file a correcting amendment with the commissioner.

(e) All the records referred to in subsection (a) of this section are subject at any time or from time to time to such reasonable periodic, special or other examinations by representatives of the commissioner, within or without this state, as the commissioner deems necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors. For the purpose of avoiding unnecessary duplication of examinations, the commissioner, insofar as he or she deems it practicable in administering this subsection, may cooperate with the securities administrators of other states, the securities and exchange commission, and any national securities exchange or national securities association registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

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W. Va. Code § 32-4-401. Definitions.
When used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Commissioner" means the auditor of the state of West Virginia.

(b) "Agent" means any individual other than a broker-dealer who represents a broker-dealer or issuer in effecting or attempting to effect purchases or sales of securities. "Agent" does not include an individual who represents an issuer in: (1) Effecting transactions in a security exempted by subdivision (1), (2), (3), (10) or (11), subsection (a), section four hundred two of this article; (2) effecting transactions exempted by subsection (b), section four hundred two of this article; (3) effecting transactions in a covered security as described in section 18(b)(3) and section 18(b)(4)(d) of the Securities Act of 1933; (4) effecting transactions with existing employees, partners or directors of the issuer if no commission or other remuneration is paid or given, directly or indirectly, for soliciting any person in this state; or (5) effecting transactions in this state limited to those transactions described in section 15(h)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. A partner, officer or director of a broker-dealer or issuer, or a person occupying a similar status or performing similar functions, is an agent only if he or she otherwise comes within this definition.

(c) "Broker-dealer" means any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the account of others or for his or her own account. "Broker-dealer" does not include: (1) An agent; (2) an issuer; (3) a bank, savings institution or trust company; or (4) a person who has no place of business in this state if: (A) He or she effects transactions in this state exclusively with or through: (i) The issuers of the securities involved in the transactions; (ii) other broker-dealers; or (iii) banks, savings institutions, trust companies, insurance companies, investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, pension or profit-sharing trusts or other financial institutions or institutional buyers, whether acting for themselves or as trustees; or (B) during any period of twelve consecutive months he or she does not direct more than fifteen offers to sell or buy into this state in any manner to persons other than those specified in subparagraph (A), paragraph (4) of this subdivision, whether or not the offeror or any of the offerees is then present in this state.

(d) "Fraud", "deceit" and "defraud" are not limited to common-law deceit.

(e) "Guaranteed" means guaranteed as to payment of principal, interest or dividends.

(f) "Federal-covered adviser" means a person who is: (1) Registered under section 203 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or (2) is excluded from the definition of "investment advisor" under section two hundred two-a (11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

(g) "Investment adviser" means any person who, for compensation, engages in the business of advising others, either directly or through publications or writings, as to the value of securities or as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities or who, for compensation and as a part of a regular business, issues or promulgates analyses or reports concerning securities. "Investment adviser" also includes financial planners and other persons who, as an integral component of other financially related services, provide the foregoing investment advisory services to others for compensation and as part of a business or who hold themselves out as providing the foregoing investment advisory services to others for compensation. "Investment adviser" does not include: (1) A bank, savings institution or trust company; (2) a lawyer, accountant, engineer or teacher whose performance of those services is solely incidental to the practice of his or her profession; (3) a broker-dealer whose performance of these services is solely incidental to the conduct of his or her business as a broker-dealer and who receives no special compensation for them; (4) a publisher, employee or columnist of a newspaper, news magazine or business or financial publication or an owner, operator, producer or employee of a cable, radio or television network, station or production facility if, in either case, the financial or business news published or disseminated is made available to the general public and the content does not consist of rendering advice on the basis of the specific investment situation of each client; (5) a person whose advice, analyses or reports relate only to securities exempted by subdivision (1), subsection (a), section four hundred two of this article; (6) a person who has no place of business in this state if: (A) His or her only clients in this state are other investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks, savings institutions, trust companies, insurance companies, investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, pension or profit-sharing trusts or other financial institutions or institutional buyers, whether acting for themselves or as trustees; or (B) during any period of twelve consecutive months he or she does not have more than five clients who are residents of this state other than those specified in subparagraph (A), paragraph (6), of this subdivision, whether or not he or she or any of the persons to whom the communications are directed is then present in this state; (7) an investment adviser representative; (8) a "federal-covered adviser"; or (9) such other persons not within the intent of this paragraph as the commissioner may by rule or order designate.

(h) "Investment adviser representative" means any partner, officer, director of or a person occupying a similar status or performing similar functions or other individual, except clerical or ministerial personnel, who is employed by or associated with an investment adviser that is registered or required to be registered under this chapter or who has a place of business located in this state and is employed by or associated with a federal-covered adviser; and including clerical or ministerial personnel, who does any of the following: (1) Makes any recommendations or otherwise renders advice regarding securities; (2) manages accounts or portfolios of clients; (3) determines which recommendation or advice regarding securities should be given; (4) solicits, offers or negotiates for the sale of or sells investment advisory services unless the person is registered as an agent pursuant to this article; or (5) supervises employees who perform any of the foregoing unless the person is registered as an agent pursuant to this article.

(i) "Issuer" means any person who issues or proposes to issue any security, except that: (1) With respect to certificates of deposit, voting-trust certificates or collateral-trust certificates or with respect to certificates of interest or shares in an unincorporated investment trust not having a board of directors or persons performing similar functions or of the fixed, restricted management or unit type, the term "issuer" means the person or persons performing the acts and assuming the duties of depositor or manager pursuant to the provisions of the trust or other agreement or instrument under which the security is issued; and (2) with respect to certificates of interest or participation in oil, gas or mining titles or leases or in payments out of production under such titles or leases, there is not considered to be any "issuer".

(j) "Nonissuer" means not, directly or indirectly, for the benefit of the issuer.

(k) "Person" means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, an association, a joint-stock company, a trust where the interests of the beneficiaries are evidenced by a security, an unincorporated organization, a government or a political subdivision of a government.

(l) (1) "Sale" or "sell" includes every contract of sale of, contract to sell, or disposition of a security or interest in a security for value;

(2) "Offer" or "offer to sell" includes every attempt or offer to dispose of, or solicitation of an offer to buy, a security or interest in a security for value;

(3) Any security given or delivered with, or as a bonus on account of, any purchase of securities or any other thing is considered to constitute part of the subject of the purchase and to have been offered and sold for value;

(4) A purported gift of assessable stock is considered to involve an offer and sale;

(5) Every sale or offer of a warrant or right to purchase or subscribe to another security of the same or another issuer, as well as every sale or offer of a security which gives the holder a present or future right or privilege to convert into another security of the same or another issuer, is considered to include an offer of the other security;

(6) The terms defined in this subdivision do not include: (A) Any bona fide pledge or loan; (B) any stock dividend, whether the corporation distributing the dividend is the issuer of the stock or not, if nothing of value is given by stockholders for the dividend other than the surrender of a right to a cash or property dividend when each stockholder may elect to take the dividend in cash or property or in stock; (C) any act incident to a class vote by stockholders, pursuant to the certificate of incorporation or the applicable corporation statute, on a merger, consolidation, reclassification of securities or sale of corporate assets in consideration of the issuance of securities of another corporation; or (D) any act incident to a judicially approved reorganization in which a security is issued in exchange for one or more outstanding securities, claims or property interests, or partly in such exchange and partly for cash.

(m) "Securities Act of 1933", "Securities Exchange Act of 1934", "Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935" and "Investment Company Act of 1940" mean the federal statutes of those names as amended before the effective date of this chapter. The National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996 ("NSMIA") means the federal statute which makes certain amendments to the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

(n) "Security" means any note; stock; treasury stock; bond; debenture; evidence of indebtedness; certificate of interest or participation in any profit-sharing agreement; collateral-trust certificate; preorganization certificate or subscription; transferable share; investment contract; voting-trust certificate; certificate of deposit for a security; viatical settlement contract; certificate of interest or participation in an oil, gas or mining title or lease or in payments out of production under such a title or lease; or, in general, any interest or instrument commonly known as a "security" or any certificate of interest or participation in, temporary or interim certificate for, receipt for, guarantee of or warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase any of the foregoing. "Security" does not include any insurance or endowment policy or annuity contract under which an insurance company promises to pay money either in a lump sum or periodically for life or some other specified period: Provided, That "security" does include insurance or endowment policies or annuity contracts that are viatical settlement contracts or agreements for the purchase, sale, assignment, transfer, devise or bequest of any portion of a death benefit or ownership of a life insurance policy or certificate that is less than the expected death benefit of the life insurance policy or certificate.

(o) "Federal-covered security" means any security that is a covered security under section 18(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended by the National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996, or rules promulgated thereunder.

(p) "State" means any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

(q) "Branch office" means any location other than the main office, identified to the public, customers or clients as a location where a broker-dealer or investment adviser or federal-covered adviser conducts a securities or investment adviser business. Branch office does not include:

(1) A location identified solely in a telephone directory line listing or on a business card or letterhead if: (A) The listing, card or letterhead also includes the address and telephone number of the broker-dealer or investment adviser or federal covered adviser where the individuals conducting business from the location are directly supervised; and (B) no more than one agent or investment adviser representative transacts business on behalf of the broker-dealer or investment adviser or federal-covered adviser from an identified location; or

(2) Any other location as the commissioner may determine.
W. Va. Code § 32-4-401. Definitions.
When used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Commissioner" means the auditor of the state of West Virginia.

(b) "Agent" means any individual other than a broker-dealer who represents a broker-dealer or issuer in effecting or attempting to effect purchases or sales of securities. "Agent" does not include an individual who represents an issuer in: (1) Effecting transactions in a security exempted by subdivision (1), (2), (3), (10) or (11), subsection (a), section four hundred two of this article; (2) effecting transactions exempted by subsection (b), section four hundred two of this article; (3) effecting transactions in a covered security as described in section 18(b)(3) and section 18(b)(4)(d) of the Securities Act of 1933; (4) effecting transactions with existing employees, partners or directors of the issuer if no commission or other remuneration is paid or given, directly or indirectly, for soliciting any person in this state; or (5) effecting transactions in this state limited to those transactions described in section 15(h)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. A partner, officer or director of a broker-dealer or issuer, or a person occupying a similar status or performing similar functions, is an agent only if he or she otherwise comes within this definition.

(c) "Broker-dealer" means any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the account of others or for his or her own account. "Broker-dealer" does not include: (1) An agent; (2) an issuer; (3) a bank, savings institution or trust company; or (4) a person who has no place of business in this state if: (A) He or she effects transactions in this state exclusively with or through: (i) The issuers of the securities involved in the transactions; (ii) other broker-dealers; or (iii) banks, savings institutions, trust companies, insurance companies, investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, pension or profit-sharing trusts or other financial institutions or institutional buyers, whether acting for themselves or as trustees; or (B) during any period of twelve consecutive months he or she does not direct more than fifteen offers to sell or buy into this state in any manner to persons other than those specified in subparagraph (A), paragraph (4) of this subdivision, whether or not the offeror or any of the offerees is then present in this state.

(d) "Fraud", "deceit" and "defraud" are not limited to common-law deceit.

(e) "Guaranteed" means guaranteed as to payment of principal, interest or dividends.

(f) "Federal-covered adviser" means a person who is: (1) Registered under section 203 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or (2) is excluded from the definition of "investment advisor" under section two hundred two-a (11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

(g) "Investment adviser" means any person who, for compensation, engages in the business of advising others, either directly or through publications or writings, as to the value of securities or as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities or who, for compensation and as a part of a regular business, issues or promulgates analyses or reports concerning securities. "Investment adviser" also includes financial planners and other persons who, as an integral component of other financially related services, provide the foregoing investment advisory services to others for compensation and as part of a business or who hold themselves out as providing the foregoing investment advisory services to others for compensation. "Investment adviser" does not include: (1) A bank, savings institution or trust company; (2) a lawyer, accountant, engineer or teacher whose performance of those services is solely incidental to the practice of his or her profession; (3) a broker-dealer whose performance of these services is solely incidental to the conduct of his or her business as a broker-dealer and who receives no special compensation for them; (4) a publisher, employee or columnist of a newspaper, news magazine or business or financial publication or an owner, operator, producer or employee of a cable, radio or television network, station or production facility if, in either case, the financial or business news published or disseminated is made available to the general public and the content does not consist of rendering advice on the basis of the specific investment situation of each client; (5) a person whose advice, analyses or reports relate only to securities exempted by subdivision (1), subsection (a), section four hundred two of this article; (6) a person who has no place of business in this state if: (A) His or her only clients in this state are other investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks, savings institutions, trust companies, insurance companies, investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, pension or profit-sharing trusts or other financial institutions or institutional buyers, whether acting for themselves or as trustees; or (B) during any period of twelve consecutive months he or she does not have more than five clients who are residents of this state other than those specified in subparagraph (A), paragraph (6), of this subdivision, whether or not he or she or any of the persons to whom the communications are directed is then present in this state; (7) an investment adviser representative; (8) a "federal-covered adviser"; or (9) such other persons not within the intent of this paragraph as the commissioner may by rule or order designate.

(h) "Investment adviser representative" means any partner, officer, director of or a person occupying a similar status or performing similar functions or other individual, except clerical or ministerial personnel, who is employed by or associated with an investment adviser that is registered or required to be registered under this chapter or who has a place of business located in this state and is employed by or associated with a federal-covered adviser; and including clerical or ministerial personnel, who does any of the following: (1) Makes any recommendations or otherwise renders advice regarding securities; (2) manages accounts or portfolios of clients; (3) determines which recommendation or advice regarding securities should be given; (4) solicits, offers or negotiates for the sale of or sells investment advisory services unless the person is registered as an agent pursuant to this article; or (5) supervises employees who perform any of the foregoing unless the person is registered as an agent pursuant to this article.

(i) "Issuer" means any person who issues or proposes to issue any security, except that: (1) With respect to certificates of deposit, voting-trust certificates or collateral-trust certificates or with respect to certificates of interest or shares in an unincorporated investment trust not having a board of directors or persons performing similar functions or of the fixed, restricted management or unit type, the term "issuer" means the person or persons performing the acts and assuming the duties of depositor or manager pursuant to the provisions of the trust or other agreement or instrument under which the security is issued; and (2) with respect to certificates of interest or participation in oil, gas or mining titles or leases or in payments out of production under such titles or leases, there is not considered to be any "issuer".

(j) "Nonissuer" means not, directly or indirectly, for the benefit of the issuer.

(k) "Person" means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, an association, a joint-stock company, a trust where the interests of the beneficiaries are evidenced by a security, an unincorporated organization, a government or a political subdivision of a government.

(l) (1) "Sale" or "sell" includes every contract of sale of, contract to sell, or disposition of a security or interest in a security for value;

(2) "Offer" or "offer to sell" includes every attempt or offer to dispose of, or solicitation of an offer to buy, a security or interest in a security for value;

(3) Any security given or delivered with, or as a bonus on account of, any purchase of securities or any other thing is considered to constitute part of the subject of the purchase and to have been offered and sold for value;

(4) A purported gift of assessable stock is considered to involve an offer and sale;

(5) Every sale or offer of a warrant or right to purchase or subscribe to another security of the same or another issuer, as well as every sale or offer of a security which gives the holder a present or future right or privilege to convert into another security of the same or another issuer, is considered to include an offer of the other security;

(6) The terms defined in this subdivision do not include: (A) Any bona fide pledge or loan; (B) any stock dividend, whether the corporation distributing the dividend is the issuer of the stock or not, if nothing of value is given by stockholders for the dividend other than the surrender of a right to a cash or property dividend when each stockholder may elect to take the dividend in cash or property or in stock; (C) any act incident to a class vote by stockholders, pursuant to the certificate of incorporation or the applicable corporation statute, on a merger, consolidation, reclassification of securities or sale of corporate assets in consideration of the issuance of securities of another corporation; or (D) any act incident to a judicially approved reorganization in which a security is issued in exchange for one or more outstanding securities, claims or property interests, or partly in such exchange and partly for cash.

(m) "Securities Act of 1933", "Securities Exchange Act of 1934", "Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935" and "Investment Company Act of 1940" mean the federal statutes of those names as amended before the effective date of this chapter. The National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996 ("NSMIA") means the federal statute which makes certain amendments to the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

(n) "Security" means any note; stock; treasury stock; bond; debenture; evidence of indebtedness; certificate of interest or participation in any profit-sharing agreement; collateral-trust certificate; preorganization certificate or subscription; transferable share; investment contract; voting-trust certificate; certificate of deposit for a security; viatical settlement contract; certificate of interest or participation in an oil, gas or mining title or lease or in payments out of production under such a title or lease; or, in general, any interest or instrument commonly known as a "security" or any certificate of interest or participation in, temporary or interim certificate for, receipt for, guarantee of or warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase any of the foregoing. "Security" does not include any insurance or endowment policy or annuity contract under which an insurance company promises to pay money either in a lump sum or periodically for life or some other specified period: Provided, That "security" does include insurance or endowment policies or annuity contracts that are viatical settlement contracts or agreements for the purchase, sale, assignment, transfer, devise or bequest of any portion of a death benefit or ownership of a life insurance policy or certificate that is less than the expected death benefit of the life insurance policy or certificate.

(o) "Federal-covered security" means any security that is a covered security under section 18(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended by the National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996, or rules promulgated thereunder.

(p) "State" means any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

(q) "Branch office" means any location other than the main office, identified to the public, customers or clients as a location where a broker-dealer or investment adviser or federal-covered adviser conducts a securities or investment adviser business. Branch office does not include:

(1) A location identified solely in a telephone directory line listing or on a business card or letterhead if: (A) The listing, card or letterhead also includes the address and telephone number of the broker-dealer or investment adviser or federal covered adviser where the individuals conducting business from the location are directly supervised; and (B) no more than one agent or investment adviser representative transacts business on behalf of the broker-dealer or investment adviser or federal-covered adviser from an identified location; or

(2) Any other location as the commissioner may determine.

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W. Va. Code § 32-4-403. Filing of sales and advertising literature.
Any prospectus, pamphlet, circular, form letter, advertisement or any other sales literature or advertising communication addressed or intended for distribution to prospective investors, including clients or prospective clients of an investment adviser, shall be filed with the commissioner before it is used, disseminated or distributed unless the security or transaction is exempted by section 402.W. Va. Code § 32-4-403. Filing of sales and advertising literature.
Any prospectus, pamphlet, circular, form letter, advertisement or any other sales literature or advertising communication addressed or intended for distribution to prospective investors, including clients or prospective clients of an investment adviser, shall be filed with the commissioner before it is used, disseminated or distributed unless the security or transaction is exempted by section 402.

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W. Va. Code § 32-4-404. Misleading filings.
It is unlawful for any person to make or cause to be made, in any document filed with the commissioner or in any proceeding under this chapter, any statement which is, at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it is made, false or misleading in any material respect.W. Va. Code § 32-4-404. Misleading filings.
It is unlawful for any person to make or cause to be made, in any document filed with the commissioner or in any proceeding under this chapter, any statement which is, at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it is made, false or misleading in any material respect.

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W. Va. Code § 32-4-405. Unlawful representations concerning registration, exemption or notice filing.

(a) Neither (1) the fact that a notice filing or an application for registration under article two of this chapter or a registration statement under article three of this chapter has been filed nor (2) the fact that a person or security is effectively registered constitutes a finding by the commissioner that any document filed under this chapter is true, complete and not misleading. Neither any such fact nor the fact that an exemption or exception is available for a security or a transaction means that the commissioner has passed in any way upon the merits or qualifications of, or recommended or given approval to, any person, security or transaction.
(b) It is unlawful to make, or cause to be made, to any prospective purchaser, customer or client any representation inconsistent with subsection (a).
W. Va. Code § 32-4-405. Unlawful representations concerning registration, exemption or notice filing.

(a) Neither (1) the fact that a notice filing or an application for registration under article two of this chapter or a registration statement under article three of this chapter has been filed nor (2) the fact that a person or security is effectively registered constitutes a finding by the commissioner that any document filed under this chapter is true, complete and not misleading. Neither any such fact nor the fact that an exemption or exception is available for a security or a transaction means that the commissioner has passed in any way upon the merits or qualifications of, or recommended or given approval to, any person, security or transaction.
(b) It is unlawful to make, or cause to be made, to any prospective purchaser, customer or client any representation inconsistent with subsection (a).

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W. Va. Code § 32A-1-1. Filing and registration with respect to lands prerequisite to sale, etc., within state.
No person, partnership or corporation shall sell or offer for sale, in this state, any lands, situate outside this state, which are to be planted in trees or vines or divided into town or suburban lots, or any unimproved or undeveloped lands, or any lands, including cemetery lots, cemetery privileges, burial rights or privileges, the value of which materially depends on the future performance of any stipulation or promise to furnish irrigation, transportation facilities, streets, sidewalks, sewers, gas, electricity or other value enhancing utility or improvement of any undivided part or share, whether an aliquot part or a part designated on any other basis, or any mine, mineral claim, or other estate in any mine, or in the lands containing the same, regardless of where located or situated, the value of which materially depends on the future discovery or development and production of the minerals, without first having filed with the commissioner of securities (which office is established in chapter thirty-two of this code) a detailed description of the property which, or any interest or part or share of which, is proposed to be sold, and such information with respect to the value thereof, and the title to such property or properties as the commissioner of securities shall require, and without causing such property to be registered by the commissioner of securities in the manner provided for the registration of securities by qualification under section three hundred four, article three, chapter thirty-two of this code; and no person shall sell or offer any such property for sale until he has been registered as a salesman by the commissioner of securities under the provisions for registering agents contained in article two, chapter thirty-two of this code. All of the provisions contained in chapter thirty-two of this code governing the registration of securities by qualification and the registration of agents and the penalties provided therein shall apply to the registration of properties and salesmen under this article: Provided, That nothing contained in this article shall prevent any bona fide owner of any such land, mine, mining lease, mineral claim or other property, or interest therein, from selling the same on his own account and not as a part, or in furtherance, of any promotion or development to the public.W. Va. Code § 32A-1-1. Filing and registration with respect to lands prerequisite to sale, etc., within state.
No person, partnership or corporation shall sell or offer for sale, in this state, any lands, situate outside this state, which are to be planted in trees or vines or divided into town or suburban lots, or any unimproved or undeveloped lands, or any lands, including cemetery lots, cemetery privileges, burial rights or privileges, the value of which materially depends on the future performance of any stipulation or promise to furnish irrigation, transportation facilities, streets, sidewalks, sewers, gas, electricity or other value enhancing utility or improvement of any undivided part or share, whether an aliquot part or a part designated on any other basis, or any mine, mineral claim, or other estate in any mine, or in the lands containing the same, regardless of where located or situated, the value of which materially depends on the future discovery or development and production of the minerals, without first having filed with the commissioner of securities (which office is established in chapter thirty-two of this code) a detailed description of the property which, or any interest or part or share of which, is proposed to be sold, and such information with respect to the value thereof, and the title to such property or properties as the commissioner of securities shall require, and without causing such property to be registered by the commissioner of securities in the manner provided for the registration of securities by qualification under section three hundred four, article three, chapter thirty-two of this code; and no person shall sell or offer any such property for sale until he has been registered as a salesman by the commissioner of securities under the provisions for registering agents contained in article two, chapter thirty-two of this code. All of the provisions contained in chapter thirty-two of this code governing the registration of securities by qualification and the registration of agents and the penalties provided therein shall apply to the registration of properties and salesmen under this article: Provided, That nothing contained in this article shall prevent any bona fide owner of any such land, mine, mining lease, mineral claim or other property, or interest therein, from selling the same on his own account and not as a part, or in furtherance, of any promotion or development to the public.

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W. Va. Code § 32A-1-2. False advertising prohibited; penalty.
Any person or corporation who, with intent to sell or in anywise dispose of merchandise, securities, service or anything offered by such person or corporation, directly or indirectly, to the public for sale or distribution, or with intent to increase the consumption thereof, or to induce the public in any manner to enter into any obligation relating thereto, or to acquire title thereto, or any interest therein, makes, publishes, disseminates, circulates or places before the public, or causes, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated or placed before the public in this state, in a newspaper or other publication, or in the form of a book, notice, handbill, poster, blueprint, map, bill, tag, label, circular, pamphlet, or letter, or by way of radio or television, or in any other way, an advertisement of any sort regarding merchandise, securities, service, land, lot or anything so offered to the public, which advertisement contains any promise, assertion, representation or statement of fact which is untrue, deceptive or misleading, with knowledge that the same was untrue, deceptive or misleading, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned.W. Va. Code § 32A-1-2. False advertising prohibited; penalty.
Any person or corporation who, with intent to sell or in anywise dispose of merchandise, securities, service or anything offered by such person or corporation, directly or indirectly, to the public for sale or distribution, or with intent to increase the consumption thereof, or to induce the public in any manner to enter into any obligation relating thereto, or to acquire title thereto, or any interest therein, makes, publishes, disseminates, circulates or places before the public, or causes, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated or placed before the public in this state, in a newspaper or other publication, or in the form of a book, notice, handbill, poster, blueprint, map, bill, tag, label, circular, pamphlet, or letter, or by way of radio or television, or in any other way, an advertisement of any sort regarding merchandise, securities, service, land, lot or anything so offered to the public, which advertisement contains any promise, assertion, representation or statement of fact which is untrue, deceptive or misleading, with knowledge that the same was untrue, deceptive or misleading, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned.

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W. Va. Code § 32A-2-1. Definitions.(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Banking of this state.
(2) "Check" or "payment instrument" means any check, traveler's check, draft, money order or other instrument for the transmission or payment of money whether or not the instrument is negotiable. The term does not include a credit card voucher, a letter of credit or any instrument that is redeemable by the issuer in goods or services.

(3) "Currency" means a medium of exchange authorized or adopted by a domestic or foreign government.

(4) "Currency exchange" means the conversion of the currency of one government into the currency of another government, but does not include the issuance and sale of travelers checks denominated in a foreign currency. Transactions involving the electronic transmission of funds by licensed money transmitters which may permit, but do not require, the recipient to obtain the funds in a foreign currency outside of West Virginia are not currency exchange transactions: Provided, That they are not reportable as currency exchange transactions under federal laws and regulations.

(5) "Currency exchange, transportation, transmission business" means a person who is engaging in currency exchange, currency transportation or currency transmission as a service or for profit.

(6) "Currency transmission" or "money transmission" means engaging in the business of selling or issuing checks or the business of receiving currency or the payment of money by any means for the purpose of transmitting, either prior to or after receipt, that currency, payment of money or its equivalent by wire, facsimile or other electronic means, or through the use of a financial institution, financial intermediary, the federal reserve system or other funds transfer network. It includes the transmission of funds through the issuance and sale of stored value cards which are intended for general acceptance and used in commercial or consumer transactions.

(7) "Currency transportation" means knowingly engaging in the business of physically transporting currency from one location to another in a manner other than by a licensed armored car service exempted under section three of this article.

(8) "Licensee" means a person licensed by the Commissioner under this article.

(9) "Money order" means any instrument for the transmission or payment of money in relation to which the purchaser or remitter appoints or purports to appoint the seller thereof as his or her agent for the receipt, transmission or handling of money, whether the instrument is signed by the seller, the purchaser or remitter or some other person.

(10) "Person" means any individual, partnership, association, joint stock association, limited liability company, trust or corporation.

(11) "Principal" means a licensee's owner, president, senior officer responsible for the licensee's business, chief financial officer or any other person who performs similar functions or who otherwise controls the conduct of the affairs of a licensee. A person controlling ten percent or more of the voting stock of any corporate applicant is a principal under this provision.

(12) "Securities" means all bonds, debentures or other evidences of indebtedness: (a) Issued by the United States of America or any agency thereof, or guaranteed by the United States of America, or for which the credit of the United States of America or any agency thereof is pledged for the payment of the principal and interest thereof; and/or (b) which are direct general obligations of this state, or any other state if unconditionally guaranteed as to the principal and interest by the other state and if the other state has the power to levy taxes for the payment of the principal and interest thereof and is not in default in the payment of any part of the principal or interest owing by it upon any part of its funded indebtedness; and/or (c) which are general obligations of any county, school district or municipality in this state, issued pursuant to law and payable from ad valorem taxes levied on all of the taxable property located therein, if the county, school district or municipality is not in default in the payment of any part of the principal or interest on any debt evidenced by its bonds, debentures or other evidences of indebtedness.
W. Va. Code § 32A-2-1. Definitions.(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Banking of this state.
(2) "Check" or "payment instrument" means any check, traveler's check, draft, money order or other instrument for the transmission or payment of money whether or not the instrument is negotiable. The term does not include a credit card voucher, a letter of credit or any instrument that is redeemable by the issuer in goods or services.

(3) "Currency" means a medium of exchange authorized or adopted by a domestic or foreign government.

(4) "Currency exchange" means the conversion of the currency of one government into the currency of another government, but does not include the issuance and sale of travelers checks denominated in a foreign currency. Transactions involving the electronic transmission of funds by licensed money transmitters which may permit, but do not require, the recipient to obtain the funds in a foreign currency outside of West Virginia are not currency exchange transactions: Provided, That they are not reportable as currency exchange transactions under federal laws and regulations.

(5) "Currency exchange, transportation, transmission business" means a person who is engaging in currency exchange, currency transportation or currency transmission as a service or for profit.

(6) "Currency transmission" or "money transmission" means engaging in the business of selling or issuing checks or the business of receiving currency or the payment of money by any means for the purpose of transmitting, either prior to or after receipt, that currency, payment of money or its equivalent by wire, facsimile or other electronic means, or through the use of a financial institution, financial intermediary, the federal reserve system or other funds transfer network. It includes the transmission of funds through the issuance and sale of stored value cards which are intended for general acceptance and used in commercial or consumer transactions.

(7) "Currency transportation" means knowingly engaging in the business of physically transporting currency from one location to another in a manner other than by a licensed armored car service exempted under section three of this article.

(8) "Licensee" means a person licensed by the Commissioner under this article.

(9) "Money order" means any instrument for the transmission or payment of money in relation to which the purchaser or remitter appoints or purports to appoint the seller thereof as his or her agent for the receipt, transmission or handling of money, whether the instrument is signed by the seller, the purchaser or remitter or some other person.

(10) "Person" means any individual, partnership, association, joint stock association, limited liability company, trust or corporation.

(11) "Principal" means a licensee's owner, president, senior officer responsible for the licensee's business, chief financial officer or any other person who performs similar functions or who otherwise controls the conduct of the affairs of a licensee. A person controlling ten percent or more of the voting stock of any corporate applicant is a principal under this provision.

(12) "Securities" means all bonds, debentures or other evidences of indebtedness: (a) Issued by the United States of America or any agency thereof, or guaranteed by the United States of America, or for which the credit of the United States of America or any agency thereof is pledged for the payment of the principal and interest thereof; and/or (b) which are direct general obligations of this state, or any other state if unconditionally guaranteed as to the principal and interest by the other state and if the other state has the power to levy taxes for the payment of the principal and interest thereof and is not in default in the payment of any part of the principal or interest owing by it upon any part of its funded indebtedness; and/or (c) which are general obligations of any county, school district or municipality in this state, issued pursuant to law and payable from ad valorem taxes levied on all of the taxable property located therein, if the county, school district or municipality is not in default in the payment of any part of the principal or interest on any debt evidenced by its bonds, debentures or other evidences of indebtedness.

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W. Va. Code § 32A-2-26. Deceptive name and advertising.(a) A licensee who advertises the prices to be charged by the currency exchange or currency transmission business for services that are governed by this article shall specifically state in the advertisement all fees or commissions to be charged to the consumer.
(b) The commissioner may propose for legislative approval rules establishing requirements for the size and type of lettering a licensee is permitted to use in an advertisement for prices or rates.

(c) A person who violates this section or a rule adopted under this section commits an unfair and deceptive act or practice within the meaning of section one hundred four, article six, chapter forty-six-a of this code.

(d) A corporate licensee may not use the same name as, or a name deceptively similar to, the name of any domestic corporation existing under the laws of this state, or the name of any foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this state, except as otherwise provided by the commissioner or secretary of state pursuant to law.
W. Va. Code § 32A-2-26. Deceptive name and advertising.(a) A licensee who advertises the prices to be charged by the currency exchange or currency transmission business for services that are governed by this article shall specifically state in the advertisement all fees or commissions to be charged to the consumer.
(b) The commissioner may propose for legislative approval rules establishing requirements for the size and type of lettering a licensee is permitted to use in an advertisement for prices or rates.

(c) A person who violates this section or a rule adopted under this section commits an unfair and deceptive act or practice within the meaning of section one hundred four, article six, chapter forty-six-a of this code.

(d) A corporate licensee may not use the same name as, or a name deceptively similar to, the name of any domestic corporation existing under the laws of this state, or the name of any foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this state, except as otherwise provided by the commissioner or secretary of state pursuant to law.

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W. Va. Code § 32A-3-3. Violations and penalties.
(a) The charging of fees for check cashing services in excess of those permitted under this article gives rise to a cause of action by the injured party to recover twice the actual damages suffered by reason of the violation.
(b) The charging of fees for check cashing services in violation of the provisions of subsections (b) or (e), section one of this article, prohibiting lending through a check cashing transaction, constitutes prohibited finance charges, and gives rise to a cause of action by the party upon whom the charge was imposed to recover all fees paid and all actual damages suffered by reason of the violation. Where the transaction is of an amount and for purposes that would constitute a consumer loan, the conduct of impermissible check cashing services is considered an unfair and deceptive act and may be subject to provisions and penalties set forth in chapter forty-six-a of this code.

(c) Engaging in the check cashing business without the license required by this article gives rise to a cause of action by the injured party to recover all fees paid and all actual damages suffered by reason of the violation.

(d) Actions brought under this article by customers for recovery of actual damages shall be brought within one year of the occurrence of the transaction.
W. Va. Code § 32A-3-3. Violations and penalties.
(a) The charging of fees for check cashing services in excess of those permitted under this article gives rise to a cause of action by the injured party to recover twice the actual damages suffered by reason of the violation.
(b) The charging of fees for check cashing services in violation of the provisions of subsections (b) or (e), section one of this article, prohibiting lending through a check cashing transaction, constitutes prohibited finance charges, and gives rise to a cause of action by the party upon whom the charge was imposed to recover all fees paid and all actual damages suffered by reason of the violation. Where the transaction is of an amount and for purposes that would constitute a consumer loan, the conduct of impermissible check cashing services is considered an unfair and deceptive act and may be subject to provisions and penalties set forth in chapter forty-six-a of this code.

(c) Engaging in the check cashing business without the license required by this article gives rise to a cause of action by the injured party to recover all fees paid and all actual damages suffered by reason of the violation.

(d) Actions brought under this article by customers for recovery of actual damages shall be brought within one year of the occurrence of the transaction.

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W. Va. Code § 32B-1-1. Definitions.(a) "Commissioner" means the auditor of the state of West Virginia.
(b) "Board of trade" means any person or group of persons engaged in buying or selling any commodity or receiving the same for sale on consignment, whether such person or group of persons is characterized as a board of trade, exchange or other form of marketplace.

(c) "CFTC Rule" means any rule, regulation or order of the commodity futures trading commission in effect on the effective date of this chapter, and all subsequent amendments, additions or other revisions thereto unless the commissioner, within ten days following the effective date of any such amendment, addition or revision, disallows the application thereof to this part or to any provision thereof by rule, regulation or order.

(d) "Commodity" means, except as otherwise specified by the commissioner by rule, regulation or order, any agricultural, grain or livestock product or byproduct, any metal or mineral, including a precious metal defined in subsection (m) of this section, any gem or gemstone, whether characterized as precious, semi-precious or otherwise, any fuel, whether liquid, gaseous or otherwise, any foreign currency, and all other goods, articles, products or items of any kind. The term commodity does not include:

(1) A numismatic coin whose fair market value is at least fifteen percent higher than the value of the metal it contains; (2) Real property or any timber, agricultural or livestock product grown or raised on real property and offered or sold by the owner or lessee of the real property; or

(3) Any work of art offered or sold by art dealers, at public auction or offered or sold through a private sale by the owner thereof.

(e) "Commodity contract" means any account, agreement or contract for the purchase or sale, primarily for speculation or investment purposes and not for use or consumption by the offeree or purchaser, of one or more commodities, whether for immediate or subsequent delivery or whether delivery is intended by the parties, and whether characterized as a cash contract, deferred shipment or deferred delivery contract, forward contract, futures contract, installment or margin contract, leverage contract or otherwise. Any commodity contract offered or sold, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is presumed to be offered or sold for speculation or investment purposes. A commodity contract does not include any contract or agreement which requires, and under which the purchaser receives, within twenty-eight calendar days from the payment in good funds of any portion of the purchase price, physical delivery of the total amount of each commodity to be purchased under the contract or agreement.

(f) "Commodity Exchange Act" means the act of Congress known as the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. 1 (1974), as amended, and all subsequent amendments, additions or other revisions thereto, unless the commissioner, within ten days following the effective date of any such amendment, addition or revision, disallows the application thereof to this part or to any provision thereof by rule, regulation or order.

(g) "Commodity futures trading commission" means the independent regulatory agency established by Congress to administer the Commodity Exchange Act.

(h) "Commodity merchant" means any of the following as defined or described in the Commodity Exchange Act or by CFTC Rule:

(1) Futures commission merchant;

(2) Commodity pool operator;

(3) Commodity trading advisor;

(4) Introducing broker;

(5) Leverage transaction merchant;

(6) An associated person of any of the foregoing;

(7) Floor broker; and

(8) Any other person, other than a futures association, required to register with the commodity futures trading commission.

(i) "Commodity option" means any account, agreement or contract giving a party thereto the right but not the obligation to purchase or sell one or more commodities or one or more commodity contracts, or both commodities and commodity contracts, whether characterized as an option, privilege, indemnity, bid, offer, put, call, advance guaranty, decline guaranty or otherwise, but does not include an option traded on a national securities exchange registered with the United States securities and exchange commission.

(j) "Financial institution" means a bank, savings institution or trust company organized under, or supervised pursuant to, the laws of the United States or of any state.

(k) "Offer" includes every offer to sell, offer to purchase, or offer to enter into a commodity contract or commodity option.

(l) "Person" means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, association, a joint-stock company, a trust where the interests of the beneficiaries are evidenced by a security, an unincorporated organization, a government or a political subdivision of a government. "Person" does not include a contract market designated by the commodity futures trading commission, any clearinghouse of that commission, a national securities exchange registered with the securities and exchange commission, or any employee, officer or director of such contract market, clearinghouse or exchange acting solely in that capacity.

(m) "Precious metal" means the following in coin, bullion or other form: Silver, gold, platinum, palladium, copper, and any other metals as specified by the commissioner by rule, regulation or order.

(n) "Sale" or "sell" includes every sale, contract of sale, contract to sell or disposition for value.
W. Va. Code § 32B-1-1. Definitions.(a) "Commissioner" means the auditor of the state of West Virginia.
(b) "Board of trade" means any person or group of persons engaged in buying or selling any commodity or receiving the same for sale on consignment, whether such person or group of persons is characterized as a board of trade, exchange or other form of marketplace.

(c) "CFTC Rule" means any rule, regulation or order of the commodity futures trading commission in effect on the effective date of this chapter, and all subsequent amendments, additions or other revisions thereto unless the commissioner, within ten days following the effective date of any such amendment, addition or revision, disallows the application thereof to this part or to any provision thereof by rule, regulation or order.

(d) "Commodity" means, except as otherwise specified by the commissioner by rule, regulation or order, any agricultural, grain or livestock product or byproduct, any metal or mineral, including a precious metal defined in subsection (m) of this section, any gem or gemstone, whether characterized as precious, semi-precious or otherwise, any fuel, whether liquid, gaseous or otherwise, any foreign currency, and all other goods, articles, products or items of any kind. The term commodity does not include:

(1) A numismatic coin whose fair market value is at least fifteen percent higher than the value of the metal it contains; (2) Real property or any timber, agricultural or livestock product grown or raised on real property and offered or sold by the owner or lessee of the real property; or

(3) Any work of art offered or sold by art dealers, at public auction or offered or sold through a private sale by the owner thereof.

(e) "Commodity contract" means any account, agreement or contract for the purchase or sale, primarily for speculation or investment purposes and not for use or consumption by the offeree or purchaser, of one or more commodities, whether for immediate or subsequent delivery or whether delivery is intended by the parties, and whether characterized as a cash contract, deferred shipment or deferred delivery contract, forward contract, futures contract, installment or margin contract, leverage contract or otherwise. Any commodity contract offered or sold, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is presumed to be offered or sold for speculation or investment purposes. A commodity contract does not include any contract or agreement which requires, and under which the purchaser receives, within twenty-eight calendar days from the payment in good funds of any portion of the purchase price, physical delivery of the total amount of each commodity to be purchased under the contract or agreement.

(f) "Commodity Exchange Act" means the act of Congress known as the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. 1 (1974), as amended, and all subsequent amendments, additions or other revisions thereto, unless the commissioner, within ten days following the effective date of any such amendment, addition or revision, disallows the application thereof to this part or to any provision thereof by rule, regulation or order.

(g) "Commodity futures trading commission" means the independent regulatory agency established by Congress to administer the Commodity Exchange Act.

(h) "Commodity merchant" means any of the following as defined or described in the Commodity Exchange Act or by CFTC Rule:

(1) Futures commission merchant;

(2) Commodity pool operator;

(3) Commodity trading advisor;

(4) Introducing broker;

(5) Leverage transaction merchant;

(6) An associated person of any of the foregoing;

(7) Floor broker; and

(8) Any other person, other than a futures association, required to register with the commodity futures trading commission.

(i) "Commodity option" means any account, agreement or contract giving a party thereto the right but not the obligation to purchase or sell one or more commodities or one or more commodity contracts, or both commodities and commodity contracts, whether characterized as an option, privilege, indemnity, bid, offer, put, call, advance guaranty, decline guaranty or otherwise, but does not include an option traded on a national securities exchange registered with the United States securities and exchange commission.

(j) "Financial institution" means a bank, savings institution or trust company organized under, or supervised pursuant to, the laws of the United States or of any state.

(k) "Offer" includes every offer to sell, offer to purchase, or offer to enter into a commodity contract or commodity option.

(l) "Person" means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, association, a joint-stock company, a trust where the interests of the beneficiaries are evidenced by a security, an unincorporated organization, a government or a political subdivision of a government. "Person" does not include a contract market designated by the commodity futures trading commission, any clearinghouse of that commission, a national securities exchange registered with the securities and exchange commission, or any employee, officer or director of such contract market, clearinghouse or exchange acting solely in that capacity.

(m) "Precious metal" means the following in coin, bullion or other form: Silver, gold, platinum, palladium, copper, and any other metals as specified by the commissioner by rule, regulation or order.

(n) "Sale" or "sell" includes every sale, contract of sale, contract to sell or disposition for value.

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W. Va. Code § 32B-1-2. Unlawful commmodity transactions.
Except as otherwise provided in section three or four of this article, a person shall not sell or purchase or offer to sell or purchase any commodity under any commodity contract or commodity option, nor shall a person offer to enter into or enter into a contract as a seller or purchaser any commodity contract or any commodity option.W. Va. Code § 32B-1-2. Unlawful commmodity transactions.
Except as otherwise provided in section three or four of this article, a person shall not sell or purchase or offer to sell or purchase any commodity under any commodity contract or commodity option, nor shall a person offer to enter into or enter into a contract as a seller or purchaser any commodity contract or any commodity option.

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W. Va. Code § 32B-1-5. Unlawful commodity activities.
(a) A person may not engage in a trade or business or otherwise act as a commodity merchant unless the person: (1) Is registered or temporarily licensed with the commodity futures trading commission for each activity in which the person is acting as a commodity merchant and the registration or temporary license has not expired, been suspended or revoked; or (2) is exempt from registration by virtue of the Commodity Exchange Act or of a CFTC Rule.
(b) A board of trade shall not trade or provide a place for the trading of any commodity contract or commodity option required to be traded on or subject to the rules of a contract market designated by the commodity futures trading commission unless the board of trade has been so designated for the commodity contract or commodity option and the designation has not been vacated, suspended or revoked.
W. Va. Code § 32B-1-5. Unlawful commodity activities.
(a) A person may not engage in a trade or business or otherwise act as a commodity merchant unless the person: (1) Is registered or temporarily licensed with the commodity futures trading commission for each activity in which the person is acting as a commodity merchant and the registration or temporary license has not expired, been suspended or revoked; or (2) is exempt from registration by virtue of the Commodity Exchange Act or of a CFTC Rule.
(b) A board of trade shall not trade or provide a place for the trading of any commodity contract or commodity option required to be traded on or subject to the rules of a contract market designated by the commodity futures trading commission unless the board of trade has been so designated for the commodity contract or commodity option and the designation has not been vacated, suspended or revoked.

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W. Va. Code § 32B-1-6. Fraudulent conduct.
(a) A person may not directly or indirectly:
(1) Cheat or defraud, or attempt to cheat or defraud any other person or employ any device, scheme or artifice to defraud any other person;

(2) Make any false report, enter any false record, or make any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading;

(3) Engage in any transaction, act, practice or course of business, including, without limitation, any form of advertising or solicitation, which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person; or

(4) Misappropriate or convert the funds, security or property of any other person in or in connection with the purchase or sale of, the offer to sell, the offer to purchase, the offer to enter into, or the entry into of, any commodity contract or commodity option subject to the provisions of subdivision (2), (3) or (4), subsection (a), section four of this article.
W. Va. Code § 32B-1-6. Fraudulent conduct.
(a) A person may not directly or indirectly:
(1) Cheat or defraud, or attempt to cheat or defraud any other person or employ any device, scheme or artifice to defraud any other person;

(2) Make any false report, enter any false record, or make any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading;

(3) Engage in any transaction, act, practice or course of business, including, without limitation, any form of advertising or solicitation, which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person; or

(4) Misappropriate or convert the funds, security or property of any other person in or in connection with the purchase or sale of, the offer to sell, the offer to purchase, the offer to enter into, or the entry into of, any commodity contract or commodity option subject to the provisions of subdivision (2), (3) or (4), subsection (a), section four of this article.

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W. Va. Code § 32B-1-9. Purpose.
This chapter may be construed and implemented to effectuate its general purpose to protect investors, to prevent and prosecute illegal and fraudulent schemes involving commodity contracts and to maximize coordination with federal and other states' laws and the administration and enforcement thereof. This chapter is not intended to create any rights or remedies upon which actions may be brought by private persons against persons who violate the provisions of this chapter.W. Va. Code § 32B-1-9. Purpose.
This chapter may be construed and implemented to effectuate its general purpose to protect investors, to prevent and prosecute illegal and fraudulent schemes involving commodity contracts and to maximize coordination with federal and other states' laws and the administration and enforcement thereof. This chapter is not intended to create any rights or remedies upon which actions may be brought by private persons against persons who violate the provisions of this chapter.

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W. Va. Code § 32B-3-1. Definitions.(a) "Commodity broker-dealer" means any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions in commodity contracts or commodity options, as defined in article one of this chapter, for the account of others or for the person's own account.
(b) "Commodity sales representative" means any person authorized to act and that is acting for a commodity broker-dealer in effecting or attempting to effect a transaction in a commodity contract or a commodity option.

(c) All commodity broker-dealers and commodity sales representatives shall provide notice to the commissioner of securities on a form prescribed by the commissioner of securities that they are doing business in sales, offers or other nonexempt transactions involving sales of commodities. All notices shall contain such information as the commissioner of securities determines necessary or appropriate to facilitate the administration of this chapter.

(d) The notice does not constitute the granting of a license, registration or other authorization to do business under this chapter but is to be maintained as a record of those engaged in commodities transactions in the state.
W. Va. Code § 32B-3-1. Definitions.(a) "Commodity broker-dealer" means any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions in commodity contracts or commodity options, as defined in article one of this chapter, for the account of others or for the person's own account.
(b) "Commodity sales representative" means any person authorized to act and that is acting for a commodity broker-dealer in effecting or attempting to effect a transaction in a commodity contract or a commodity option.

(c) All commodity broker-dealers and commodity sales representatives shall provide notice to the commissioner of securities on a form prescribed by the commissioner of securities that they are doing business in sales, offers or other nonexempt transactions involving sales of commodities. All notices shall contain such information as the commissioner of securities determines necessary or appropriate to facilitate the administration of this chapter.

(d) The notice does not constitute the granting of a license, registration or other authorization to do business under this chapter but is to be maintained as a record of those engaged in commodities transactions in the state.

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W. Va. Code § 33-11-1. Declaration of purpose.The purpose of this article is to regulate trade practices in the business of insurance in accordance with the intent of Congress as expressed in the act of Congress of March ninth, one thousand nine hundred forty-five (Public Law fifteen, seventy-ninth Congress), by defining, or providing for the determination of, all such practices in this state which constitute unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices and by prohibiting the trade practices so defined or determined.W. Va. Code § 33-11-1. Declaration of purpose.The purpose of this article is to regulate trade practices in the business of insurance in accordance with the intent of Congress as expressed in the act of Congress of March ninth, one thousand nine hundred forty-five (Public Law fifteen, seventy-ninth Congress), by defining, or providing for the determination of, all such practices in this state which constitute unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices and by prohibiting the trade practices so defined or determined.

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W. Va. Code § 33-11-2. Definitions.As used in this article:
(a) "Person" includes any individual, company, insurer, association, organization, society, reciprocal, business trust, corporation, or any other legal entity, including agents and brokers."Person" also includes hospital service corporations, medical service corporations and dental service corporations as defined in article twenty-four of this chapter, and health care corporations as defined in article twenty-five of this chapter. For purposes of this article hospital service corporations, medical service corporations, dental service corporations, and health care corporations shall be deemed to be in the business of insurance.

(b) "Commissioner" means the insurance commissioner of West Virginia.

(c) "Insurance policy" or "insurance contract" means the contract effecting insurance, or the certificate thereof, by whatever name called, and includes all clauses, riders, endorsements and papers attached thereto and a part thereof.
W. Va. Code § 33-11-2. Definitions.As used in this article:
(a) "Person" includes any individual, company, insurer, association, organization, society, reciprocal, business trust, corporation, or any other legal entity, including agents and brokers."Person" also includes hospital service corporations, medical service corporations and dental service corporations as defined in article twenty-four of this chapter, and health care corporations as defined in article twenty-five of this chapter. For purposes of this article hospital service corporations, medical service corporations, dental service corporations, and health care corporations shall be deemed to be in the business of insurance.

(b) "Commissioner" means the insurance commissioner of West Virginia.

(c) "Insurance policy" or "insurance contract" means the contract effecting insurance, or the certificate thereof, by whatever name called, and includes all clauses, riders, endorsements and papers attached thereto and a part thereof.

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W. Va. Code § 33-11-3. Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices prohibited. No person shall engage in this state in any trade practice which is defined in this article as, or determined pursuant to section seven of this article to be, an unfair method of competition or an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the business of insurance.W. Va. Code § 33-11-3. Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices prohibited. No person shall engage in this state in any trade practice which is defined in this article as, or determined pursuant to section seven of this article to be, an unfair method of competition or an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the business of insurance.

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W. Va. Code § 33-11-4. Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined.
The following are defined as unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance:
(1) Misrepresentation and false advertising of insurance policies. -- No person shall make, issue, circulate, or cause to be made, issued or circulated, any estimate, circular, statement, sales presentation, omission or comparison which:

(a) Misrepresents the benefits, advantages, conditions or terms of any insurance policy; or

(b) Misrepresents the dividends or share of the surplus to be received on any insurance policy; or

(c) Makes any false or misleading statements as to the dividends or share of surplus previously paid on any insurance policy; or

(d) Is misleading or is a misrepresentation as to the financial condition of any person, or as to the legal reserve system upon which any life insurer operates; or

(e) Uses any name or title of any insurance policy or class of insurance policies misrepresenting the true nature thereof; or

(f) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of inducing or tending to induce the lapse, forfeiture, exchange, conversion or surrender of any insurance policy; or

(g) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of effecting a pledge or assignment of or effecting a loan against any insurance policy; or

(h) Misrepresents any insurance policy as being shares of stock.

(2) False information and advertising generally. -- No person shall make, publish, disseminate, circulate or place before the public, or cause, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated or placed before the public, in a newspaper, magazine or other publication, or in the form of a notice, circular, pamphlet, letter or poster or over any radio or television station, or in any other way, an advertisement, announcement or statement containing any assertion, representation or statement with respect to the business of insurance or with respect to any person in the conduct of his or her insurance business, which is untrue, deceptive or misleading.

(3) Defamation. -- No person shall make, publish, disseminate or circulate, directly or indirectly, or aid, abet or encourage the making, publishing, disseminating or circulating of any oral or written statement or any pamphlet, circular, article or literature which is false, or maliciously critical of or derogatory to the financial condition of any person and which is calculated to injure the person.

(4) Boycott, coercion and intimidation. -- No person shall enter into any agreement to commit, or by any concerted action commit, any act of boycott, coercion or intimidation resulting in or tending to result in unreasonable restraint of, or monopoly in, the business of insurance.

(5) False statements and entries. -- (a) No person shall knowingly file with any supervisory or other public official, or knowingly make, publish, disseminate, circulate or deliver to any person, or place before the public, or knowingly cause directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, delivered to any person, or placed before the public, any false material statement of fact as to the financial condition of a person.

(b) No person shall knowingly make any false entry of a material fact in any book, report or statement of any person or knowingly omit to make a true entry of any material fact pertaining to the business of any person in any book, report or statement of such person.

(6) Stock operations and advisory board contracts. -- No person shall issue or deliver or permit agents, officers or employees to issue or deliver, agency company stock or other capital stock, or benefit certificates or shares in any common-law corporation, or securities or any special or advisory board contracts or other contracts of any kind promising returns and profits as an inducement to insurance.

(7) Unfair discrimination. -- (a) No person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and equal expectation of life in the rates charged for any contract of life insurance or of life annuity or in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other of the terms and conditions of the contract.

(b) No person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and of essentially the same hazard in the amount of premium policy fees, or rates charged for any policy or contract of accident and sickness insurance or in the benefits payable thereunder, or in any of the terms or conditions of the contract, or in any other manner whatever.

(c) As to kinds of insurance other than life and accident and sickness, no person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination in favor of particular persons, or between insureds or subjects of insurance having substantially like insuring, risk and exposure factors or expense elements, in the terms or conditions of any insurance contract, or in the rate or amount of premium charge therefor. This paragraph shall not apply as to any premium or premium rate in effect pursuant to article twenty of this chapter.

(8) Rebates. -- (a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall knowingly permit or offer to make or make any contract of life insurance, life annuity, or accident and sickness insurance, or agreement as to any contract other than as plainly expressed in the insurance contract issued thereon, or pay or allow or give or offer to pay, allow or give, directly or indirectly, as inducement to any insurance or annuity, any rebate of premiums payable on the contract, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever not specified in the contract; or give or sell, or purchase or offer to give, sell or purchase as inducement to any insurance contract or annuity or in connection therewith, any stocks, bonds or other securities of any insurance company or other corporation, association or partnership, or any dividends or profits accrued thereon, or anything of value whatsoever not specified in the contract.

(b) Nothing in subdivision (7) or paragraph (a) of subdivision (8) of this section shall be construed as including within the definition of unfair discrimination or rebates any of the following practices:

(i) In the case of any contract of life insurance or life annuity, paying bonuses to policyholders or otherwise abating their premiums, in whole or in part, out of surplus accumulated from nonparticipating insurance: Provided, That any such bonuses or abatement of premiums shall be fair and equitable to policyholders and for the best interests of the insurer and its policyholders;

(ii) In the case of life insurance policies issued on the industrial debit plan, making allowance to policyholders who have continuously for a specified period made premium payments directly to an office of the insurer in an amount which fairly represents the saving in collection expenses;

(iii) Readjustment of the rate of premium for a group insurance policy based on the loss or expense thereunder, at the end of the first or any subsequent policy year of insurance thereunder, which may be made retroactive only for such policy year;

(iv) Issuing life or accident and sickness policies on a salary savings or payroll deduction plan at a reduced rate commensurate with the savings made by the use of the plan.

(c) With respect to insurance other than life, accident and sickness, ocean marine or marine protection and indemnity insurance, no person shall knowingly charge, demand or receive a premium for the insurance except in accordance with an applicable filing on file with the commissioner. No person shall pay, allow or give, directly or indirectly, either as an inducement to insurance or after insurance has been effected, any rebate, discount, abatement, credit or reduction of the premium named in a policy of insurance, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits to accrue thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever, not specified in the policy of insurance, except to the extent provided for in an applicable filing. No insured named in a policy of insurance, nor any relative, representative or employee of the insured shall knowingly receive or accept directly or indirectly, any rebate, discount, abatement, credit or reduction of premium, or any special favor or advantage or valuable consideration or inducement. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the payment of commissions or other compensation to duly licensed agents and brokers, nor as prohibiting any insurer from allowing or returning to its participating policyholders, members or subscribers, dividends, savings or unabsorbed premium deposits. As used in this section the word "insurance" includes suretyship and the word "policy" includes bond.

(9) Unfair claim settlement practices. -- No person shall commit or perform with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice any of the following:

(a) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;

(b) Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies;

(c) Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies;

(d) Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information;

(e) Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed;

(f) Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;

(g) Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by the insureds, when the insureds have made claims for amounts reasonably similar to the amounts ultimately recovered;

(h) Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application;

(i) Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the insured;

(j) Making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under which payments are being made;

(k) Making known to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than the amount awarded in arbitration;

(l) Delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an insured, claimant, or the physician of either to submit a preliminary claim report and then requiring the subsequent submission of formal proof of loss forms, both of which submissions contain substantially the same information;

(m) Failing to promptly settle claims, where liability has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage;

(n) Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement;

(o) Failing to notify the first party claimant and the provider(s) of services covered under accident and sickness insurance and hospital and medical service corporation insurance policies whether the claim has been accepted or denied and if denied, the reasons therefor, within fifteen calendar days from the filing of the proof of loss: Provided, That should benefits due the claimant be assigned, notice to the claimant shall not be required: Provided, however, That should the benefits be payable directly to the claimant, notice to the health care provider shall not be required. If the insurer needs more time to investigate the claim, it shall so notify the first party claimant in writing within fifteen calendar days from the date of the initial notification and every thirty calendar days, thereafter; but in no instance shall a claim remain unsettled and unpaid for more than ninety calendar days from the first party claimant's filing of the proof of loss unless, as determined by the insurance commissioner: (1) There is a legitimate dispute as to coverage, liability or damages; or (2) the claimant has fraudulently caused or contributed to the loss. In the event that the insurer fails to pay the claim in full within ninety calendar days from the claimant's filing of the proof of loss, except for exemptions provided above, there shall be assessed against the insurer and paid to the insured a penalty which will be in addition to the amount of the claim and assessed as interest on the claim at the then current prime rate plus one percent. Any penalty paid by an insurer pursuant to this section shall not be a consideration in any rate filing made by the insurer.

(10) Failure to maintain complaint handling procedures. -- No insurer shall fail to maintain a complete record of all the complaints which it has received since the date of its last examination under section nine, article two of this chapter. This record shall indicate the total number of complaints, their classification by line of insurance, the nature of each complaint, the disposition of these complaints, and the time it took to process each complaint. For purposes of this subsection, "complaint" shall mean any written communication primarily expressing a grievance.

(11) Misrepresentation in insurance applications. -- No person shall make false or fraudulent statements or representations on or relative to an application for an insurance policy, for the purpose of obtaining a fee, commission, money or other benefit from any insurer, agent, broker or individual.

(12) Failure to maintain privacy of consumer financial and health information. -- Any licensee who violates any provision of the commissioner's rule relating to the privacy of consumer financial and health information shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this article: Provided, That any licensee who complies with the provisions of this subsection, a commissioner's rule, or a court order shall not be deemed to be in violation of any other provisions of sections three and four of this article by their compliance with this subsection, the rule or court order. For purposes of this subsection, "licensee" means all licensed insurers, producers and other persons licensed or required to be licensed, or authorized or required to be authorized, or registered or required to be registered pursuant to this chapter.
The following are defined as unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance:
(1) Misrepresentation and false advertising of insurance policies. -- No person shall make, issue, circulate, or cause to be made, issued or circulated, any estimate, circular, statement, sales presentation, omission or comparison which:

(a) Misrepresents the benefits, advantages, conditions or terms of any insurance policy; or

(b) Misrepresents the dividends or share of the surplus to be received on any insurance policy; or

(c) Makes any false or misleading statements as to the dividends or share of surplus previously paid on any insurance policy; or

(d) Is misleading or is a misrepresentation as to the financial condition of any person, or as to the legal reserve system upon which any life insurer operates; or

(e) Uses any name or title of any insurance policy or class of insurance policies misrepresenting the true nature thereof; or

(f) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of inducing or tending to induce the lapse, forfeiture, exchange, conversion or surrender of any insurance policy; or

(g) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of effecting a pledge or assignment of or effecting a loan against any insurance policy; or

(h) Misrepresents any insurance policy as being shares of stock.

(2) False information and advertising generally. -- No person shall make, publish, disseminate, circulate or place before the public, or cause, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated or placed before the public, in a newspaper, magazine or other publication, or in the form of a notice, circular, pamphlet, letter or poster or over any radio or television station, or in any other way, an advertisement, announcement or statement containing any assertion, representation or statement with respect to the business of insurance or with respect to any person in the conduct of his or her insurance business, which is untrue, deceptive or misleading.

(3) Defamation. -- No person shall make, publish, disseminate or circulate, directly or indirectly, or aid, abet or encourage the making, publishing, disseminating or circulating of any oral or written statement or any pamphlet, circular, article or literature which is false, or maliciously critical of or derogatory to the financial condition of any person and which is calculated to injure the person.

(4) Boycott, coercion and intimidation. -- No person shall enter into any agreement to commit, or by any concerted action commit, any act of boycott, coercion or intimidation resulting in or tending to result in unreasonable restraint of, or monopoly in, the business of insurance.

(5) False statements and entries. -- (a) No person shall knowingly file with any supervisory or other public official, or knowingly make, publish, disseminate, circulate or deliver to any person, or place before the public, or knowingly cause directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, delivered to any person, or placed before the public, any false material statement of fact as to the financial condition of a person.

(b) No person shall knowingly make any false entry of a material fact in any book, report or statement of any person or knowingly omit to make a true entry of any material fact pertaining to the business of any person in any book, report or statement of such person.

(6) Stock operations and advisory board contracts. -- No person shall issue or deliver or permit agents, officers or employees to issue or deliver, agency company stock or other capital stock, or benefit certificates or shares in any common-law corporation, or securities or any special or advisory board contracts or other contracts of any kind promising returns and profits as an inducement to insurance.

(7) Unfair discrimination. -- (a) No person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and equal expectation of life in the rates charged for any contract of life insurance or of life annuity or in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other of the terms and conditions of the contract.

(b) No person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and of essentially the same hazard in the amount of premium policy fees, or rates charged for any policy or contract of accident and sickness insurance or in the benefits payable thereunder, or in any of the terms or conditions of the contract, or in any other manner whatever.

(c) As to kinds of insurance other than life and accident and sickness, no person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination in favor of particular persons, or between insureds or subjects of insurance having substantially like insuring, risk and exposure factors or expense elements, in the terms or conditions of any insurance contract, or in the rate or amount of premium charge therefor. This paragraph shall not apply as to any premium or premium rate in effect pursuant to article twenty of this chapter.

(8) Rebates. -- (a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall knowingly permit or offer to make or make any contract of life insurance, life annuity, or accident and sickness insurance, or agreement as to any contract other than as plainly expressed in the insurance contract issued thereon, or pay or allow or give or offer to pay, allow or give, directly or indirectly, as inducement to any insurance or annuity, any rebate of premiums payable on the contract, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever not specified in the contract; or give or sell, or purchase or offer to give, sell or purchase as inducement to any insurance contract or annuity or in connection therewith, any stocks, bonds or other securities of any insurance company or other corporation, association or partnership, or any dividends or profits accrued thereon, or anything of value whatsoever not specified in the contract.

(b) Nothing in subdivision (7) or paragraph (a) of subdivision (8) of this section shall be construed as including within the definition of unfair discrimination or rebates any of the following practices:

(i) In the case of any contract of life insurance or life annuity, paying bonuses to policyholders or otherwise abating their premiums, in whole or in part, out of surplus accumulated from nonparticipating insurance: Provided, That any such bonuses or abatement of premiums shall be fair and equitable to policyholders and for the best interests of the insurer and its policyholders;

(ii) In the case of life insurance policies issued on the industrial debit plan, making allowance to policyholders who have continuously for a specified period made premium payments directly to an office of the insurer in an amount which fairly represents the saving in collection expenses;

(iii) Readjustment of the rate of premium for a group insurance policy based on the loss or expense thereunder, at the end of the first or any subsequent policy year of insurance thereunder, which may be made retroactive only for such policy year;

(iv) Issuing life or accident and sickness policies on a salary savings or payroll deduction plan at a reduced rate commensurate with the savings made by the use of the plan.

(c) With respect to insurance other than life, accident and sickness, ocean marine or marine protection and indemnity insurance, no person shall knowingly charge, demand or receive a premium for the insurance except in accordance with an applicable filing on file with the commissioner. No person shall pay, allow or give, directly or indirectly, either as an inducement to insurance or after insurance has been effected, any rebate, discount, abatement, credit or reduction of the premium named in a policy of insurance, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits to accrue thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever, not specified in the policy of insurance, except to the extent provided for in an applicable filing. No insured named in a policy of insurance, nor any relative, representative or employee of the insured shall knowingly receive or accept directly or indirectly, any rebate, discount, abatement, credit or reduction of premium, or any special favor or advantage or valuable consideration or inducement. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the payment of commissions or other compensation to duly licensed agents and brokers, nor as prohibiting any insurer from allowing or returning to its participating policyholders, members or subscribers, dividends, savings or unabsorbed premium deposits. As used in this section the word "insurance" includes suretyship and the word "policy" includes bond.

(9) Unfair claim settlement practices. -- No person shall commit or perform with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice any of the following:

(a) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;

(b) Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies;

(c) Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies;

(d) Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information;

(e) Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed;

(f) Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;

(g) Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by the insureds, when the insureds have made claims for amounts reasonably similar to the amounts ultimately recovered;

(h) Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application;

(i) Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the insured;

(j) Making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under which payments are being made;

(k) Making known to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than the amount awarded in arbitration;

(l) Delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an insured, claimant, or the physician of either to submit a preliminary claim report and then requiring the subsequent submission of formal proof of loss forms, both of which submissions contain substantially the same information;

(m) Failing to promptly settle claims, where liability has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage;

(n) Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement;

(o) Failing to notify the first party claimant and the provider(s) of services covered under accident and sickness insurance and hospital and medical service corporation insurance policies whether the claim has been accepted or denied and if denied, the reasons therefor, within fifteen calendar days from the filing of the proof of loss: Provided, That should benefits due the claimant be assigned, notice to the claimant shall not be required: Provided, however, That should the benefits be payable directly to the claimant, notice to the health care provider shall not be required. If the insurer needs more time to investigate the claim, it shall so notify the first party claimant in writing within fifteen calendar days from the date of the initial notification and every thirty calendar days, thereafter; but in no instance shall a claim remain unsettled and unpaid for more than ninety calendar days from the first party claimant's filing of the proof of loss unless, as determined by the insurance commissioner: (1) There is a legitimate dispute as to coverage, liability or damages; or (2) the claimant has fraudulently caused or contributed to the loss. In the event that the insurer fails to pay the claim in full within ninety calendar days from the claimant's filing of the proof of loss, except for exemptions provided above, there shall be assessed against the insurer and paid to the insured a penalty which will be in addition to the amount of the claim and assessed as interest on the claim at the then current prime rate plus one percent. Any penalty paid by an insurer pursuant to this section shall not be a consideration in any rate filing made by the insurer.

(10) Failure to maintain complaint handling procedures. -- No insurer shall fail to maintain a complete record of all the complaints which it has received since the date of its last examination under section nine, article two of this chapter. This record shall indicate the total number of complaints, their classification by line of insurance, the nature of each complaint, the disposition of these complaints, and the time it took to process each complaint. For purposes of this subsection, "complaint" shall mean any written communication primarily expressing a grievance.

(11) Misrepresentation in insurance applications. -- No person shall make false or fraudulent statements or representations on or relative to an application for an insurance policy, for the purpose of obtaining a fee, commission, money or other benefit from any insurer, agent, broker or individual.

(12) Failure to maintain privacy of consumer financial and health information. -- Any licensee who violates any provision of the commissioner's rule relating to the privacy of consumer financial and health information shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this article: Provided, That any licensee who complies with the provisions of this subsection, a commissioner's rule, or a court order shall not be deemed to be in violation of any other provisions of sections three and four of this article by their compliance with this subsection, the rule or court order. For purposes of this subsection, "licensee" means all licensed insurers, producers and other persons licensed or required to be licensed, or authorized or required to be authorized, or registered or required to be registered pursuant to this chapter.
W. Va. Code § 33-11-4. Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined.
The following are defined as unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance:
(1) Misrepresentation and false advertising of insurance policies. -- No person shall make, issue, circulate, or cause to be made, issued or circulated, any estimate, circular, statement, sales presentation, omission or comparison which:

(a) Misrepresents the benefits, advantages, conditions or terms of any insurance policy; or

(b) Misrepresents the dividends or share of the surplus to be received on any insurance policy; or

(c) Makes any false or misleading statements as to the dividends or share of surplus previously paid on any insurance policy; or

(d) Is misleading or is a misrepresentation as to the financial condition of any person, or as to the legal reserve system upon which any life insurer operates; or

(e) Uses any name or title of any insurance policy or class of insurance policies misrepresenting the true nature thereof; or

(f) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of inducing or tending to induce the lapse, forfeiture, exchange, conversion or surrender of any insurance policy; or

(g) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of effecting a pledge or assignment of or effecting a loan against any insurance policy; or

(h) Misrepresents any insurance policy as being shares of stock.

(2) False information and advertising generally. -- No person shall make, publish, disseminate, circulate or place before the public, or cause, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated or placed before the public, in a newspaper, magazine or other publication, or in the form of a notice, circular, pamphlet, letter or poster or over any radio or television station, or in any other way, an advertisement, announcement or statement containing any assertion, representation or statement with respect to the business of insurance or with respect to any person in the conduct of his or her insurance business, which is untrue, deceptive or misleading.

(3) Defamation. -- No person shall make, publish, disseminate or circulate, directly or indirectly, or aid, abet or encourage the making, publishing, disseminating or circulating of any oral or written statement or any pamphlet, circular, article or literature which is false, or maliciously critical of or derogatory to the financial condition of any person and which is calculated to injure the person.

(4) Boycott, coercion and intimidation. -- No person shall enter into any agreement to commit, or by any concerted action commit, any act of boycott, coercion or intimidation resulting in or tending to result in unreasonable restraint of, or monopoly in, the business of insurance.

(5) False statements and entries. -- (a) No person shall knowingly file with any supervisory or other public official, or knowingly make, publish, disseminate, circulate or deliver to any person, or place before the public, or knowingly cause directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, delivered to any person, or placed before the public, any false material statement of fact as to the financial condition of a person.

(b) No person shall knowingly make any false entry of a material fact in any book, report or statement of any person or knowingly omit to make a true entry of any material fact pertaining to the business of any person in any book, report or statement of such person.

(6) Stock operations and advisory board contracts. -- No person shall issue or deliver or permit agents, officers or employees to issue or deliver, agency company stock or other capital stock, or benefit certificates or shares in any common-law corporation, or securities or any special or advisory board contracts or other contracts of any kind promising returns and profits as an inducement to insurance.

(7) Unfair discrimination. -- (a) No person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and equal expectation of life in the rates charged for any contract of life insurance or of life annuity or in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other of the terms and conditions of the contract.

(b) No person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and of essentially the same hazard in the amount of premium policy fees, or rates charged for any policy or contract of accident and sickness insurance or in the benefits payable thereunder, or in any of the terms or conditions of the contract, or in any other manner whatever.

(c) As to kinds of insurance other than life and accident and sickness, no person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination in favor of particular persons, or between insureds or subjects of insurance having substantially like insuring, risk and exposure factors or expense elements, in the terms or conditions of any insurance contract, or in the rate or amount of premium charge therefor. This paragraph shall not apply as to any premium or premium rate in effect pursuant to article twenty of this chapter.

(8) Rebates. -- (a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall knowingly permit or offer to make or make any contract of life insurance, life annuity, or accident and sickness insurance, or agreement as to any contract other than as plainly expressed in the insurance contract issued thereon, or pay or allow or give or offer to pay, allow or give, directly or indirectly, as inducement to any insurance or annuity, any rebate of premiums payable on the contract, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever not specified in the contract; or give or sell, or purchase or offer to give, sell or purchase as inducement to any insurance contract or annuity or in connection therewith, any stocks, bonds or other securities of any insurance company or other corporation, association or partnership, or any dividends or profits accrued thereon, or anything of value whatsoever not specified in the contract.

(b) Nothing in subdivision (7) or paragraph (a) of subdivision (8) of this section shall be construed as including within the definition of unfair discrimination or rebates any of the following practices:

(i) In the case of any contract of life insurance or life annuity, paying bonuses to policyholders or otherwise abating their premiums, in whole or in part, out of surplus accumulated from nonparticipating insurance: Provided, That any such bonuses or abatement of premiums shall be fair and equitable to policyholders and for the best interests of the insurer and its policyholders;

(ii) In the case of life insurance policies issued on the industrial debit plan, making allowance to policyholders who have continuously for a specified period made premium payments directly to an office of the insurer in an amount which fairly represents the saving in collection expenses;

(iii) Readjustment of the rate of premium for a group insurance policy based on the loss or expense thereunder, at the end of the first or any subsequent policy year of insurance thereunder, which may be made retroactive only for such policy year;

(iv) Issuing life or accident and sickness policies on a salary savings or payroll deduction plan at a reduced rate commensurate with the savings made by the use of the plan.

(c) With respect to insurance other than life, accident and sickness, ocean marine or marine protection and indemnity insurance, no person shall knowingly charge, demand or receive a premium for the insurance except in accordance with an applicable filing on file with the commissioner. No person shall pay, allow or give, directly or indirectly, either as an inducement to insurance or after insurance has been effected, any rebate, discount, abatement, credit or reduction of the premium named in a policy of insurance, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits to accrue thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever, not specified in the policy of insurance, except to the extent provided for in an applicable filing. No insured named in a policy of insurance, nor any relative, representative or employee of the insured shall knowingly receive or accept directly or indirectly, any rebate, discount, abatement, credit or reduction of premium, or any special favor or advantage or valuable consideration or inducement. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the payment of commissions or other compensation to duly licensed agents and brokers, nor as prohibiting any insurer from allowing or returning to its participating policyholders, members or subscribers, dividends, savings or unabsorbed premium deposits. As used in this section the word "insurance" includes suretyship and the word "policy" includes bond.

(9) Unfair claim settlement practices. -- No person shall commit or perform with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice any of the following:

(a) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;

(b) Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies;

(c) Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies;

(d) Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information;

(e) Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed;

(f) Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;

(g) Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by the insureds, when the insureds have made claims for amounts reasonably similar to the amounts ultimately recovered;

(h) Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application;

(i) Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the insured;

(j) Making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under which payments are being made;

(k) Making known to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than the amount awarded in arbitration;

(l) Delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an insured, claimant, or the physician of either to submit a preliminary claim report and then requiring the subsequent submission of formal proof of loss forms, both of which submissions contain substantially the same information;

(m) Failing to promptly settle claims, where liability has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage;

(n) Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement;

(o) Failing to notify the first party claimant and the provider(s) of services covered under accident and sickness insurance and hospital and medical service corporation insurance policies whether the claim has been accepted or denied and if denied, the reasons therefor, within fifteen calendar days from the filing of the proof of loss: Provided, That should benefits due the claimant be assigned, notice to the claimant shall not be required: Provided, however, That should the benefits be payable directly to the claimant, notice to the health care provider shall not be required. If the insurer needs more time to investigate the claim, it shall so notify the first party claimant in writing within fifteen calendar days from the date of the initial notification and every thirty calendar days, thereafter; but in no instance shall a claim remain unsettled and unpaid for more than ninety calendar days from the first party claimant's filing of the proof of loss unless, as determined by the insurance commissioner: (1) There is a legitimate dispute as to coverage, liability or damages; or (2) the claimant has fraudulently caused or contributed to the loss. In the event that the insurer fails to pay the claim in full within ninety calendar days from the claimant's filing of the proof of loss, except for exemptions provided above, there shall be assessed against the insurer and paid to the insured a penalty which will be in addition to the amount of the claim and assessed as interest on the claim at the then current prime rate plus one percent. Any penalty paid by an insurer pursuant to this section shall not be a consideration in any rate filing made by the insurer.

(10) Failure to maintain complaint handling procedures. -- No insurer shall fail to maintain a complete record of all the complaints which it has received since the date of its last examination under section nine, article two of this chapter. This record shall indicate the total number of complaints, their classification by line of insurance, the nature of each complaint, the disposition of these complaints, and the time it took to process each complaint. For purposes of this subsection, "complaint" shall mean any written communication primarily expressing a grievance.

(11) Misrepresentation in insurance applications. -- No person shall make false or fraudulent statements or representations on or relative to an application for an insurance policy, for the purpose of obtaining a fee, commission, money or other benefit from any insurer, agent, broker or individual.

(12) Failure to maintain privacy of consumer financial and health information. -- Any licensee who violates any provision of the commissioner's rule relating to the privacy of consumer financial and health information shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this article: Provided, That any licensee who complies with the provisions of this subsection, a commissioner's rule, or a court order shall not be deemed to be in violation of any other provisions of sections three and four of this article by their compliance with this subsection, the rule or court order. For purposes of this subsection, "licensee" means all licensed insurers, producers and other persons licensed or required to be licensed, or authorized or required to be authorized, or registered or required to be registered pursuant to this chapter.
The following are defined as unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance:
(1) Misrepresentation and false advertising of insurance policies. -- No person shall make, issue, circulate, or cause to be made, issued or circulated, any estimate, circular, statement, sales presentation, omission or comparison which:

(a) Misrepresents the benefits, advantages, conditions or terms of any insurance policy; or

(b) Misrepresents the dividends or share of the surplus to be received on any insurance policy; or

(c) Makes any false or misleading statements as to the dividends or share of surplus previously paid on any insurance policy; or

(d) Is misleading or is a misrepresentation as to the financial condition of any person, or as to the legal reserve system upon which any life insurer operates; or

(e) Uses any name or title of any insurance policy or class of insurance policies misrepresenting the true nature thereof; or

(f) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of inducing or tending to induce the lapse, forfeiture, exchange, conversion or surrender of any insurance policy; or

(g) Is a misrepresentation for the purpose of effecting a pledge or assignment of or effecting a loan against any insurance policy; or

(h) Misrepresents any insurance policy as being shares of stock.

(2) False information and advertising generally. -- No person shall make, publish, disseminate, circulate or place before the public, or cause, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated or placed before the public, in a newspaper, magazine or other publication, or in the form of a notice, circular, pamphlet, letter or poster or over any radio or television station, or in any other way, an advertisement, announcement or statement containing any assertion, representation or statement with respect to the business of insurance or with respect to any person in the conduct of his or her insurance business, which is untrue, deceptive or misleading.

(3) Defamation. -- No person shall make, publish, disseminate or circulate, directly or indirectly, or aid, abet or encourage the making, publishing, disseminating or circulating of any oral or written statement or any pamphlet, circular, article or literature which is false, or maliciously critical of or derogatory to the financial condition of any person and which is calculated to injure the person.

(4) Boycott, coercion and intimidation. -- No person shall enter into any agreement to commit, or by any concerted action commit, any act of boycott, coercion or intimidation resulting in or tending to result in unreasonable restraint of, or monopoly in, the business of insurance.

(5) False statements and entries. -- (a) No person shall knowingly file with any supervisory or other public official, or knowingly make, publish, disseminate, circulate or deliver to any person, or place before the public, or knowingly cause directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, delivered to any person, or placed before the public, any false material statement of fact as to the financial condition of a person.

(b) No person shall knowingly make any false entry of a material fact in any book, report or statement of any person or knowingly omit to make a true entry of any material fact pertaining to the business of any person in any book, report or statement of such person.

(6) Stock operations and advisory board contracts. -- No person shall issue or deliver or permit agents, officers or employees to issue or deliver, agency company stock or other capital stock, or benefit certificates or shares in any common-law corporation, or securities or any special or advisory board contracts or other contracts of any kind promising returns and profits as an inducement to insurance.

(7) Unfair discrimination. -- (a) No person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and equal expectation of life in the rates charged for any contract of life insurance or of life annuity or in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other of the terms and conditions of the contract.

(b) No person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and of essentially the same hazard in the amount of premium policy fees, or rates charged for any policy or contract of accident and sickness insurance or in the benefits payable thereunder, or in any of the terms or conditions of the contract, or in any other manner whatever.

(c) As to kinds of insurance other than life and accident and sickness, no person shall make or permit any unfair discrimination in favor of particular persons, or between insureds or subjects of insurance having substantially like insuring, risk and exposure factors or expense elements, in the terms or conditions of any insurance contract, or in the rate or amount of premium charge therefor. This paragraph shall not apply as to any premium or premium rate in effect pursuant to article twenty of this chapter.

(8) Rebates. -- (a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall knowingly permit or offer to make or make any contract of life insurance, life annuity, or accident and sickness insurance, or agreement as to any contract other than as plainly expressed in the insurance contract issued thereon, or pay or allow or give or offer to pay, allow or give, directly or indirectly, as inducement to any insurance or annuity, any rebate of premiums payable on the contract, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever not specified in the contract; or give or sell, or purchase or offer to give, sell or purchase as inducement to any insurance contract or annuity or in connection therewith, any stocks, bonds or other securities of any insurance company or other corporation, association or partnership, or any dividends or profits accrued thereon, or anything of value whatsoever not specified in the contract.

(b) Nothing in subdivision (7) or paragraph (a) of subdivision (8) of this section shall be construed as including within the definition of unfair discrimination or rebates any of the following practices:

(i) In the case of any contract of life insurance or life annuity, paying bonuses to policyholders or otherwise abating their premiums, in whole or in part, out of surplus accumulated from nonparticipating insurance: Provided, That any such bonuses or abatement of premiums shall be fair and equitable to policyholders and for the best interests of the insurer and its policyholders;

(ii) In the case of life insurance policies issued on the industrial debit plan, making allowance to policyholders who have continuously for a specified period made premium payments directly to an office of the insurer in an amount which fairly represents the saving in collection expenses;

(iii) Readjustment of the rate of premium for a group insurance policy based on the loss or expense thereunder, at the end of the first or any subsequent policy year of insurance thereunder, which may be made retroactive only for such policy year;

(iv) Issuing life or accident and sickness policies on a salary savings or payroll deduction plan at a reduced rate commensurate with the savings made by the use of the plan.

(c) With respect to insurance other than life, accident and sickness, ocean marine or marine protection and indemnity insurance, no person shall knowingly charge, demand or receive a premium for the insurance except in accordance with an applicable filing on file with the commissioner. No person shall pay, allow or give, directly or indirectly, either as an inducement to insurance or after insurance has been effected, any rebate, discount, abatement, credit or reduction of the premium named in a policy of insurance, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits to accrue thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever, not specified in the policy of insurance, except to the extent provided for in an applicable filing. No insured named in a policy of insurance, nor any relative, representative or employee of the insured shall knowingly receive or accept directly or indirectly, any rebate, discount, abatement, credit or reduction of premium, or any special favor or advantage or valuable consideration or inducement. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the payment of commissions or other compensation to duly licensed agents and brokers, nor as prohibiting any insurer from allowing or returning to its participating policyholders, members or subscribers, dividends, savings or unabsorbed premium deposits. As used in this section the word "insurance" includes suretyship and the word "policy" includes bond.

(9) Unfair claim settlement practices. -- No person shall commit or perform with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice any of the following:

(a) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;

(b) Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies;

(c) Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies;

(d) Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information;

(e) Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed;

(f) Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;

(g) Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by the insureds, when the insureds have made claims for amounts reasonably similar to the amounts ultimately recovered;

(h) Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application;

(i) Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the insured;

(j) Making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under which payments are being made;

(k) Making known to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than the amount awarded in arbitration;

(l) Delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an insured, claimant, or the physician of either to submit a preliminary claim report and then requiring the subsequent submission of formal proof of loss forms, both of which submissions contain substantially the same information;

(m) Failing to promptly settle claims, where liability has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage;

(n) Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement;

(o) Failing to notify the first party claimant and the provider(s) of services covered under accident and sickness insurance and hospital and medical service corporation insurance policies whether the claim has been accepted or denied and if denied, the reasons therefor, within fifteen calendar days from the filing of the proof of loss: Provided, That should benefits due the claimant be assigned, notice to the claimant shall not be required: Provided, however, That should the benefits be payable directly to the claimant, notice to the health care provider shall not be required. If the insurer needs more time to investigate the claim, it shall so notify the first party claimant in writing within fifteen calendar days from the date of the initial notification and every thirty calendar days, thereafter; but in no instance shall a claim remain unsettled and unpaid for more than ninety calendar days from the first party claimant's filing of the proof of loss unless, as determined by the insurance commissioner: (1) There is a legitimate dispute as to coverage, liability or damages; or (2) the claimant has fraudulently caused or contributed to the loss. In the event that the insurer fails to pay the claim in full within ninety calendar days from the claimant's filing of the proof of loss, except for exemptions provided above, there shall be assessed against the insurer and paid to the insured a penalty which will be in addition to the amount of the claim and assessed as interest on the claim at the then current prime rate plus one percent. Any penalty paid by an insurer pursuant to this section shall not be a consideration in any rate filing made by the insurer.

(10) Failure to maintain complaint handling procedures. -- No insurer shall fail to maintain a complete record of all the complaints which it has received since the date of its last examination under section nine, article two of this chapter. This record shall indicate the total number of complaints, their classification by line of insurance, the nature of each complaint, the disposition of these complaints, and the time it took to process each complaint. For purposes of this subsection, "complaint" shall mean any written communication primarily expressing a grievance.

(11) Misrepresentation in insurance applications. -- No person shall make false or fraudulent statements or representations on or relative to an application for an insurance policy, for the purpose of obtaining a fee, commission, money or other benefit from any insurer, agent, broker or individual.

(12) Failure to maintain privacy of consumer financial and health information. -- Any licensee who violates any provision of the commissioner's rule relating to the privacy of consumer financial and health information shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this article: Provided, That any licensee who complies with the provisions of this subsection, a commissioner's rule, or a court order shall not be deemed to be in violation of any other provisions of sections three and four of this article by their compliance with this subsection, the rule or court order. For purposes of this subsection, "licensee" means all licensed insurers, producers and other persons licensed or required to be licensed, or authorized or required to be authorized, or registered or required to be registered pursuant to this chapter.

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W. Va. Code § 33-25-14. Prohibited advertising practices.
(a) No health maintenance organization, or representative of a health maintenance organization, may cause or knowingly permit the use of advertising which is untrue or misleading, solicitation which is untrue or misleading, or any form of evidence of coverage which is deceptive. No advertising may be used until it has been approved by the Commissioner. Advertising which has not been disapproved by the Commissioner within sixty days of filing shall be considered approved. For purposes of this article:
(1) A statement or item of information shall be considered to be untrue if it does not conform to fact in any respect which is or may be significant to an enrollee of, or person considering enrollment in, a health maintenance organization;

(2) A statement or item of information shall be considered to be misleading, whether or not it may be literally untrue if, in the total context in which the statement is made or the item of information is communicated, the statement or item of information may be reasonably understood by a reasonable person, not possessing special knowledge regarding health care coverage, as indicating any benefit or advantage or the absence of any exclusion, limitation, or disadvantage of possible significance to an enrollee of, or person considering enrollment in, a health maintenance organization, if the benefit or advantage or absence of limitation, exclusion or disadvantage does not in fact exist;

(3) An evidence of coverage shall be considered to be deceptive if the evidence of coverage taken as a whole, and with consideration given to typography and format, as well as language, is such as to cause a reasonable person, not possessing special knowledge regarding health maintenance organizations, and evidences of coverage therefor, to expect benefits, services or other advantages which the evidence of coverage does not provide or which the health maintenance organization issuing the evidence of coverage does not regularly make available for enrollees covered under the evidence of coverage; and

(4) The Commissioner may propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to further define practices which are untrue, misleading or deceptive.

(b)(1) No health maintenance organization may use in its name, contracts, logo or literature any of the words "insurance", "casualty", "surety", "mutual" or any other words which are descriptive of the insurance, casualty or surety business or deceptively similar to the name or description of any insurance or surety corporation doing business in this state: Provided, That when a health maintenance organization has contracted with an insurance company for any coverage permitted by this article, it may so state; and

(2) Only a person that has been issued a certificate of authority under this article may use the words "health maintenance organization" or the initials "HMO" in its name, contracts, logo or literature to imply, directly or indirectly, that it is a health maintenance organization or hold itself out to be a health maintenance organization.

(c)(1) No agent of a health maintenance organization or person selling enrollments in a health maintenance organization shall sell an enrollment in a health maintenance organization unless the agent or person shall first disclose in writing to the prospective purchaser the following information using the following exact terms in bold print: "Services offered", including any exclusions or limitations; "full cost", including copayments; "facilities available"; "transportation services"; "disenrollment rate"; and "staff", including the names of all full-time staff physicians, consulting specialists, hospitals and pharmacies associated with the health maintenance organization. In any home solicitation, any three-day cooling-off period applicable to consumer transactions generally applies in the same manner as consumer transactions.

(2) The form disclosure statement shall not be used in sales until it has been approved by the Commissioner or submitted to the Commissioner for sixty days without disapproval.

(d) No contract with an enrollee shall prohibit an enrollee from canceling his or her enrollment at any time for any reason except that the contract may require thirty days' notice to the health maintenance organization.

(e) Any person who, in connection with an enrollment, violates any provision of this section may be held liable for an amount equivalent to one year's subscription rate, plus costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.
W. Va. Code § 33-25-14. Prohibited advertising practices.
(a) No health maintenance organization, or representative of a health maintenance organization, may cause or knowingly permit the use of advertising which is untrue or misleading, solicitation which is untrue or misleading, or any form of evidence of coverage which is deceptive. No advertising may be used until it has been approved by the Commissioner. Advertising which has not been disapproved by the Commissioner within sixty days of filing shall be considered approved. For purposes of this article:
(1) A statement or item of information shall be considered to be untrue if it does not conform to fact in any respect which is or may be significant to an enrollee of, or person considering enrollment in, a health maintenance organization;

(2) A statement or item of information shall be considered to be misleading, whether or not it may be literally untrue if, in the total context in which the statement is made or the item of information is communicated, the statement or item of information may be reasonably understood by a reasonable person, not possessing special knowledge regarding health care coverage, as indicating any benefit or advantage or the absence of any exclusion, limitation, or disadvantage of possible significance to an enrollee of, or person considering enrollment in, a health maintenance organization, if the benefit or advantage or absence of limitation, exclusion or disadvantage does not in fact exist;

(3) An evidence of coverage shall be considered to be deceptive if the evidence of coverage taken as a whole, and with consideration given to typography and format, as well as language, is such as to cause a reasonable person, not possessing special knowledge regarding health maintenance organizations, and evidences of coverage therefor, to expect benefits, services or other advantages which the evidence of coverage does not provide or which the health maintenance organization issuing the evidence of coverage does not regularly make available for enrollees covered under the evidence of coverage; and

(4) The Commissioner may propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to further define practices which are untrue, misleading or deceptive.

(b)(1) No health maintenance organization may use in its name, contracts, logo or literature any of the words "insurance", "casualty", "surety", "mutual" or any other words which are descriptive of the insurance, casualty or surety business or deceptively similar to the name or description of any insurance or surety corporation doing business in this state: Provided, That when a health maintenance organization has contracted with an insurance company for any coverage permitted by this article, it may so state; and

(2) Only a person that has been issued a certificate of authority under this article may use the words "health maintenance organization" or the initials "HMO" in its name, contracts, logo or literature to imply, directly or indirectly, that it is a health maintenance organization or hold itself out to be a health maintenance organization.

(c)(1) No agent of a health maintenance organization or person selling enrollments in a health maintenance organization shall sell an enrollment in a health maintenance organization unless the agent or person shall first disclose in writing to the prospective purchaser the following information using the following exact terms in bold print: "Services offered", including any exclusions or limitations; "full cost", including copayments; "facilities available"; "transportation services"; "disenrollment rate"; and "staff", including the names of all full-time staff physicians, consulting specialists, hospitals and pharmacies associated with the health maintenance organization. In any home solicitation, any three-day cooling-off period applicable to consumer transactions generally applies in the same manner as consumer transactions.

(2) The form disclosure statement shall not be used in sales until it has been approved by the Commissioner or submitted to the Commissioner for sixty days without disapproval.

(d) No contract with an enrollee shall prohibit an enrollee from canceling his or her enrollment at any time for any reason except that the contract may require thirty days' notice to the health maintenance organization.

(e) Any person who, in connection with an enrollment, violates any provision of this section may be held liable for an amount equivalent to one year's subscription rate, plus costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.

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W. Va. Code § 33-25D-15. Prohibited practices.
(a) No prepaid limited health service organization, or representative thereof, may cause or knowingly permit the use of advertising which is untrue or misleading, solicitation which is untrue or misleading, or any form of evidence of coverage which is deceptive. No advertising may be used until it has been approved by the commissioner. Advertising which has not been disapproved by the commissioner within sixty days of filing is considered approved. For purposes of this article:
(1) A statement or item of information is untrue if it does not conform to fact in any respect which is or may be significant to an enrollee of, or person considering enrollment in, a prepaid limited health service organization;

(2) A statement or item of information is misleading, whether or not it may be literally untrue, if, in the total context in which the statement is made or the item of information is communicated, the statement or item of information may be reasonably understood by a reasonable person, not possessing special knowledge regarding health care coverage, as indicating any benefit or advantage or the absence of any exclusion, limitation, or disadvantage of possible significance to an enrollee of, or person considering enrollment in, a prepaid limited health service organization, if the benefit or advantage or absence of limitation, exclusion or disadvantage does not in fact exist;

(3) An evidence of coverage is deceptive if the evidence of coverage taken as a whole, and with consideration given to typography and format, as well as language, causes a reasonable person, not possessing special knowledge regarding prepaid limited health service organizations, and evidences of coverage therefor, to expect benefits, services or other advantages which the evidence of coverage does not provide or which the prepaid limited health service organization issuing the evidence of coverage does not regularly make available for enrollees covered under the evidence of coverage; and

(4) The commissioner may further define practices which are untrue, misleading or deceptive.

(b)(1) No prepaid limited health service organization may cancel or fail to renew the coverage of an enrollee except for: (A) Failure to pay the charge for health care coverage;

(B) Termination of the prepaid limited health service organization;

(C) Termination of the group plan;

(D) Enrollee moving out of the area served;

(E) Enrollee moving out of an eligible group; or

(F) Other reasons established in rules promulgated by the commissioner.

(2) No prepaid limited health service organization may use any technique of rating or grouping to cancel or fail to renew the coverage of an enrollee. An enrollee shall be given thirty days' notice of any cancellation or nonrenewal and the notice shall include the reasons for the cancellation or nonrenewal: Provided, That each enrollee moving out of an eligible group shall be granted the opportunity to enroll in the prepaid limited health service organization on an individual basis. A prepaid limited health service organization may not disenroll an enrollee for nonpayment of copayments unless the enrollee has failed to make payment in at least three instances over any twelve-month period: Provided, however, That the enrollee may not be disenrolled if the disenrollment would constitute abandonment of a patient. Any enrollee wrongfully disenrolled shall be reenrolled.

(c)(1) No prepaid limited health service organization may use in its name, contracts, logo or literature any of the words "insurance," "casualty," "surety," "mutual" or any other words which are descriptive of the insurance, casualty or surety business or deceptively similar to the name or description of any insurance or surety corporation doing business in this state: Provided, That when a prepaid limited health service organization has contracted with another insurer for any coverage permitted by this article, it may so state; and

(2) No person who has not been issued a certificate of authority under this article may use the words "prepaid limited health service organization" or the initials "PLHSO" in its name, contracts, logo or literature to imply, directly or indirectly, that it is a prepaid limited health service organization or hold itself out to be a prepaid limited health service organization.

(d) The providers of a prepaid limited health service organization who provide limited health services and the prepaid limited health service organization do not have recourse against enrollees for amounts above those specified in the evidence of coverage as the periodic prepayment or copayment for health care services.

(e) No prepaid limited health service organization may discriminate in enrollment policies or quality of services against any person on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, place of residence, health status or source of payment: Provided, That differences in rates based on valid actuarial distinctions, including distinctions relating to age and sex, are not considered discrimination in enrollment policies.

(f)(1) No agent of a prepaid limited health service organization or person selling enrollments in a prepaid limited health service organization may sell an enrollment in a prepaid limited health service organization unless the agent or person first discloses in writing to the prospective purchaser the following information using the following exact terms in bold print:

(A) "Services offered," including any exclusions or limitations;

(B) "Full cost," including copayments;

(C) "Facilities available and hours of services";

(D) "Transportation services";

(E) "Disenrollment rate"; and

(F) "Staff," including the names of all full-time staff physicians, consulting specialists and inpatient facilities, if any, associated with the prepaid limited health service organization.

(2) In any home solicitation, any three-day cooling-off period applicable to consumer transactions generally applies in the same manner as consumer transactions.

(3) The form disclosure statement may not be used in sales until it has been approved by the commissioner. Any person who fails to disclose the requisite information prior to the sale of an enrollment may be held liable in an amount equivalent to one year's subscription rate to the prepaid limited health service organization, plus costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.

(g) No contract with an enrollee may prohibit an enrollee from canceling his or her enrollment at any time for any reason except that the contract may require thirty days' notice to the prepaid limited health service organization.

(h) No contract with an enrollee may contain any provision purporting to make any portion of the articles of incorporation, charter, bylaws or other organizational document of the prepaid limited health service organization a part of the contract unless the provision is set forth in full in the contract.

(i) Any person who in connection with an enrollment violates any subsection of this section may be held liable for an amount equivalent to one year's subscription rate, plus costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.
W. Va. Code § 33-25D-15. Prohibited practices.
(a) No prepaid limited health service organization, or representative thereof, may cause or knowingly permit the use of advertising which is untrue or misleading, solicitation which is untrue or misleading, or any form of evidence of coverage which is deceptive. No advertising may be used until it has been approved by the commissioner. Advertising which has not been disapproved by the commissioner within sixty days of filing is considered approved. For purposes of this article:
(1) A statement or item of information is untrue if it does not conform to fact in any respect which is or may be significant to an enrollee of, or person considering enrollment in, a prepaid limited health service organization;

(2) A statement or item of information is misleading, whether or not it may be literally untrue, if, in the total context in which the statement is made or the item of information is communicated, the statement or item of information may be reasonably understood by a reasonable person, not possessing special knowledge regarding health care coverage, as indicating any benefit or advantage or the absence of any exclusion, limitation, or disadvantage of possible significance to an enrollee of, or person considering enrollment in, a prepaid limited health service organization, if the benefit or advantage or absence of limitation, exclusion or disadvantage does not in fact exist;

(3) An evidence of coverage is deceptive if the evidence of coverage taken as a whole, and with consideration given to typography and format, as well as language, causes a reasonable person, not possessing special knowledge regarding prepaid limited health service organizations, and evidences of coverage therefor, to expect benefits, services or other advantages which the evidence of coverage does not provide or which the prepaid limited health service organization issuing the evidence of coverage does not regularly make available for enrollees covered under the evidence of coverage; and

(4) The commissioner may further define practices which are untrue, misleading or deceptive.

(b)(1) No prepaid limited health service organization may cancel or fail to renew the coverage of an enrollee except for: (A) Failure to pay the charge for health care coverage;

(B) Termination of the prepaid limited health service organization;

(C) Termination of the group plan;

(D) Enrollee moving out of the area served;

(E) Enrollee moving out of an eligible group; or

(F) Other reasons established in rules promulgated by the commissioner.

(2) No prepaid limited health service organization may use any technique of rating or grouping to cancel or fail to renew the coverage of an enrollee. An enrollee shall be given thirty days' notice of any cancellation or nonrenewal and the notice shall include the reasons for the cancellation or nonrenewal: Provided, That each enrollee moving out of an eligible group shall be granted the opportunity to enroll in the prepaid limited health service organization on an individual basis. A prepaid limited health service organization may not disenroll an enrollee for nonpayment of copayments unless the enrollee has failed to make payment in at least three instances over any twelve-month period: Provided, however, That the enrollee may not be disenrolled if the disenrollment would constitute abandonment of a patient. Any enrollee wrongfully disenrolled shall be reenrolled.

(c)(1) No prepaid limited health service organization may use in its name, contracts, logo or literature any of the words "insurance," "casualty," "surety," "mutual" or any other words which are descriptive of the insurance, casualty or surety business or deceptively similar to the name or description of any insurance or surety corporation doing business in this state: Provided, That when a prepaid limited health service organization has contracted with another insurer for any coverage permitted by this article, it may so state; and

(2) No person who has not been issued a certificate of authority under this article may use the words "prepaid limited health service organization" or the initials "PLHSO" in its name, contracts, logo or literature to imply, directly or indirectly, that it is a prepaid limited health service organization or hold itself out to be a prepaid limited health service organization.

(d) The providers of a prepaid limited health service organization who provide limited health services and the prepaid limited health service organization do not have recourse against enrollees for amounts above those specified in the evidence of coverage as the periodic prepayment or copayment for health care services.

(e) No prepaid limited health service organization may discriminate in enrollment policies or quality of services against any person on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, place of residence, health status or source of payment: Provided, That differences in rates based on valid actuarial distinctions, including distinctions relating to age and sex, are not considered discrimination in enrollment policies.

(f)(1) No agent of a prepaid limited health service organization or person selling enrollments in a prepaid limited health service organization may sell an enrollment in a prepaid limited health service organization unless the agent or person first discloses in writing to the prospective purchaser the following information using the following exact terms in bold print:

(A) "Services offered," including any exclusions or limitations;

(B) "Full cost," including copayments;

(C) "Facilities available and hours of services";

(D) "Transportation services";

(E) "Disenrollment rate"; and

(F) "Staff," including the names of all full-time staff physicians, consulting specialists and inpatient facilities, if any, associated with the prepaid limited health service organization.

(2) In any home solicitation, any three-day cooling-off period applicable to consumer transactions generally applies in the same manner as consumer transactions.

(3) The form disclosure statement may not be used in sales until it has been approved by the commissioner. Any person who fails to disclose the requisite information prior to the sale of an enrollment may be held liable in an amount equivalent to one year's subscription rate to the prepaid limited health service organization, plus costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.

(g) No contract with an enrollee may prohibit an enrollee from canceling his or her enrollment at any time for any reason except that the contract may require thirty days' notice to the prepaid limited health service organization.

(h) No contract with an enrollee may contain any provision purporting to make any portion of the articles of incorporation, charter, bylaws or other organizational document of the prepaid limited health service organization a part of the contract unless the provision is set forth in full in the contract.

(i) Any person who in connection with an enrollment violates any subsection of this section may be held liable for an amount equivalent to one year's subscription rate, plus costs and a reasonable attorney's fee.

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W. Va. Code § 35-5-7. Requirements for cemetery company contracts.

(a) Any cemetery company contract shall:
(1) Be written in clear understandable language and printed in easy-to-read type, size and style;

(2) Include the name and address of the seller, the contract buyer and the person for whom the contract is bought if other than the contract buyer;

(3) Contain a complete description of the property, goods or services bought, including an itemization of the retail price of the property, goods or services bought and, specifically, the retail price of the monument, marker, installation, foundation, the opening and closing of the grave site and any other charges. Failure to provide this information is a violation of subsection (f), section one hundred two, article six, chapter forty-six-a of this code, relating to unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices;

(4) Clearly disclose whether the retail price of the property, goods or services bought is guaranteed;

(5) Provide that when the particular property, goods or services specified in the contract are unavailable at the time of delivery, the seller shall furnish property, goods or services similar in size, style and equal in quality of material and workmanship, and that the representative of the deceased has the right to reasonably choose the property, goods or services to be substituted; and

(6) Be executed in duplicate and a signed copy given to the buyer.

(b) For purposes of this article, the following words and phrases have the following meanings:

(1) "Cemetery company" or "seller" means any person, partnership, firm or corporation engaged in the business of operating a cemetery or selling property, goods or services used in connection with interring or disposing of the remains or commemorating the memory of a deceased human being.

(2) "Cemetery company contract" means a contract for the sale of real and personal property, goods or services used in connection with interring or disposing of the remains or commemorating the memory of a deceased human being.
W. Va. Code § 35-5-7. Requirements for cemetery company contracts.

(a) Any cemetery company contract shall:
(1) Be written in clear understandable language and printed in easy-to-read type, size and style;

(2) Include the name and address of the seller, the contract buyer and the person for whom the contract is bought if other than the contract buyer;

(3) Contain a complete description of the property, goods or services bought, including an itemization of the retail price of the property, goods or services bought and, specifically, the retail price of the monument, marker, installation, foundation, the opening and closing of the grave site and any other charges. Failure to provide this information is a violation of subsection (f), section one hundred two, article six, chapter forty-six-a of this code, relating to unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices;

(4) Clearly disclose whether the retail price of the property, goods or services bought is guaranteed;

(5) Provide that when the particular property, goods or services specified in the contract are unavailable at the time of delivery, the seller shall furnish property, goods or services similar in size, style and equal in quality of material and workmanship, and that the representative of the deceased has the right to reasonably choose the property, goods or services to be substituted; and

(6) Be executed in duplicate and a signed copy given to the buyer.

(b) For purposes of this article, the following words and phrases have the following meanings:

(1) "Cemetery company" or "seller" means any person, partnership, firm or corporation engaged in the business of operating a cemetery or selling property, goods or services used in connection with interring or disposing of the remains or commemorating the memory of a deceased human being.

(2) "Cemetery company contract" means a contract for the sale of real and personal property, goods or services used in connection with interring or disposing of the remains or commemorating the memory of a deceased human being.

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W. Va. Code § 37-6A-4. Prohibited provision in rental agreemens.A rental agreement may not contain a provision that the tenant agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies under this article. A provision prohibited by this section included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord brings an action to enforce any of the prohibited provisions, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained by him or her and reasonable attorney's fees.

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W. Va. Code § 37-6A-6. Application and effective date of this article. (a) The provisions of this article shall apply to all residential rental premises or units used for dwelling purposes.
(b) The provisions of this article do not apply to agreements for the payment of security deposits entered into prior to the effective date of this article.

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W. Va. Code § 39A-2-1. Consent to electronic records.Notwithstanding the provisions of article one of this chapter, if a statute, regulation or other rule of law requires that information relating to a transaction or transactions in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce be provided or made available to a consumer in writing, the use of an electronic record to provide or make available such information satisfies the requirement that such information be in writing if:
(1) The consumer has affirmatively consented to such use and has not withdrawn such consent;

(2) The consumer, prior to consenting, is provided with a clear and conspicuous statement;

(A) Informing the consumer of: (i) Any right or option of the consumer to have the record provided or made available on paper or in nonelectronic form; and (ii) the right of the consumer to withdraw the consent to have the record provided or made available in an electronic form and of any conditions, consequences, which may include termination of the parties' relationship, or fees in the event of such withdrawal;

(B) Informing the consumer of whether the consent applies: (i) Only to the particular transaction which gave rise to the obligation to provide the record; or (ii) to identified categories of records that may be provided or made available during the course of the parties' relationship;

(C) Describing the procedures the consumer must use to withdraw consent as provided in paragraph (A) of this section and to update information needed to contact the consumer electronically; and

(D) Informing the consumer: (i) How, after consent, the consumer may, upon request, obtain a paper copy of an electronic record; and (ii) whether any fee will be charged for such copy;

(3) The consumer:

(A) Prior to consenting, is provided with a statement of the hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of the electronic records; and

(B) Consents electronically, or confirms his or her consent electronically, in a manner that reasonably demonstrates that the consumer can access information in the electronic form that will be used to provide the information that is the subject of the consent; and

(4) After the consent of a consumer in accordance with subdivision (1) of this section, if a change in the hardware or software requirements needed to access or retain electronic records creates a material risk that the consumer will not be able to access or retain a subsequent electronic record that was the subject of the consent, the person providing the electronic record:

(A) Provides the consumer with a statement of: (i) The revised hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of the electronic records; and (ii) the right to withdraw consent without the imposition of any fees for such withdrawal and without the imposition of any condition or consequence that was not disclosed under subparagraph (ii), paragraph (A), subdivision (2) of this subsection; and

(B) Again complies with subdivision (3).
W. Va. Code § 39A-2-1. Consent to electronic records.Notwithstanding the provisions of article one of this chapter, if a statute, regulation or other rule of law requires that information relating to a transaction or transactions in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce be provided or made available to a consumer in writing, the use of an electronic record to provide or make available such information satisfies the requirement that such information be in writing if:
(1) The consumer has affirmatively consented to such use and has not withdrawn such consent;

(2) The consumer, prior to consenting, is provided with a clear and conspicuous statement;

(A) Informing the consumer of: (i) Any right or option of the consumer to have the record provided or made available on paper or in nonelectronic form; and (ii) the right of the consumer to withdraw the consent to have the record provided or made available in an electronic form and of any conditions, consequences, which may include termination of the parties' relationship, or fees in the event of such withdrawal;

(B) Informing the consumer of whether the consent applies: (i) Only to the particular transaction which gave rise to the obligation to provide the record; or (ii) to identified categories of records that may be provided or made available during the course of the parties' relationship;

(C) Describing the procedures the consumer must use to withdraw consent as provided in paragraph (A) of this section and to update information needed to contact the consumer electronically; and

(D) Informing the consumer: (i) How, after consent, the consumer may, upon request, obtain a paper copy of an electronic record; and (ii) whether any fee will be charged for such copy;

(3) The consumer:

(A) Prior to consenting, is provided with a statement of the hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of the electronic records; and

(B) Consents electronically, or confirms his or her consent electronically, in a manner that reasonably demonstrates that the consumer can access information in the electronic form that will be used to provide the information that is the subject of the consent; and

(4) After the consent of a consumer in accordance with subdivision (1) of this section, if a change in the hardware or software requirements needed to access or retain electronic records creates a material risk that the consumer will not be able to access or retain a subsequent electronic record that was the subject of the consent, the person providing the electronic record:

(A) Provides the consumer with a statement of: (i) The revised hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of the electronic records; and (ii) the right to withdraw consent without the imposition of any fees for such withdrawal and without the imposition of any condition or consequence that was not disclosed under subparagraph (ii), paragraph (A), subdivision (2) of this subsection; and

(B) Again complies with subdivision (3).

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W. Va. Code § 39A-2-2. Preservation of consumer protection; verification or acknowledgment.

(a) Nothing in this article affects the content or timing of any disclosure or other record required to be provided or made available to any consumer under any statute, rule, regulation or other rule of law.
(b) If a law that was enacted prior to this article expressly requires a record to be provided or made available by a specified method that requires verification or acknowledgment of receipt, the record may be provided or made available electronically only if the method used provides verification or acknowledgment of receipt.
W. Va. Code § 39A-2-2. Preservation of consumer protection; verification or acknowledgment.

(a) Nothing in this article affects the content or timing of any disclosure or other record required to be provided or made available to any consumer under any statute, rule, regulation or other rule of law.
(b) If a law that was enacted prior to this article expressly requires a record to be provided or made available by a specified method that requires verification or acknowledgment of receipt, the record may be provided or made available electronically only if the method used provides verification or acknowledgment of receipt.

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W. Va. Code § 39A-2-3. Effect of failure to obtain electronic consent or confirmation.

The legal effectiveness, validity or enforceability of any contract executed by a consumer shall not be denied solely because of the failure to obtain electronic consent or confirmation of consent by that consumer in accordance with paragraph (B), subdivision (3), section one of this article.W. Va. Code § 39A-2-3. Effect of failure to obtain electronic consent or confirmation.

The legal effectiveness, validity or enforceability of any contract executed by a consumer shall not be denied solely because of the failure to obtain electronic consent or confirmation of consent by that consumer in accordance with paragraph (B), subdivision (3), section one of this article.

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W. Va. Code § 39A-2-4. Prospective effect.
Withdrawal of consent by a consumer shall not affect the legal effectiveness, validity or enforceability of electronic records provided or made available to that consumer in accordance with section one of this article prior to implementation of the consumer's withdrawal of consent. A consumer's withdrawal of consent shall be effective within a reasonable period of time after receipt of the withdrawal by the provider of the record. Failure to comply with subdivision (4), section one of this article may, at the election of the consumer, be treated as a withdrawal of consent for purposes of this subsection.W. Va. Code § 39A-2-4. Prospective effect.
Withdrawal of consent by a consumer shall not affect the legal effectiveness, validity or enforceability of electronic records provided or made available to that consumer in accordance with section one of this article prior to implementation of the consumer's withdrawal of consent. A consumer's withdrawal of consent shall be effective within a reasonable period of time after receipt of the withdrawal by the provider of the record. Failure to comply with subdivision (4), section one of this article may, at the election of the consumer, be treated as a withdrawal of consent for purposes of this subsection.

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W. Va. Code § 39A-2-11. Exceptions.
The provisions of article one of this chapter do not apply to:
(1) Court orders or notices, or official court documents (including briefs, pleadings, and other writings) required to be executed in connection with court proceedings;

(2) Any notice of:

(A) The cancellation or termination of utility services (including water, heat and power);

(B) Default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure, eviction or the right to cure, under a credit agreement secured by, or a rental agreement for, a primary residence of an individual;

(C) The cancellation or termination of health insurance or benefits or life insurance benefits (excluding annuities); or

(D) Recall of a product, or material failure of a product, that risks endangering health or safety; or

(3) Any document required to accompany any transportation or handling of hazardous materials, pesticides or other toxic or dangerous materials.
W. Va. Code § 39A-2-11. Exceptions.
The provisions of article one of this chapter do not apply to:
(1) Court orders or notices, or official court documents (including briefs, pleadings, and other writings) required to be executed in connection with court proceedings;

(2) Any notice of:

(A) The cancellation or termination of utility services (including water, heat and power);

(B) Default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure, eviction or the right to cure, under a credit agreement secured by, or a rental agreement for, a primary residence of an individual;

(C) The cancellation or termination of health insurance or benefits or life insurance benefits (excluding annuities); or

(D) Recall of a product, or material failure of a product, that risks endangering health or safety; or

(3) Any document required to accompany any transportation or handling of hazardous materials, pesticides or other toxic or dangerous materials.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-1-101. Short title.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act."W. Va. Code § 46A-1-101. Short title.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act."

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W. Va. Code § 46A-1-102. General definitions.
In addition to definitions appearing in subsequent articles, in this chapter:
(1) "Actuarial method" means the method, defined by rules adopted by the commissioner, of allocating payments made on a debt between principal or amount financed and loan finance charge or sales finance charge pursuant to which a payment is applied first to the accumulated loan finance charge or sales finance charge and the balance is applied to the unpaid principal or unpaid amount financed.

(2) "Agreement" means the bargain of the parties in fact as found in their language or by implication from other circumstances including course of dealing or usage of trade or course of performance. A "consumer credit agreement" is an agreement where credit is granted.

(3) "Agricultural purpose" means a purpose related to the production, harvest, exhibition, marketing, transportation, processing or manufacture of agricultural products by a natural person who cultivates, plants, propagates or nurtures the agricultural products. "Agricultural products" includes agricultural, horticultural, viticultural and dairy products, livestock, wildlife, poultry, bees, forest products, fish and shellfish, and any products thereof, including processed and manufactured products, and any and all products raised or produced on farms and any processed or manufactured products thereof.

(4) "Amount financed" means the total of the following items to the extent that payment is deferred:

(a) The cash price of the goods, services or interest in land, less the amount of any down payment whether made in cash or in property traded in;

(b) The amount actually paid or to be paid by the seller pursuant to an agreement with the buyer to discharge a security interest in or a lien on property traded in; and

(c) If not included in the cash price:

(i) Any applicable sales, use, privilege, excise or documentary stamp taxes;

(ii) Amounts actually paid or to be paid by the seller for registration, certificate of title or license fees; and

(iii) Additional charges permitted by this chapter.

(5) "Average daily balance" in a billing cycle for which a sales finance charge or loan finance charge is made is the sum of the amount unpaid each day during that cycle divided by the number of days in that cycle. The amount unpaid on a day is determined by adding to the balance, if any, unpaid as of the beginning of that day all purchases and other debits and deducting all payments and other credits made or received as of that day.

(6) The "cash price" of goods, services or an interest in land means the price at which the goods, services or interest in land are offered for sale by the seller to cash buyers in the ordinary course of business, and may include: (a) Applicable sales, use, privilege, and excise and documentary stamp taxes; (b) the cash price of accessories or related services such as delivery, installation, servicing, repairs, alterations and improvements; and (c) amounts actually paid or to be paid by the seller for registration, certificate of title or license fees.

(7) "Closing costs" with respect to a debt secured by an interest in land include:

(a) Fees or premiums for title examination, title insurance or similar purposes including surveys;

(b) Fees for preparation of a deed, deed of trust, mortgage, settlement statement or other documents;

(c) Escrows for future payments of taxes and insurance;

(d) Official fees and fees for notarizing deeds and other documents;

(e) Appraisal fees; and

(f) Credit reports.

(8) "Code" means the official code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended.

(9) "Commercial facsimile transmission" means the electronic or telephonic transmission in the state to a facsimile device to encourage a person to purchase goods, realty or services.

(10) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of banking of West Virginia.

(11) "Conspicuous": A term or clause is conspicuous when it is so written that a reasonable person against whom it is to operate ought to have noticed it. Whether a term or clause is conspicuous or not is for decision by the court.

(12) "Consumer" means a natural person who incurs debt pursuant to a consumer credit sale or a consumer loan, or debt or other obligations pursuant to a consumer lease.

(13) (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), "consumer credit sale" is a sale of goods, services or an interest in land in which:

(i) Credit is granted either by a seller who regularly engages as a seller in credit transactions of the same kind or pursuant to a seller credit card;

(ii) The buyer is a person other than an organization;

(iii) The goods, services or interest in land are purchased primarily for a personal, family, household or agricultural purpose;

(iv) Either the debt is payable in installments or a sales finance charge is made; and

(v) With respect to a sale of goods or services, the amount financed does not exceed forty-five thousand dollars or the sale is of a factory-built home as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter thirty-seven of this code.

(b) "Consumer credit sale" does not include a sale in which the seller allows the buyer to purchase goods or services pursuant to a lender credit card or similar arrangement.

(14) (a) "Consumer lease" means a lease of goods:

(i) Which a lessor regularly engaged in the business of leasing makes to a person, other than an organization, who takes under the lease primarily for a personal, family, household or agricultural purpose;

(ii) In which the total of payments under the lease, excluding payments for options to renew or buy, do not exceed forty-five thousand dollars or in which the lease is of a factory-built home as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter thirty-seven of this code; and

(iii) Which is for a term exceeding four months.

(b) "Consumer lease" does not include a lease made pursuant to a lender credit card or similar arrangement.

(15) "Consumer loan" is a loan made by a person regularly engaged in the business of making loans in which:

(a) The debtor is a person other than an organization;

(b) The debt is incurred primarily for a personal, family, household or agricultural purpose;

(c) Either the debt is payable in installments or a loan finance charge is made; and

(d) Either the principal does not exceed forty-five thousand dollars or the debt is secured by an interest in land or a factory-built home as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter thirty-seven of this code.

(16) "Cosigner" means a natural person who assumes liability for the obligation on a consumer credit sale or consumer loan without receiving goods, services or money in return for the obligation or, in the case of a revolving charge account or revolving loan account of a consumer, without receiving the contractual right to obtain extensions of credit under the account. The term cosigner includes any person whose signature is requested as a condition to granting credit to a consumer or as a condition for forbearance on collection of a consumer's obligation that is in default. The term cosigner does not include a spouse whose signature is required to perfect a security interest. A person who meets the definition in this paragraph is a "cosigner" whether or not the person is designated as such on the credit obligation.

(17) "Credit" means the privilege granted by a creditor to a debtor to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.

(18) "Earnings" means compensation paid or payable to an individual or for his account for personal services rendered or to be rendered by him, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus or otherwise, and includes periodic payments pursuant to a pension, retirement or disability program.

(19) "Facsimile device" means a machine that receives and copies reproductions or facsimiles of documents or photographs that have been transmitted electronically or telephonically over telecommunications lines.

(20) "Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act" means the "Consumer Credit Protection Act" (Public Law 90-321; 82 Stat. 146), as amended, and includes regulations issued pursuant to that act.

(21) "Goods" includes goods not in existence at the time the transaction is entered into and gift and merchandise certificates, but excludes money, chattel paper, documents of title and instruments.

(22) "Home solicitation sale" means a consumer credit sale in excess of twenty-five dollars in which the buyer receives a solicitation of the sale at a place other than the seller's business establishment at a fixed location and the buyer's agreement or offer to purchase is there given to the seller or a person acting for the seller. The term does not include a sale made pursuant to a preexisting open-end credit account with the seller in existence for at least three months prior to the transaction, a sale made pursuant to prior negotiations between the parties at the seller's business establishment at a fixed location, a sale of motor vehicles, mobile homes or farm equipment or a sale which may be rescinded under the federal Truth in Lending Act (being Title I of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act). A sale which would be a home solicitation sale if credit were extended by the seller is a home solicitation sale although the goods or services are paid for, in whole or in part, by a consumer loan in which the creditor is subject to claims and defenses arising from the sale.

(23) Except as otherwise provided, "lender" includes an assignee of the lender's right to payment but use of the term does not in itself impose on an assignee any obligation of the lender.

(24) "Lender credit card or similar arrangement" means an arrangement or loan agreement, other than a seller credit card, pursuant to which a lender gives a debtor the privilege of using a credit card, letter of credit or other credit confirmation or identification in transactions out of which debt arises:

(a) By the lender's honoring a draft or similar order for the payment of money drawn or accepted by the consumer;

(b) By the lender's payment or agreement to pay the consumer's obligations; or

(c) By the lender's purchase from the obligee of the consumer's obligations.

(25) "Loan" includes:

(a) The creation of debt by the lender's payment of or agreement to pay money to the consumer or to a third party for the account of the consumer other than debts created pursuant to a seller credit card;

(b) The creation of debt by a credit to an account with the lender upon which the consumer is entitled to draw immediately;

(c) The creation of debt pursuant to a lender credit card or similar arrangement; and

(d) The forbearance of debt arising from a loan.

(26) (a) "Loan finance charge" means the sum of: (i) All charges payable directly or indirectly by the debtor and imposed directly or indirectly by the lender as an incident to the extension of credit, including any of the following types of charges which are applicable: Interest or any amount payable under a point, discount or other system of charges, however denominated, premium or other charge for any guarantee or insurance protecting the lender against the consumer's default or other credit loss; and (ii) charges incurred for investigating the collateral or credit worthiness of the consumer or for commissions or brokerage for obtaining the credit, irrespective of the person to whom the charges are paid or payable, unless the lender had no notice of the charges when the loan was made. The term does not include charges as a result of default, additional charges, delinquency charges or deferral charges.

(b) If a lender makes a loan to a consumer by purchasing or satisfying obligations of the consumer pursuant to a lender credit card or similar arrangement, and the purchase or satisfaction is made at less than the face amount of the obligation, the discount is not part of the loan finance charge.

(27) "Merchandise certificate" or "gift certificate" means a writing issued by a seller or issuer of a seller credit card, not redeemable in cash and usable in its face amount in lieu of cash in exchange for goods or services.

(28) "Official fees" means:

(a) Fees and charges prescribed by law which actually are or will be paid to public officials for determining the existence of or for perfecting, releasing, terminating or satisfying a security interest related to a consumer credit sale or consumer loan; or

(b) Premiums payable for insurance or fees escrowed in a special account for the purpose of funding self-insurance or its equivalent in lieu of perfecting a security interest otherwise required by the creditor in connection with the sale, lease or loan, if such premium or fee does not exceed the fees and charges described in paragraph (a) of this subdivision which would otherwise be payable.

(29) "Organization" means a corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, trust, estate, partnership, cooperative or association.

(30) "Payable in installments" means that payment is required or permitted by agreement to be made in: (a) Two or more periodic payments, excluding a down payment, with respect to a debt arising from a consumer credit sale pursuant to which a sales finance charge is made; (b) four or more periodic payments, excluding a down payment, with respect to a debt arising from a consumer credit sale pursuant to which no sales finance charge is made; or (c) two or more periodic payments with respect to a debt arising from a consumer loan. If any periodic payment other than the down payment under an agreement requiring or permitting two or more periodic payments is more than twice the amount of any other periodic payment, excluding the down payment, the consumer credit sale or consumer loan is "payable in installments".

(31) "Person" or "party" includes a natural person or an individual, and an organization.

(32) "Person related to" with respect to an individual means: (a) The spouse of the individual; (b) a brother, brother-in-law, sister or sister-in-law of the individual; (c) an ancestor or lineal descendant of the individual or his spouse; and (d) any other relative, by blood or marriage, of the individual or his spouse who shares the same home with the individual. "Person related to" with respect to an organization means: (a) A person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with the organization; (b) an officer or director of the organization or a person performing similar functions with respect to the organization or to a person related to the organization; (c) the spouse of a person related to the organization; and (d) a relative by blood or marriage of a person related to the organization who shares the same home with him.

(33) "Precomputed loan". A loan, refinancing or consolidation is "precomputed" if:

(A) The debt is expressed as a sum comprising the principal and the amount of the loan finance charge computed in advance; or

(B) The loan is expressed in terms of the principal amount; the loan installment payments are a scheduled, fixed amount including principal and interest and assume payment on the installment due date; and interest payments will not vary or result in an adjustment during the term of the loan or at its final payment as a result of the actual installment payment dates.

(34) "Precomputed sale". A sale, refinancing or consolidation is "precomputed" if:

(A) The debt is expressed as a sum comprising the amount financed and the amount of the sales finance charge computed in advance; or

(B) The debt is expressed in terms of the principal amount; the debt installment payments are a scheduled, fixed amount including principal and interest and assume payment on the installment due date; and interest payments will not vary or result in an adjustment during the term of the debt or at its final payment as a result of the actual installment payment dates.

(35) "Presumed" or "presumption" means that the trier of fact must find the existence of the fact presumed unless and until evidence is introduced which would support a finding of its nonexistence.

(36) "Principal" of a loan means the total of:

(a) The net amount paid to, receivable by or paid or payable for the account of the debtor;

(b) The amount of any discount excluded from the loan finance charge; and

(c) To the extent that payment is deferred:

(i) Amounts actually paid or to be paid by the lender for registration, certificate of title or license fees if not included in paragraph (a) of this subdivision; and

(ii) Additional charges permitted by this chapter.

(37) "Regulated consumer lender" means a person authorized to make or take assignments of regulated consumer loans.

(38) "Regulated consumer loan" means a consumer loan, including a loan made pursuant to a revolving loan account, in which the rate of the loan finance charge exceeds eighteen percent per year as determined according to the actuarial method, except where the loan qualifies for federal law preemption from state interest rate limitations, including federal law bank parity provisions, or where the lender is specifically permitted by state law other than article four of this chapter to make the loan at that rate without a requirement the lender hold a regulated consumer lender license.

(39) "Revolving charge account" means an agreement between a seller and a buyer by which: (a) The buyer may purchase goods or services on credit or a seller credit card; (b) the balances of amounts financed and the sales finance and other appropriate charges are debited to an account; (c) a sales finance charge if made is not precomputed but is computed periodically on the balances of the account from time to time; and (d) there is the privilege of paying the balances in installments.

(40) "Revolving loan account" means an arrangement between a lender and a consumer including, but not limited to, a lender credit card or similar arrangement, pursuant to which: (a) The lender may permit the consumer to obtain loans from time to time; (b) the unpaid balances of principal and the loan finance and other appropriate charges are debited to an account; (c) a loan finance charge if made is not precomputed but is computed periodically on the outstanding unpaid balances of the principal of the consumer's account from time to time; and (d) there is the privilege of paying the balances in installments.

(41) "Sale of goods" includes any agreement in the form of a bailment or lease of goods if the bailee or lessee agrees to pay as compensation for use a sum substantially equivalent to or in excess of the aggregate value of the goods involved and it is agreed that the bailee or lessee will become, or for no other or a nominal consideration has the option to become, the owner of the goods upon full compliance with his obligations under the agreement.

(42) "Sale of an interest in land" includes a lease in which the lessee has an option to purchase the interest and all or a substantial part of the rental or other payments previously made by him are applied to the purchase price.

(43) "Sale of services" means furnishing or agreeing to furnish services and includes making arrangements to have services furnished by another.

(44) "Sales finance charge" means the sum of: (a) All charges payable directly or indirectly by the buyer and imposed directly or indirectly by the seller or issuer of a seller credit card as an incident to the extension of credit, including any of the following types of charges which are applicable: Time-price differential, however denominated, including service, carrying or other charge, premium or other charge for any guarantee or insurance protecting the seller against the buyer's default or other credit loss; and (b) charges incurred for investigating the collateral or credit worthiness of the buyer or for commissions or brokerage for obtaining the credit, irrespective of the person to whom the charges are paid or payable; unless the seller had no notice of the charges when the credit was granted. The term does not include charges as a result of default, additional charges, delinquency charges or deferral charges. If the seller or issuer of a seller credit card purchases or satisfies obligations of the consumer and the purchase or satisfaction is made at less than the face amount of the obligation, the discount is not part of the sales finance charge.

(45) Except as otherwise provided, "seller" includes an assignee of the seller's right to payment but use of the term does not in itself impose on an assignee any obligation of the seller.

(46) "Seller credit card" means an arrangement pursuant to which a person gives to a buyer or lessee the privilege of using a credit card, letter of credit, or other credit confirmation or identification primarily for the purpose of purchasing or leasing goods or services from that person, that person and any other person or persons, a person related to that person, or others licensed or franchised or permitted to do business under his business name or trade name or designation or on his behalf.

(47) "Services" includes: (a) Work, labor and other personal services; (b) privileges with respect to transportation, use of vehicles, hotel and restaurant accommodations, education, entertainment, recreation, physical culture, hospital accommodations, funerals, cemetery accommodations, and the like; and (c) insurance.

(48) "Supervised financial organization" means any organization, corporation or person, other than an insurance company or other organization primarily engaged in an insurance business, which is required under state law to register or obtain a license from the commissioner of banking before conducting business in this state; or which is authorized under federal law to make consumer loans without a license from the state commissioner of banking, provided such loans are subject to supervision and examination by an official or agency of the United States.
W. Va. Code § 46A-1-102. General definitions.
In addition to definitions appearing in subsequent articles, in this chapter:
(1) "Actuarial method" means the method, defined by rules adopted by the commissioner, of allocating payments made on a debt between principal or amount financed and loan finance charge or sales finance charge pursuant to which a payment is applied first to the accumulated loan finance charge or sales finance charge and the balance is applied to the unpaid principal or unpaid amount financed.

(2) "Agreement" means the bargain of the parties in fact as found in their language or by implication from other circumstances including course of dealing or usage of trade or course of performance. A "consumer credit agreement" is an agreement where credit is granted.

(3) "Agricultural purpose" means a purpose related to the production, harvest, exhibition, marketing, transportation, processing or manufacture of agricultural products by a natural person who cultivates, plants, propagates or nurtures the agricultural products. "Agricultural products" includes agricultural, horticultural, viticultural and dairy products, livestock, wildlife, poultry, bees, forest products, fish and shellfish, and any products thereof, including processed and manufactured products, and any and all products raised or produced on farms and any processed or manufactured products thereof.

(4) "Amount financed" means the total of the following items to the extent that payment is deferred:

(a) The cash price of the goods, services or interest in land, less the amount of any down payment whether made in cash or in property traded in;

(b) The amount actually paid or to be paid by the seller pursuant to an agreement with the buyer to discharge a security interest in or a lien on property traded in; and

(c) If not included in the cash price:

(i) Any applicable sales, use, privilege, excise or documentary stamp taxes;

(ii) Amounts actually paid or to be paid by the seller for registration, certificate of title or license fees; and

(iii) Additional charges permitted by this chapter.

(5) "Average daily balance" in a billing cycle for which a sales finance charge or loan finance charge is made is the sum of the amount unpaid each day during that cycle divided by the number of days in that cycle. The amount unpaid on a day is determined by adding to the balance, if any, unpaid as of the beginning of that day all purchases and other debits and deducting all payments and other credits made or received as of that day.

(6) The "cash price" of goods, services or an interest in land means the price at which the goods, services or interest in land are offered for sale by the seller to cash buyers in the ordinary course of business, and may include: (a) Applicable sales, use, privilege, and excise and documentary stamp taxes; (b) the cash price of accessories or related services such as delivery, installation, servicing, repairs, alterations and improvements; and (c) amounts actually paid or to be paid by the seller for registration, certificate of title or license fees.

(7) "Closing costs" with respect to a debt secured by an interest in land include:

(a) Fees or premiums for title examination, title insurance or similar purposes including surveys;

(b) Fees for preparation of a deed, deed of trust, mortgage, settlement statement or other documents;

(c) Escrows for future payments of taxes and insurance;

(d) Official fees and fees for notarizing deeds and other documents;

(e) Appraisal fees; and

(f) Credit reports.

(8) "Code" means the official code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended.

(9) "Commercial facsimile transmission" means the electronic or telephonic transmission in the state to a facsimile device to encourage a person to purchase goods, realty or services.

(10) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of banking of West Virginia.

(11) "Conspicuous": A term or clause is conspicuous when it is so written that a reasonable person against whom it is to operate ought to have noticed it. Whether a term or clause is conspicuous or not is for decision by the court.

(12) "Consumer" means a natural person who incurs debt pursuant to a consumer credit sale or a consumer loan, or debt or other obligations pursuant to a consumer lease.

(13) (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), "consumer credit sale" is a sale of goods, services or an interest in land in which:

(i) Credit is granted either by a seller who regularly engages as a seller in credit transactions of the same kind or pursuant to a seller credit card;

(ii) The buyer is a person other than an organization;

(iii) The goods, services or interest in land are purchased primarily for a personal, family, household or agricultural purpose;

(iv) Either the debt is payable in installments or a sales finance charge is made; and

(v) With respect to a sale of goods or services, the amount financed does not exceed forty-five thousand dollars or the sale is of a factory-built home as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter thirty-seven of this code.

(b) "Consumer credit sale" does not include a sale in which the seller allows the buyer to purchase goods or services pursuant to a lender credit card or similar arrangement.

(14) (a) "Consumer lease" means a lease of goods:

(i) Which a lessor regularly engaged in the business of leasing makes to a person, other than an organization, who takes under the lease primarily for a personal, family, household or agricultural purpose;

(ii) In which the total of payments under the lease, excluding payments for options to renew or buy, do not exceed forty-five thousand dollars or in which the lease is of a factory-built home as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter thirty-seven of this code; and

(iii) Which is for a term exceeding four months.

(b) "Consumer lease" does not include a lease made pursuant to a lender credit card or similar arrangement.

(15) "Consumer loan" is a loan made by a person regularly engaged in the business of making loans in which:

(a) The debtor is a person other than an organization;

(b) The debt is incurred primarily for a personal, family, household or agricultural purpose;

(c) Either the debt is payable in installments or a loan finance charge is made; and

(d) Either the principal does not exceed forty-five thousand dollars or the debt is secured by an interest in land or a factory-built home as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter thirty-seven of this code.

(16) "Cosigner" means a natural person who assumes liability for the obligation on a consumer credit sale or consumer loan without receiving goods, services or money in return for the obligation or, in the case of a revolving charge account or revolving loan account of a consumer, without receiving the contractual right to obtain extensions of credit under the account. The term cosigner includes any person whose signature is requested as a condition to granting credit to a consumer or as a condition for forbearance on collection of a consumer's obligation that is in default. The term cosigner does not include a spouse whose signature is required to perfect a security interest. A person who meets the definition in this paragraph is a "cosigner" whether or not the person is designated as such on the credit obligation.

(17) "Credit" means the privilege granted by a creditor to a debtor to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.

(18) "Earnings" means compensation paid or payable to an individual or for his account for personal services rendered or to be rendered by him, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus or otherwise, and includes periodic payments pursuant to a pension, retirement or disability program.

(19) "Facsimile device" means a machine that receives and copies reproductions or facsimiles of documents or photographs that have been transmitted electronically or telephonically over telecommunications lines.

(20) "Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act" means the "Consumer Credit Protection Act" (Public Law 90-321; 82 Stat. 146), as amended, and includes regulations issued pursuant to that act.

(21) "Goods" includes goods not in existence at the time the transaction is entered into and gift and merchandise certificates, but excludes money, chattel paper, documents of title and instruments.

(22) "Home solicitation sale" means a consumer credit sale in excess of twenty-five dollars in which the buyer receives a solicitation of the sale at a place other than the seller's business establishment at a fixed location and the buyer's agreement or offer to purchase is there given to the seller or a person acting for the seller. The term does not include a sale made pursuant to a preexisting open-end credit account with the seller in existence for at least three months prior to the transaction, a sale made pursuant to prior negotiations between the parties at the seller's business establishment at a fixed location, a sale of motor vehicles, mobile homes or farm equipment or a sale which may be rescinded under the federal Truth in Lending Act (being Title I of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act). A sale which would be a home solicitation sale if credit were extended by the seller is a home solicitation sale although the goods or services are paid for, in whole or in part, by a consumer loan in which the creditor is subject to claims and defenses arising from the sale.

(23) Except as otherwise provided, "lender" includes an assignee of the lender's right to payment but use of the term does not in itself impose on an assignee any obligation of the lender.

(24) "Lender credit card or similar arrangement" means an arrangement or loan agreement, other than a seller credit card, pursuant to which a lender gives a debtor the privilege of using a credit card, letter of credit or other credit confirmation or identification in transactions out of which debt arises:

(a) By the lender's honoring a draft or similar order for the payment of money drawn or accepted by the consumer;

(b) By the lender's payment or agreement to pay the consumer's obligations; or

(c) By the lender's purchase from the obligee of the consumer's obligations.

(25) "Loan" includes:

(a) The creation of debt by the lender's payment of or agreement to pay money to the consumer or to a third party for the account of the consumer other than debts created pursuant to a seller credit card;

(b) The creation of debt by a credit to an account with the lender upon which the consumer is entitled to draw immediately;

(c) The creation of debt pursuant to a lender credit card or similar arrangement; and

(d) The forbearance of debt arising from a loan.

(26) (a) "Loan finance charge" means the sum of: (i) All charges payable directly or indirectly by the debtor and imposed directly or indirectly by the lender as an incident to the extension of credit, including any of the following types of charges which are applicable: Interest or any amount payable under a point, discount or other system of charges, however denominated, premium or other charge for any guarantee or insurance protecting the lender against the consumer's default or other credit loss; and (ii) charges incurred for investigating the collateral or credit worthiness of the consumer or for commissions or brokerage for obtaining the credit, irrespective of the person to whom the charges are paid or payable, unless the lender had no notice of the charges when the loan was made. The term does not include charges as a result of default, additional charges, delinquency charges or deferral charges.

(b) If a lender makes a loan to a consumer by purchasing or satisfying obligations of the consumer pursuant to a lender credit card or similar arrangement, and the purchase or satisfaction is made at less than the face amount of the obligation, the discount is not part of the loan finance charge.

(27) "Merchandise certificate" or "gift certificate" means a writing issued by a seller or issuer of a seller credit card, not redeemable in cash and usable in its face amount in lieu of cash in exchange for goods or services.

(28) "Official fees" means:

(a) Fees and charges prescribed by law which actually are or will be paid to public officials for determining the existence of or for perfecting, releasing, terminating or satisfying a security interest related to a consumer credit sale or consumer loan; or

(b) Premiums payable for insurance or fees escrowed in a special account for the purpose of funding self-insurance or its equivalent in lieu of perfecting a security interest otherwise required by the creditor in connection with the sale, lease or loan, if such premium or fee does not exceed the fees and charges described in paragraph (a) of this subdivision which would otherwise be payable.

(29) "Organization" means a corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, trust, estate, partnership, cooperative or association.

(30) "Payable in installments" means that payment is required or permitted by agreement to be made in: (a) Two or more periodic payments, excluding a down payment, with respect to a debt arising from a consumer credit sale pursuant to which a sales finance charge is made; (b) four or more periodic payments, excluding a down payment, with respect to a debt arising from a consumer credit sale pursuant to which no sales finance charge is made; or (c) two or more periodic payments with respect to a debt arising from a consumer loan. If any periodic payment other than the down payment under an agreement requiring or permitting two or more periodic payments is more than twice the amount of any other periodic payment, excluding the down payment, the consumer credit sale or consumer loan is "payable in installments".

(31) "Person" or "party" includes a natural person or an individual, and an organization.

(32) "Person related to" with respect to an individual means: (a) The spouse of the individual; (b) a brother, brother-in-law, sister or sister-in-law of the individual; (c) an ancestor or lineal descendant of the individual or his spouse; and (d) any other relative, by blood or marriage, of the individual or his spouse who shares the same home with the individual. "Person related to" with respect to an organization means: (a) A person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with the organization; (b) an officer or director of the organization or a person performing similar functions with respect to the organization or to a person related to the organization; (c) the spouse of a person related to the organization; and (d) a relative by blood or marriage of a person related to the organization who shares the same home with him.

(33) "Precomputed loan". A loan, refinancing or consolidation is "precomputed" if:

(A) The debt is expressed as a sum comprising the principal and the amount of the loan finance charge computed in advance; or

(B) The loan is expressed in terms of the principal amount; the loan installment payments are a scheduled, fixed amount including principal and interest and assume payment on the installment due date; and interest payments will not vary or result in an adjustment during the term of the loan or at its final payment as a result of the actual installment payment dates.

(34) "Precomputed sale". A sale, refinancing or consolidation is "precomputed" if:

(A) The debt is expressed as a sum comprising the amount financed and the amount of the sales finance charge computed in advance; or

(B) The debt is expressed in terms of the principal amount; the debt installment payments are a scheduled, fixed amount including principal and interest and assume payment on the installment due date; and interest payments will not vary or result in an adjustment during the term of the debt or at its final payment as a result of the actual installment payment dates.

(35) "Presumed" or "presumption" means that the trier of fact must find the existence of the fact presumed unless and until evidence is introduced which would support a finding of its nonexistence.

(36) "Principal" of a loan means the total of:

(a) The net amount paid to, receivable by or paid or payable for the account of the debtor;

(b) The amount of any discount excluded from the loan finance charge; and

(c) To the extent that payment is deferred:

(i) Amounts actually paid or to be paid by the lender for registration, certificate of title or license fees if not included in paragraph (a) of this subdivision; and

(ii) Additional charges permitted by this chapter.

(37) "Regulated consumer lender" means a person authorized to make or take assignments of regulated consumer loans.

(38) "Regulated consumer loan" means a consumer loan, including a loan made pursuant to a revolving loan account, in which the rate of the loan finance charge exceeds eighteen percent per year as determined according to the actuarial method, except where the loan qualifies for federal law preemption from state interest rate limitations, including federal law bank parity provisions, or where the lender is specifically permitted by state law other than article four of this chapter to make the loan at that rate without a requirement the lender hold a regulated consumer lender license.

(39) "Revolving charge account" means an agreement between a seller and a buyer by which: (a) The buyer may purchase goods or services on credit or a seller credit card; (b) the balances of amounts financed and the sales finance and other appropriate charges are debited to an account; (c) a sales finance charge if made is not precomputed but is computed periodically on the balances of the account from time to time; and (d) there is the privilege of paying the balances in installments.

(40) "Revolving loan account" means an arrangement between a lender and a consumer including, but not limited to, a lender credit card or similar arrangement, pursuant to which: (a) The lender may permit the consumer to obtain loans from time to time; (b) the unpaid balances of principal and the loan finance and other appropriate charges are debited to an account; (c) a loan finance charge if made is not precomputed but is computed periodically on the outstanding unpaid balances of the principal of the consumer's account from time to time; and (d) there is the privilege of paying the balances in installments.

(41) "Sale of goods" includes any agreement in the form of a bailment or lease of goods if the bailee or lessee agrees to pay as compensation for use a sum substantially equivalent to or in excess of the aggregate value of the goods involved and it is agreed that the bailee or lessee will become, or for no other or a nominal consideration has the option to become, the owner of the goods upon full compliance with his obligations under the agreement.

(42) "Sale of an interest in land" includes a lease in which the lessee has an option to purchase the interest and all or a substantial part of the rental or other payments previously made by him are applied to the purchase price.

(43) "Sale of services" means furnishing or agreeing to furnish services and includes making arrangements to have services furnished by another.

(44) "Sales finance charge" means the sum of: (a) All charges payable directly or indirectly by the buyer and imposed directly or indirectly by the seller or issuer of a seller credit card as an incident to the extension of credit, including any of the following types of charges which are applicable: Time-price differential, however denominated, including service, carrying or other charge, premium or other charge for any guarantee or insurance protecting the seller against the buyer's default or other credit loss; and (b) charges incurred for investigating the collateral or credit worthiness of the buyer or for commissions or brokerage for obtaining the credit, irrespective of the person to whom the charges are paid or payable; unless the seller had no notice of the charges when the credit was granted. The term does not include charges as a result of default, additional charges, delinquency charges or deferral charges. If the seller or issuer of a seller credit card purchases or satisfies obligations of the consumer and the purchase or satisfaction is made at less than the face amount of the obligation, the discount is not part of the sales finance charge.

(45) Except as otherwise provided, "seller" includes an assignee of the seller's right to payment but use of the term does not in itself impose on an assignee any obligation of the seller.

(46) "Seller credit card" means an arrangement pursuant to which a person gives to a buyer or lessee the privilege of using a credit card, letter of credit, or other credit confirmation or identification primarily for the purpose of purchasing or leasing goods or services from that person, that person and any other person or persons, a person related to that person, or others licensed or franchised or permitted to do business under his business name or trade name or designation or on his behalf.

(47) "Services" includes: (a) Work, labor and other personal services; (b) privileges with respect to transportation, use of vehicles, hotel and restaurant accommodations, education, entertainment, recreation, physical culture, hospital accommodations, funerals, cemetery accommodations, and the like; and (c) insurance.

(48) "Supervised financial organization" means any organization, corporation or person, other than an insurance company or other organization primarily engaged in an insurance business, which is required under state law to register or obtain a license from the commissioner of banking before conducting business in this state; or which is authorized under federal law to make consumer loans without a license from the state commissioner of banking, provided such loans are subject to supervision and examination by an official or agency of the United States.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-1-103. Effect of chapter on powers of persons making consumer credit sales and consumer loans, and others; consumer protection generally.
(1) This chapter prescribes maximum charges for all creditors, except lessors and those excluded, making consumer credit sales and consumer loans, and sales and loans made subject to the provisions of this chapter by agreement, and except as otherwise provided by this chapter displaces any existing limitations and provisions regulating maximum interest and charges, minimum charges, additional charges, delinquency charges, deferral charges, allocation of charges and methods of computing rebates upon prepayment, refinancing or consolidation with respect to consumer credit sales and consumer loans, and the debtors' remedies and penalties provided by this chapter displace all existing provisions relating to remedies, penalties and forfeitures for usury and usurious contracts as to transactions covered by this chapter.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (1) of this section or elsewhere in this chapter, this chapter does not displace powers or limitation on powers which supervised financial organizations are authorized to exercise under the laws of the United States or other laws of this state in effect after the operative date of this chapter.

(3) This chapter also prescribes in various articles protective measures for consumers in transactions not necessarily involving consumer credit.
W. Va. Code § 46A-1-103. Effect of chapter on powers of persons making consumer credit sales and consumer loans, and others; consumer protection generally.
(1) This chapter prescribes maximum charges for all creditors, except lessors and those excluded, making consumer credit sales and consumer loans, and sales and loans made subject to the provisions of this chapter by agreement, and except as otherwise provided by this chapter displaces any existing limitations and provisions regulating maximum interest and charges, minimum charges, additional charges, delinquency charges, deferral charges, allocation of charges and methods of computing rebates upon prepayment, refinancing or consolidation with respect to consumer credit sales and consumer loans, and the debtors' remedies and penalties provided by this chapter displace all existing provisions relating to remedies, penalties and forfeitures for usury and usurious contracts as to transactions covered by this chapter.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (1) of this section or elsewhere in this chapter, this chapter does not displace powers or limitation on powers which supervised financial organizations are authorized to exercise under the laws of the United States or other laws of this state in effect after the operative date of this chapter.

(3) This chapter also prescribes in various articles protective measures for consumers in transactions not necessarily involving consumer credit.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-1-104. Application.
(1) This chapter applies if a consumer, who is a resident of this state, is induced to enter into a consumer credit sale made pursuant to a revolving charge account, to enter into a revolving charge account, to enter into a consumer loan made pursuant to a revolving loan account, or to enter into a consumer lease, by personal or mail solicitation, and the goods, services or proceeds are delivered to the consumer in this state, and payment on such account is to be made from this state.
(2) With respect to consumer credit sales or consumer loans consummated in another state, a creditor may not collect in an action brought in this state a sales finance charge or loan finance charge in excess of that permitted by this chapter.
W. Va. Code § 46A-1-104. Application.
(1) This chapter applies if a consumer, who is a resident of this state, is induced to enter into a consumer credit sale made pursuant to a revolving charge account, to enter into a revolving charge account, to enter into a consumer loan made pursuant to a revolving loan account, or to enter into a consumer lease, by personal or mail solicitation, and the goods, services or proceeds are delivered to the consumer in this state, and payment on such account is to be made from this state.
(2) With respect to consumer credit sales or consumer loans consummated in another state, a creditor may not collect in an action brought in this state a sales finance charge or loan finance charge in excess of that permitted by this chapter.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-1-105. Exclusions.
(a) This chapter does not apply to:
(1) Extensions of credit to government or governmental agencies or instrumentalities;

(2) The sale of insurance by an insurer, except as otherwise provided in this chapter;

(3) Transactions under public utility or common carrier tariffs if a subdivision or agency of this state or of the United States regulates the charges for the services involved, the charges for delayed payment, and any discount allowed for early payment; or

(4) Licensed pawnbrokers.

(b) Mortgage lender and broker licensees are excluded from the provisions of this chapter to the extent those provisions directly conflict with any section of article seventeen, chapter thirty-one of this code.
W. Va. Code § 46A-1-105. Exclusions.
(a) This chapter does not apply to:
(1) Extensions of credit to government or governmental agencies or instrumentalities;

(2) The sale of insurance by an insurer, except as otherwise provided in this chapter;

(3) Transactions under public utility or common carrier tariffs if a subdivision or agency of this state or of the United States regulates the charges for the services involved, the charges for delayed payment, and any discount allowed for early payment; or

(4) Licensed pawnbrokers.

(b) Mortgage lender and broker licensees are excluded from the provisions of this chapter to the extent those provisions directly conflict with any section of article seventeen, chapter thirty-one of this code.

.

W. Va. Code § 46A-2-101. Holders of negotiable instruments subject to claims and defenses.

(1) The following limitations shall be applicable to negotiable instruments, other than a currently dated check, evidencing an obligation arising from a consumer credit sale or consumer lease, other than a sale or lease primarily for an agricultural purpose, made on the date this chapter becomes operative or within a period of one year thereafter;
(a) Notwithstanding any term or agreement to the contrary or the provisions of section three hundred five, article three, chapter forty-six of this code, a holder in due course of any such negotiable instrument shall take and hold such instrument subject to all claims and defenses arising from that specific consumer credit sale or consumer lease which the buyer or lessee has against the seller or lessor but the holder's liability shall not exceed the amount owing to the holder at the time the holder receives notice of the claims or defenses, if such claims and defenses are asserted by the buyer or lessee by written notice given to the holder within a period of one hundred eighty days after the holder has delivered or mailed to the buyer or lessee a written notice of negotiation complying with the requirements of subdivision (b) of this subsection (1).

(b) The notice of negotiation from the holder to the buyer or lessee contemplated in subdivision (a) of this subsection (1) shall be in writing, identify the negotiable instrument, briefly describe the goods or services, state the name and address of the holder, state the initial deferred balance of such negotiable instrument payable by the buyer or lessee and the number, amount and due dates of installments, the amount currently payable by the buyer or lessee, and inform the buyer or lessee in a conspicuous manner that he has one hundred eighty days from a specified date (which date shall be the date the notice was delivered or mailed to the buyer or lessee) within which to notify the holder in writing of any claims and defenses he may have against the seller or lessor arising from that specific consumer credit sale or consumer lease; and that if written notification of any such claims and defenses is not given to the holder within such one hundred eighty day period, the holder will have the right to enforce the instrument free of any such claims and defenses the buyer or lessee may have against the seller or lessor. Such notice of negotiation, if given by mail, is given when it is mailed to the buyer's or lessee's last-known address by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.

(c) In order to preserve all of his claims and defenses against a holder under subdivision (a) of this subsection (1), the buyer or lessee must, after receiving the written notice of negotiation provided for in subdivision (b) of this subsection (1), and before the expiration of a period of one hundred eighty days, notify such holder in writing as to any claims and defenses he has against the seller or lessor arising from that specific consumer credit sale or consumer lease. The notice by the buyer or lessee need not take any particular form and shall be sufficient if it indicates the claims and defenses which the buyer or lessee has against the seller or lessor in a manner sufficient to apprise the holder of the nature of such claims and defenses. Such notice, if given by mail, is given when it is mailed to the holder's last-known address by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. All claims and defenses of the buyer or lessee against the seller or lessor arising out of a consumer credit sale or consumer lease shall be valid against the holder unless the notice of negotiation is given pursuant to this subsection (1).

(d) In a consumer credit sale or consumer lease when goods or services cannot be delivered or completed immediately after the sale or lease or when the rendition of future services constitutes a material part of the sale or lease agreement, the notice of negotiation contemplated in subdivision (a) of this subsection (1) shall not be given to the buyer or lessee until the seller or lessor has furnished a certificate to the buyer orlessee which indicates that delivery of such goods has been made or such services completed and such certificate has been duly executed by the buyer or lessee and, in the case of future services, until the buyer or lessee shall forward to the holder a written reaffirmation of the completion of such future services which are the subject of such sale or lease. Such reaffirmation shall not be made until execution by the buyer or lessee of the certificate of completion. Such reaffirmation shall be forwarded directly by United States mail to the holder by the buyer or lessee. If the seller or lessor directly or indirectly obtains such reaffirmation, it shall be void and have no force or legal effect. A completion certificate need not take any particular form, but shall indicate the names and addresses of the parties to the consumer credit sale or consumer lease, the goods delivered or the services completed and the date on which actual delivery was made or actual performance was completed.

(e) Whenever any such negotiable instrument, and an instrument, contract or other writing (other than a negotiable instrument) executed in connection with such negotiable instrument, are negotiated and assigned to the same person, either the notices contemplated and provided for in this subsection (1) or the notices contemplated and provided for in section one hundred two of this article need by given, and it shall not be necessary for notices to be given pursuant to both this subsection (1) and said section one hundred two.

(2) Notwithstanding any provisions of this section, a holder shall be subject to any claim or defense based upon lack or failure of consideration.

(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as affecting any buyer's or lessee's right of action, claim or defense which is otherwise provided for in this code or at common law.

(4) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed in any manner as affecting any negotiation of any negotiable instrument made prior to the operative date of this chapter.

(5) With respect to a consumer credit sale or consumer lease made or entered into more than one year after the operative date of this chapter, other than a sale or lease primarily for an agricultural purpose, the seller or lessor may not take a negotiable instrument other than a currently dated check as evidence of the obligation of the buyer or lessee. The holder in due course of a negotiable instrument taken in violation of this subsection shall, notwithstanding the provisions of section three hundred five, article three, chapter forty-six of this code, be subject to all claims and defenses arising from that specific consumer credit sale or consumer lease which the buyer or lessee has against the seller or lessor.

(6) For the purpose of determining the amount owing to a holder in due course of a negotiable instrument evidencing an obligation of a buyer or lessee arising from a consumer credit sale or consumer lease:

(a) Payments received after the consolidation of two or more consumer credit sales, other than pursuant to a revolving charge account, are deemed to have been first applied to the payment of the sales first made; if the sales consolidated arose from sales made on the same day, payments are deemed to have been first applied to the smaller or smallest sale or sales;

(b) Payments received upon a revolving charge account are deemed to have been first applied to the payment of sales finance charges in the order of their entry to the account and then to the payment of debts in the order in which the entries of the debts are made to the account.

(7) A claim or defense which a buyer or lessee may assert against a holder in due course of a negotiable instrument under the provisions of this section may be asserted only as a matter of defense to or setoff against a claim by the holder: Provided, That if a buyer or lessee shall have a claim or defense which could be asserted under the provisions of this section as a matter of defense to or setoff against a claim by the holder in due course of a negotiable instrument were such holder to assertsuch claim against the buyer or lessee, then such buyer or lessee shall have the right to institute and maintain an action or proceeding seeking to obtain the cancellation in whole or in part of the indebtedness evidenced by such negotiable instrument or the release in whole or in part of any lien upon real or personal property securing the payment thereof: Provided, however, That any claim or defense founded in fraud, lack or failure of consideration or a violation of the provisions of this chapter as specified in section one hundred one, article five of this chapter, may be asserted by a buyer or lessee at any time, subject to the provisions of this code relating to limitation of actions.

(8) Notwithstanding any provisions of this section, a holder shall not be subject to any claim or defense arising from or growing out of personal injury or death resulting therefrom or damage to property.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-101. Holders of negotiable instruments subject to claims and defenses.

(1) The following limitations shall be applicable to negotiable instruments, other than a currently dated check, evidencing an obligation arising from a consumer credit sale or consumer lease, other than a sale or lease primarily for an agricultural purpose, made on the date this chapter becomes operative or within a period of one year thereafter;
(a) Notwithstanding any term or agreement to the contrary or the provisions of section three hundred five, article three, chapter forty-six of this code, a holder in due course of any such negotiable instrument shall take and hold such instrument subject to all claims and defenses arising from that specific consumer credit sale or consumer lease which the buyer or lessee has against the seller or lessor but the holder's liability shall not exceed the amount owing to the holder at the time the holder receives notice of the claims or defenses, if such claims and defenses are asserted by the buyer or lessee by written notice given to the holder within a period of one hundred eighty days after the holder has delivered or mailed to the buyer or lessee a written notice of negotiation complying with the requirements of subdivision (b) of this subsection (1).

(b) The notice of negotiation from the holder to the buyer or lessee contemplated in subdivision (a) of this subsection (1) shall be in writing, identify the negotiable instrument, briefly describe the goods or services, state the name and address of the holder, state the initial deferred balance of such negotiable instrument payable by the buyer or lessee and the number, amount and due dates of installments, the amount currently payable by the buyer or lessee, and inform the buyer or lessee in a conspicuous manner that he has one hundred eighty days from a specified date (which date shall be the date the notice was delivered or mailed to the buyer or lessee) within which to notify the holder in writing of any claims and defenses he may have against the seller or lessor arising from that specific consumer credit sale or consumer lease; and that if written notification of any such claims and defenses is not given to the holder within such one hundred eighty day period, the holder will have the right to enforce the instrument free of any such claims and defenses the buyer or lessee may have against the seller or lessor. Such notice of negotiation, if given by mail, is given when it is mailed to the buyer's or lessee's last-known address by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.

(c) In order to preserve all of his claims and defenses against a holder under subdivision (a) of this subsection (1), the buyer or lessee must, after receiving the written notice of negotiation provided for in subdivision (b) of this subsection (1), and before the expiration of a period of one hundred eighty days, notify such holder in writing as to any claims and defenses he has against the seller or lessor arising from that specific consumer credit sale or consumer lease. The notice by the buyer or lessee need not take any particular form and shall be sufficient if it indicates the claims and defenses which the buyer or lessee has against the seller or lessor in a manner sufficient to apprise the holder of the nature of such claims and defenses. Such notice, if given by mail, is given when it is mailed to the holder's last-known address by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. All claims and defenses of the buyer or lessee against the seller or lessor arising out of a consumer credit sale or consumer lease shall be valid against the holder unless the notice of negotiation is given pursuant to this subsection (1).

(d) In a consumer credit sale or consumer lease when goods or services cannot be delivered or completed immediately after the sale or lease or when the rendition of future services constitutes a material part of the sale or lease agreement, the notice of negotiation contemplated in subdivision (a) of this subsection (1) shall not be given to the buyer or lessee until the seller or lessor has furnished a certificate to the buyer orlessee which indicates that delivery of such goods has been made or such services completed and such certificate has been duly executed by the buyer or lessee and, in the case of future services, until the buyer or lessee shall forward to the holder a written reaffirmation of the completion of such future services which are the subject of such sale or lease. Such reaffirmation shall not be made until execution by the buyer or lessee of the certificate of completion. Such reaffirmation shall be forwarded directly by United States mail to the holder by the buyer or lessee. If the seller or lessor directly or indirectly obtains such reaffirmation, it shall be void and have no force or legal effect. A completion certificate need not take any particular form, but shall indicate the names and addresses of the parties to the consumer credit sale or consumer lease, the goods delivered or the services completed and the date on which actual delivery was made or actual performance was completed.

(e) Whenever any such negotiable instrument, and an instrument, contract or other writing (other than a negotiable instrument) executed in connection with such negotiable instrument, are negotiated and assigned to the same person, either the notices contemplated and provided for in this subsection (1) or the notices contemplated and provided for in section one hundred two of this article need by given, and it shall not be necessary for notices to be given pursuant to both this subsection (1) and said section one hundred two.

(2) Notwithstanding any provisions of this section, a holder shall be subject to any claim or defense based upon lack or failure of consideration.

(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as affecting any buyer's or lessee's right of action, claim or defense which is otherwise provided for in this code or at common law.

(4) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed in any manner as affecting any negotiation of any negotiable instrument made prior to the operative date of this chapter.

(5) With respect to a consumer credit sale or consumer lease made or entered into more than one year after the operative date of this chapter, other than a sale or lease primarily for an agricultural purpose, the seller or lessor may not take a negotiable instrument other than a currently dated check as evidence of the obligation of the buyer or lessee. The holder in due course of a negotiable instrument taken in violation of this subsection shall, notwithstanding the provisions of section three hundred five, article three, chapter forty-six of this code, be subject to all claims and defenses arising from that specific consumer credit sale or consumer lease which the buyer or lessee has against the seller or lessor.

(6) For the purpose of determining the amount owing to a holder in due course of a negotiable instrument evidencing an obligation of a buyer or lessee arising from a consumer credit sale or consumer lease:

(a) Payments received after the consolidation of two or more consumer credit sales, other than pursuant to a revolving charge account, are deemed to have been first applied to the payment of the sales first made; if the sales consolidated arose from sales made on the same day, payments are deemed to have been first applied to the smaller or smallest sale or sales;

(b) Payments received upon a revolving charge account are deemed to have been first applied to the payment of sales finance charges in the order of their entry to the account and then to the payment of debts in the order in which the entries of the debts are made to the account.

(7) A claim or defense which a buyer or lessee may assert against a holder in due course of a negotiable instrument under the provisions of this section may be asserted only as a matter of defense to or setoff against a claim by the holder: Provided, That if a buyer or lessee shall have a claim or defense which could be asserted under the provisions of this section as a matter of defense to or setoff against a claim by the holder in due course of a negotiable instrument were such holder to assertsuch claim against the buyer or lessee, then such buyer or lessee shall have the right to institute and maintain an action or proceeding seeking to obtain the cancellation in whole or in part of the indebtedness evidenced by such negotiable instrument or the release in whole or in part of any lien upon real or personal property securing the payment thereof: Provided, however, That any claim or defense founded in fraud, lack or failure of consideration or a violation of the provisions of this chapter as specified in section one hundred one, article five of this chapter, may be asserted by a buyer or lessee at any time, subject to the provisions of this code relating to limitation of actions.

(8) Notwithstanding any provisions of this section, a holder shall not be subject to any claim or defense arising from or growing out of personal injury or death resulting therefrom or damage to property.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-104. Notice to cosignors.
(a) No person shall be held liable as cosigner, or be charged with personal liability for payment in a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan unless that person, in addition to and before signing any instrument evidencing the transaction, signs and receives a separate notice which clearly explains his liability in the event of default by the consumer and also receives a copy of any disclosure required by the "Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act."
(b) Such notice shall be sufficient in a consumer credit sale or consumer loan if it appears under the conspicuous caption "NOTICE TO COSIGNER" and contains substantially the following language:

"You are being asked to guarantee this debt. Think carefully before you do. If the borrower doesn't pay the debt, you will have to. Be sure you can afford to pay it if you have to, and that you want to accept this responsibility."

"You may have to pay up to the full amount of the debt if the borrower does not pay. You may also have to pay late fees or collection costs, which increase this amount."

"The creditor can collect this debt from you without first trying to collect from the borrower. The creditor can use the same collection methods against you that can be used against theborrower, such as suing you, garnishing your wages, etc. If this debt is ever in default, that fact may become a part of your credit record."

"This notice is not the contract that makes you liable for the debt."

The caption shall be typewritten or printed in at least twelve point bold upper case type. The body of the notice shall be typewritten or printed in at least eight point regular type, in upper or lower case, where appropriate.

(c) Such notice shall be sufficient in a consumer lease transaction if it appears under the conspicuous caption "NOTICE TO COSIGNER" and contains substantially the following language:

"You are being asked to guarantee this lease. Think carefully before you do. If the lessee doesn't pay, you will have to. Be sure you can afford to pay it if you have to, and that you want to accept this responsibility."

"You may have to pay up to the full amount if the lessee does not pay. You may also have to pay late fees or collection costs, which increase this amount."

"The creditor can collect this debt from you without first trying to collect from the lessee. The creditor can use the same collection methods against you that can be used against the lessee, such as suing you, garnishing your wages, etc. If this debt is everin default, that fact may become a part of your credit record."

"This notice is not the contract which makes you liable for the debt."

The caption shall be typewritten or printed in at least twelve point bold upper case type. The body of the notice shall be typewritten or printed in at least eight point regular type, in upper or lower case, where appropriate.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-104. Notice to cosignors.
(a) No person shall be held liable as cosigner, or be charged with personal liability for payment in a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan unless that person, in addition to and before signing any instrument evidencing the transaction, signs and receives a separate notice which clearly explains his liability in the event of default by the consumer and also receives a copy of any disclosure required by the "Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act."
(b) Such notice shall be sufficient in a consumer credit sale or consumer loan if it appears under the conspicuous caption "NOTICE TO COSIGNER" and contains substantially the following language:

"You are being asked to guarantee this debt. Think carefully before you do. If the borrower doesn't pay the debt, you will have to. Be sure you can afford to pay it if you have to, and that you want to accept this responsibility."

"You may have to pay up to the full amount of the debt if the borrower does not pay. You may also have to pay late fees or collection costs, which increase this amount."

"The creditor can collect this debt from you without first trying to collect from the borrower. The creditor can use the same collection methods against you that can be used against theborrower, such as suing you, garnishing your wages, etc. If this debt is ever in default, that fact may become a part of your credit record."

"This notice is not the contract that makes you liable for the debt."

The caption shall be typewritten or printed in at least twelve point bold upper case type. The body of the notice shall be typewritten or printed in at least eight point regular type, in upper or lower case, where appropriate.

(c) Such notice shall be sufficient in a consumer lease transaction if it appears under the conspicuous caption "NOTICE TO COSIGNER" and contains substantially the following language:

"You are being asked to guarantee this lease. Think carefully before you do. If the lessee doesn't pay, you will have to. Be sure you can afford to pay it if you have to, and that you want to accept this responsibility."

"You may have to pay up to the full amount if the lessee does not pay. You may also have to pay late fees or collection costs, which increase this amount."

"The creditor can collect this debt from you without first trying to collect from the lessee. The creditor can use the same collection methods against you that can be used against the lessee, such as suing you, garnishing your wages, etc. If this debt is everin default, that fact may become a part of your credit record."

"This notice is not the contract which makes you liable for the debt."

The caption shall be typewritten or printed in at least twelve point bold upper case type. The body of the notice shall be typewritten or printed in at least eight point regular type, in upper or lower case, where appropriate.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-106. Notice of consumer's right to cure default; cure; acceleration.

After a consumer has been in default on any installment obligation or any other secured obligation for five days for failure to make a scheduled payment or otherwise perform pursuant to such a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan other than with respect to a covenant to provide insurance for or otherwise to protect and preserve the property covered by a security interest, the creditor may give him or her notice of such fact in the manner provided for herein. Actual delivery of such notice to a consumer or delivery or mailing of same to the last known address of the consumer is sufficient for the purpose of this section. If given by mail, notice is given when it is deposited in a mailbox properly addressed and postage prepaid. Notice shall be in writing and shall conspicuously state the name, address and telephone number of the creditor to whom payment or other performance is owed, a brief description of the transaction, the consumer's right to cure such default and the amount of payment and other required performance and date by which it must be paid or accomplished in order to cure the default. A copy of the notice required by this section shall be: (i) Delivered or mailed to the last known address of any cosigner of the obligation in the manner set forth in this section unless the cosigner has waived in writing his or her right to receive copies of the notice: Provided, That a waiver of notice contained in the consumer credit sales agreement or consumer loan agreement does not constitute effective waiver of notice of the cosigner's right to receive notice of the consumer's default for purposes of this section; (ii) retained by the creditor; (iii) certified in the manner prescribed by this section by an officer or other authorized representative of such creditor; and (iv) notarized by a person licensed as a notary under the laws of the state of West Virginia or any other state or territory of the United States. The certification required by this section shall substantially conform to the following language:
"I, ___________________________ (name of person certifying),

the ______________________________ (title of person certifying)

of ___________________________ (creditor's name), hereby certify that the notice of the consumer's right to cure default on which this certification appears (or to which this certification is attached) was on this _________ day of ______________, 19______, mailed to the person(s) whose name(s) appear herein (therein) at the address(es) set forth herein (therein).

___________________________________________"

(Signature)

Failure to send notice to a cosigner as required by this section does not, in and of itself, give rise to a cause of action against the creditor.

Except as hereinafter provided in this section, after a default on any installment obligation or any other secured obligation other than with respect to a covenant to provide insurance for or otherwise to protect and preserve the property covered by a security interest or lease, a creditor may not accelerate maturity of the unpaid balance of any such installment obligation or any other such secured obligation, commence any action or demand or take possession of collateral on account of default until ten days after notice has been given to the consumer of his or her right to cure such default. Until such period expires, the consumer shall have the right to cure any default by tendering the amount of all unpaid sums due at the time of the tender, without acceleration, plus any unpaid delinquency or deferral charges and by tendering any other performance necessary to cure such default. Any such cure shall restore a consumer to all his or her rights under the agreement the same as if there had been no default. A consumer who has been in default three or more times on the same obligation and who has been given notice of such fact three or more times shall not have the right to cure a default under this section even though previous defaults have been cured and his or her creditor's right to proceed against him or her and his or her collateral shall not be impaired or limited in any way by this section. There shall be no acceleration of the maturity of all or part of any amount owing in such a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan, except where nonperformance specified in the agreement as constituting default has occurred.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-106. Notice of consumer's right to cure default; cure; acceleration.

After a consumer has been in default on any installment obligation or any other secured obligation for five days for failure to make a scheduled payment or otherwise perform pursuant to such a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan other than with respect to a covenant to provide insurance for or otherwise to protect and preserve the property covered by a security interest, the creditor may give him or her notice of such fact in the manner provided for herein. Actual delivery of such notice to a consumer or delivery or mailing of same to the last known address of the consumer is sufficient for the purpose of this section. If given by mail, notice is given when it is deposited in a mailbox properly addressed and postage prepaid. Notice shall be in writing and shall conspicuously state the name, address and telephone number of the creditor to whom payment or other performance is owed, a brief description of the transaction, the consumer's right to cure such default and the amount of payment and other required performance and date by which it must be paid or accomplished in order to cure the default. A copy of the notice required by this section shall be: (i) Delivered or mailed to the last known address of any cosigner of the obligation in the manner set forth in this section unless the cosigner has waived in writing his or her right to receive copies of the notice: Provided, That a waiver of notice contained in the consumer credit sales agreement or consumer loan agreement does not constitute effective waiver of notice of the cosigner's right to receive notice of the consumer's default for purposes of this section; (ii) retained by the creditor; (iii) certified in the manner prescribed by this section by an officer or other authorized representative of such creditor; and (iv) notarized by a person licensed as a notary under the laws of the state of West Virginia or any other state or territory of the United States. The certification required by this section shall substantially conform to the following language:
"I, ___________________________ (name of person certifying),

the ______________________________ (title of person certifying)

of ___________________________ (creditor's name), hereby certify that the notice of the consumer's right to cure default on which this certification appears (or to which this certification is attached) was on this _________ day of ______________, 19______, mailed to the person(s) whose name(s) appear herein (therein) at the address(es) set forth herein (therein).

___________________________________________"

(Signature)

Failure to send notice to a cosigner as required by this section does not, in and of itself, give rise to a cause of action against the creditor.

Except as hereinafter provided in this section, after a default on any installment obligation or any other secured obligation other than with respect to a covenant to provide insurance for or otherwise to protect and preserve the property covered by a security interest or lease, a creditor may not accelerate maturity of the unpaid balance of any such installment obligation or any other such secured obligation, commence any action or demand or take possession of collateral on account of default until ten days after notice has been given to the consumer of his or her right to cure such default. Until such period expires, the consumer shall have the right to cure any default by tendering the amount of all unpaid sums due at the time of the tender, without acceleration, plus any unpaid delinquency or deferral charges and by tendering any other performance necessary to cure such default. Any such cure shall restore a consumer to all his or her rights under the agreement the same as if there had been no default. A consumer who has been in default three or more times on the same obligation and who has been given notice of such fact three or more times shall not have the right to cure a default under this section even though previous defaults have been cured and his or her creditor's right to proceed against him or her and his or her collateral shall not be impaired or limited in any way by this section. There shall be no acceleration of the maturity of all or part of any amount owing in such a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan, except where nonperformance specified in the agreement as constituting default has occurred.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-111. Consumer leases; information to be furnished.
With respect to a consumer lease the lessor shall give to the lessee the following information:
(1) Brief description or identification of the goods;

(2) Amount of any payment required at the inception of the lease;

(3) Amount paid or payable for official fees, registration, title privilege, certificate of title or license fees or taxes;

(4) Amount of other charges not included in the periodic payment and a brief description of the charges;

(5) Brief description of insurance to be provided or paid for by the lessor, including the types and amounts of the coverages;

(6) Number of periodic payments, the amount of each payment, the due date of the first payment, the due dates of subsequent payments or interval between payments, and the total amount payable by the lessee;

(7) Statement of the conditions under which the lessee may terminate the lease prior to the end of the term; and

(8) Statement of the liabilities the lease imposes upon the lessee at the end of the term.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-111. Consumer leases; information to be furnished.
With respect to a consumer lease the lessor shall give to the lessee the following information:
(1) Brief description or identification of the goods;

(2) Amount of any payment required at the inception of the lease;

(3) Amount paid or payable for official fees, registration, title privilege, certificate of title or license fees or taxes;

(4) Amount of other charges not included in the periodic payment and a brief description of the charges;

(5) Brief description of insurance to be provided or paid for by the lessor, including the types and amounts of the coverages;

(6) Number of periodic payments, the amount of each payment, the due date of the first payment, the due dates of subsequent payments or interval between payments, and the total amount payable by the lessee;

(7) Statement of the conditions under which the lessee may terminate the lease prior to the end of the term; and

(8) Statement of the liabilities the lease imposes upon the lessee at the end of the term.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-112. Restriction on liability in consumer lease.
The obligation of a lessee upon expiration of a consumer lease, other than one primarily for an agricultural purpose, may not exceed twice the average payment allocable to a monthly period under the lease. This limitation does not apply to charges for damages to the leased property or for other default.W. Va. Code § 46A-2-112. Restriction on liability in consumer lease.
The obligation of a lessee upon expiration of a consumer lease, other than one primarily for an agricultural purpose, may not exceed twice the average payment allocable to a monthly period under the lease. This limitation does not apply to charges for damages to the leased property or for other default.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-115. Limitation on default charges.
(a) Except for reasonable expenses including costs and fees authorized by statute incurred in realizing on a security interest, the agreement with respect to a consumer credit sale or a consumer loan may not provide for charges as a result of default by the consumer other than those authorized by this chapter.
(b) A consumer loan secured by real property: (1) Originated by a bank or savings and loan association, or an affiliate, and not solicited by an unaffiliated broker; (2) held by a federal home loan bank, the federal national mortgage association, the federal home loan mortgage corporation, the government national mortgage association, the West Virginia housing development fund; or (3) insured or guaranteed by the farmers home administration, the veteran's administration, department of housing and urban development, which includes in the loan agreement a reinstatement period beginning with the trustee notice of foreclosure and ending prior to foreclosure sale, may, in addition to those authorized by this chapter, permit the recovery of the following actual reasonable reinstatement period expenses paid or owed to third parties: (i) Publication costs paid to the publisher of the notice; (ii) appraisal fee when required by the circumstances or by a regulatory authority and only after the loan has been referred to a trustee for foreclosure; (iii) title check and lienholder notification fee not to exceed two hundred dollars, as adjusted from time to time by the increase in the consumer price index for all consumers published by the United States Department of Labor; and(iv) certified mailing costs.

(c) All amounts paid to a creditor arising out of any consumer credit sale or consumer loan shall be credited upon receipt against payments due: Provided, That amounts received and applied during a cure period will not result in a duty to provide a new notice of right to cure; and provided further that partial amounts received during the reinstatement period set forth in subsection (b) of this section do not create an automatic duty to reinstate and may be returned by the creditor. Default charges shall be accounted for separately; those set forth in subsection (b) arising during such a reinstatement period may be added to principal.

(d) At least once every twelve months, the holder or servicer of each consumer loan secured by real property against which the creditor assesses any default charge, and: (1) Not serviced by the originating lender or its affiliate or their successors by merger; (2) not held by a federal home loan bank, the federal national mortgage association, the federal home loan mortgage corporation, the government national mortgage association, the West Virginia housing development fund; or (3) not insured or guaranteed by the farmers home administration, the veteran's administration, department of housing and urban development, shall transmit to the consumer an accounting of every default charge assessed within the previous twelve months, including the date, amount and nature of the cost.

For purposes of this subsection, this notice requirement does not apply to delinquency charges permitted under sections one hundred twelve and one hundred thirteen, article three of this chapter; credit line over-the-limit fees; deferral charges permitted under section one hundred fourteen, article three of this chapter; collateral protection insurance permitted under section one hundred nine-a, article three of this chapter; and advances to pay taxes.

(e) A provision in violation of this section is unenforceable. The amendments to this section by acts of the Legislature in the regular session of two thousand three are a clarification of existing law and shall be retroactively applied to all agreements in effect on the date of passage of the amendments, except where controversies arising under those agreements are pending prior to the date of passage of the amendments.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-115. Limitation on default charges.
(a) Except for reasonable expenses including costs and fees authorized by statute incurred in realizing on a security interest, the agreement with respect to a consumer credit sale or a consumer loan may not provide for charges as a result of default by the consumer other than those authorized by this chapter.
(b) A consumer loan secured by real property: (1) Originated by a bank or savings and loan association, or an affiliate, and not solicited by an unaffiliated broker; (2) held by a federal home loan bank, the federal national mortgage association, the federal home loan mortgage corporation, the government national mortgage association, the West Virginia housing development fund; or (3) insured or guaranteed by the farmers home administration, the veteran's administration, department of housing and urban development, which includes in the loan agreement a reinstatement period beginning with the trustee notice of foreclosure and ending prior to foreclosure sale, may, in addition to those authorized by this chapter, permit the recovery of the following actual reasonable reinstatement period expenses paid or owed to third parties: (i) Publication costs paid to the publisher of the notice; (ii) appraisal fee when required by the circumstances or by a regulatory authority and only after the loan has been referred to a trustee for foreclosure; (iii) title check and lienholder notification fee not to exceed two hundred dollars, as adjusted from time to time by the increase in the consumer price index for all consumers published by the United States Department of Labor; and(iv) certified mailing costs.

(c) All amounts paid to a creditor arising out of any consumer credit sale or consumer loan shall be credited upon receipt against payments due: Provided, That amounts received and applied during a cure period will not result in a duty to provide a new notice of right to cure; and provided further that partial amounts received during the reinstatement period set forth in subsection (b) of this section do not create an automatic duty to reinstate and may be returned by the creditor. Default charges shall be accounted for separately; those set forth in subsection (b) arising during such a reinstatement period may be added to principal.

(d) At least once every twelve months, the holder or servicer of each consumer loan secured by real property against which the creditor assesses any default charge, and: (1) Not serviced by the originating lender or its affiliate or their successors by merger; (2) not held by a federal home loan bank, the federal national mortgage association, the federal home loan mortgage corporation, the government national mortgage association, the West Virginia housing development fund; or (3) not insured or guaranteed by the farmers home administration, the veteran's administration, department of housing and urban development, shall transmit to the consumer an accounting of every default charge assessed within the previous twelve months, including the date, amount and nature of the cost.

For purposes of this subsection, this notice requirement does not apply to delinquency charges permitted under sections one hundred twelve and one hundred thirteen, article three of this chapter; credit line over-the-limit fees; deferral charges permitted under section one hundred fourteen, article three of this chapter; collateral protection insurance permitted under section one hundred nine-a, article three of this chapter; and advances to pay taxes.

(e) A provision in violation of this section is unenforceable. The amendments to this section by acts of the Legislature in the regular session of two thousand three are a clarification of existing law and shall be retroactively applied to all agreements in effect on the date of passage of the amendments, except where controversies arising under those agreements are pending prior to the date of passage of the amendments.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-122. Definitions.
For the purposes of this section and sections one hundred twenty-three, one hundred twenty-four, one hundred twenty-five, one hundred twenty-six, one hundred twenty-seven, one hundred twenty-eight, one hundred twenty-nine, and one hundred twenty-nine-a of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Consumer" means any natural person obligated or allegedly obligated to pay any debt.

(b) "Claim" means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance or service which is the subject of the transaction is primarily for personal, family or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.

(c) "Debt collection" means any action, conduct or practice of soliciting claims for collection or in the collection of claims owed or due or alleged to be owed or due by a consumer.

(d) "Debt collector" means any person or organization engaging directly or indirectly in debt collection. The term includes any person or organization who sells or offers to sell forms which are, or are represented to be, a collection system, device or scheme, and are intended or calculated to be used to collect claims.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-122. Definitions.
For the purposes of this section and sections one hundred twenty-three, one hundred twenty-four, one hundred twenty-five, one hundred twenty-six, one hundred twenty-seven, one hundred twenty-eight, one hundred twenty-nine, and one hundred twenty-nine-a of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Consumer" means any natural person obligated or allegedly obligated to pay any debt.

(b) "Claim" means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance or service which is the subject of the transaction is primarily for personal, family or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.

(c) "Debt collection" means any action, conduct or practice of soliciting claims for collection or in the collection of claims owed or due or alleged to be owed or due by a consumer.

(d) "Debt collector" means any person or organization engaging directly or indirectly in debt collection. The term includes any person or organization who sells or offers to sell forms which are, or are represented to be, a collection system, device or scheme, and are intended or calculated to be used to collect claims.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-123. Practice of law by debt collectors.

Unless a licensed attorney in this state, no debt collector shall engage in conduct deemed the practice of law. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed the practice of law:
(a) The performance of legal services, furnishing of legal advice or false representation, direct or by implication, that any person is an attorney;

(b) Any communication with consumers in the name of an attorney or upon stationery or other written matter bearing an attorney's name; and

(c) Any demand for or payment of money constituting a share of compensation for services performed or to be performed by an attorney in collecting a claim.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-123. Practice of law by debt collectors.

Unless a licensed attorney in this state, no debt collector shall engage in conduct deemed the practice of law. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed the practice of law:
(a) The performance of legal services, furnishing of legal advice or false representation, direct or by implication, that any person is an attorney;

(b) Any communication with consumers in the name of an attorney or upon stationery or other written matter bearing an attorney's name; and

(c) Any demand for or payment of money constituting a share of compensation for services performed or to be performed by an attorney in collecting a claim.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-124. Threats or coercion.
No debt collector shall collect or attempt to collect any money alleged to be due and owing by means of any threat, coercion or attempt to coerce. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:
(a) The use, or express or implicit threat of use, of violence or other criminal means, to cause harm to the person, reputation or property of any person;

(b) The accusation or threat to accuse any person of fraud, any crime, or any conduct which, if true, would tend to disgrace such other person or in any way subject him to ridicule, or any conduct which, if true, would tend to disgrace such other person or in any way subject him to ridicule or contempt of society;

(c) False accusations made to another person, including any credit reporting agency, that a consumer is willfully refusing to pay a just debt, or the threat to so make false accusations;

(d) The threat to sell or assign to another the obligation of the consumer with an attending representation or implication that the result of such sale or assignment would be that the consumer would lose any defense to the claim or would be subjected to harsh, vindictive or abusive collection attempts;

(e) The threat that nonpayment of an alleged claim will result in the:

(1) Arrest of any person; or

(2) Garnishment of any wages of any person or the taking of other action requiring judicial sanction, without informing the consumer that there must be in effect a judicial order permitting such garnishment or such other action before it can be taken; and

(f) The threat to take any action prohibited by this chapter or other law regulating the debt collector's conduct.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-124. Threats or coercion.
No debt collector shall collect or attempt to collect any money alleged to be due and owing by means of any threat, coercion or attempt to coerce. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:
(a) The use, or express or implicit threat of use, of violence or other criminal means, to cause harm to the person, reputation or property of any person;

(b) The accusation or threat to accuse any person of fraud, any crime, or any conduct which, if true, would tend to disgrace such other person or in any way subject him to ridicule, or any conduct which, if true, would tend to disgrace such other person or in any way subject him to ridicule or contempt of society;

(c) False accusations made to another person, including any credit reporting agency, that a consumer is willfully refusing to pay a just debt, or the threat to so make false accusations;

(d) The threat to sell or assign to another the obligation of the consumer with an attending representation or implication that the result of such sale or assignment would be that the consumer would lose any defense to the claim or would be subjected to harsh, vindictive or abusive collection attempts;

(e) The threat that nonpayment of an alleged claim will result in the:

(1) Arrest of any person; or

(2) Garnishment of any wages of any person or the taking of other action requiring judicial sanction, without informing the consumer that there must be in effect a judicial order permitting such garnishment or such other action before it can be taken; and

(f) The threat to take any action prohibited by this chapter or other law regulating the debt collector's conduct.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-125. Oppression and abuse.
No debt collector shall unreasonably oppress or abuse any person in connection with the collection of or attempt to collect any claim alleged to be due and owing by that person or another. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:
(a) The use of profane or obscene language or language that is intended to unreasonably abuse the hearer or reader;

(b) The placement of telephone calls without disclosure of the caller's identity and with the intent to annoy, harass or threaten any person at the called number;

(c) Causing expense to any person in the form of long distance telephone tolls, telegram fees or other charges incurred by a medium of communication, by concealment of the true purpose of the communication; and

(d) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously, or at unusual times or at times known to be inconvenient, with intent to annoy, abuse, oppress or threaten any person at the called number.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-125. Oppression and abuse.
No debt collector shall unreasonably oppress or abuse any person in connection with the collection of or attempt to collect any claim alleged to be due and owing by that person or another. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:
(a) The use of profane or obscene language or language that is intended to unreasonably abuse the hearer or reader;

(b) The placement of telephone calls without disclosure of the caller's identity and with the intent to annoy, harass or threaten any person at the called number;

(c) Causing expense to any person in the form of long distance telephone tolls, telegram fees or other charges incurred by a medium of communication, by concealment of the true purpose of the communication; and

(d) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously, or at unusual times or at times known to be inconvenient, with intent to annoy, abuse, oppress or threaten any person at the called number.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-126. Unreasonable publication.
No debt collector shall unreasonably publicize information relating to any alleged indebtedness or consumer. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:
(a) The communication to any employer or his agent before judgment has been rendered of any information relating to an employee's indebtedness other than through proper legal action, process or proceeding;

(b) The disclosure, publication, or communication of information relating to a consumer's indebtedness to any relative or family member of the consumer if such person is not residing with the consumer, except through proper legal action or process or at the express and unsolicited request of the relative or family member;

(c) The disclosure, publication or communication of any information relating to a consumer's indebtedness to any other person other than a credit reporting agency, by publishing or posting any list of consumers, commonly known as "deadbeat lists," except lists to prevent the fraudulent use of credit accounts or credit cards, by advertising for sale any claim to enforce payment thereof, or in any manner other than through proper legal action, process or proceeding; and

(d) The use of any form of communication to the consumer, which ordinarily may be seen by any other persons, that displays or conveys any information about the alleged claim other than the name, address and phone number of the debt collector.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-126. Unreasonable publication.
No debt collector shall unreasonably publicize information relating to any alleged indebtedness or consumer. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:
(a) The communication to any employer or his agent before judgment has been rendered of any information relating to an employee's indebtedness other than through proper legal action, process or proceeding;

(b) The disclosure, publication, or communication of information relating to a consumer's indebtedness to any relative or family member of the consumer if such person is not residing with the consumer, except through proper legal action or process or at the express and unsolicited request of the relative or family member;

(c) The disclosure, publication or communication of any information relating to a consumer's indebtedness to any other person other than a credit reporting agency, by publishing or posting any list of consumers, commonly known as "deadbeat lists," except lists to prevent the fraudulent use of credit accounts or credit cards, by advertising for sale any claim to enforce payment thereof, or in any manner other than through proper legal action, process or proceeding; and

(d) The use of any form of communication to the consumer, which ordinarily may be seen by any other persons, that displays or conveys any information about the alleged claim other than the name, address and phone number of the debt collector.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-127. Fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representations.
No debt collector shall use any fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation or means to collect or attempt to collect claims or to obtain information concerning consumers. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(a) The use of any business, company or organization name while engaged in the collection of claims, other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company or organization;

(b) Any false representation that the debt collector has in his possession information or something of value for the consumer that is made to solicit or discover information about the consumer;

(c) The failure to clearly disclose the name and full business address of the person to whom the claim has been assigned for collection, or to whom the claim is owed, at the time of making any demand for money;

(d) Any false representation or implication of the character, extent or amount of a claim against a consumer, or of its status in any legal proceeding;

(e) Any false representation or false implication that any debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, affiliated with or an instrumentality, agent or official of this state or any agency of the federal, state or local government;

(f) The use or distribution or sale of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be adocument authorized, issued or approved by a court, an official or any other legally constituted or authorized authority, or which creates a false impression about its source, authorization or approval;

(g) Any representation that an existing obligation of the consumer may be increased by the addition of attorney's fees, investigation fees, service fees or any other fees or charges when in fact such fees or charges may not legally be added to the existing obligation; and

(h) Any false representation or false impression about the status or true nature of or the services rendered by the debt collector or his business.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-127. Fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representations.
No debt collector shall use any fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation or means to collect or attempt to collect claims or to obtain information concerning consumers. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(a) The use of any business, company or organization name while engaged in the collection of claims, other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company or organization;

(b) Any false representation that the debt collector has in his possession information or something of value for the consumer that is made to solicit or discover information about the consumer;

(c) The failure to clearly disclose the name and full business address of the person to whom the claim has been assigned for collection, or to whom the claim is owed, at the time of making any demand for money;

(d) Any false representation or implication of the character, extent or amount of a claim against a consumer, or of its status in any legal proceeding;

(e) Any false representation or false implication that any debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, affiliated with or an instrumentality, agent or official of this state or any agency of the federal, state or local government;

(f) The use or distribution or sale of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be adocument authorized, issued or approved by a court, an official or any other legally constituted or authorized authority, or which creates a false impression about its source, authorization or approval;

(g) Any representation that an existing obligation of the consumer may be increased by the addition of attorney's fees, investigation fees, service fees or any other fees or charges when in fact such fees or charges may not legally be added to the existing obligation; and

(h) Any false representation or false impression about the status or true nature of or the services rendered by the debt collector or his business.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-128. Unfair or unconscionable means.
No debt collector shall use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any claim. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(a) The seeking or obtaining of any written statement or acknowledgment in any form that specifies that a consumer's obligation is one incurred for necessaries of life where the original obligation was not in fact incurred for such necessaries;

(b) The seeking or obtaining of any written statement or acknowledgment in any form containing an affirmation of any obligation by a consumer who has been declared bankrupt, without clearly disclosing the nature and consequences of such affirmation and the fact that the consumer is not legally obligated to make such affirmation;

(c) The collection or the attempt to collect from the consumer all or any part of the debt collector's fee or charge for services rendered: Provided, That attorney's fees, court costs and other reasonable collection costs and charges necessary for the collection of any amount due upon delinquent educational loans made by any institution of higher education within this state may be recovered when the terms of the obligation so provide. Recovery of attorney's fees and collection costs may not exceed thirty-three and one-third percent of the amount due and owing to any such institution: Provided, however, That nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to limit or prohibit any institution of higher education from paying additional attorney fees and collection costs as long as such additional attorney fees and collection costs do not exceed an amount equal to five percent of the amount of the debt actually recovered and such additional attorney fees and collection costs are deducted or paid from the amount of the debt recovered for the institution or paid from other funds available to the institution;

(d) The collection of or the attempt to collect any interest or other charge, fee or expense incidental to the principal obligation unless such interest or incidental fee, charge or expense is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the obligation and by statute; and

(e) Any communication with a consumer whenever it appears that the consumer is represented by an attorney and the attorney's name and address are known, or could be easily ascertained, unless the attorney fails to answer correspondence, return phone calls or discuss the obligation in question or unless the attorney consents to direct communication.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-128. Unfair or unconscionable means.
No debt collector shall use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any claim. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(a) The seeking or obtaining of any written statement or acknowledgment in any form that specifies that a consumer's obligation is one incurred for necessaries of life where the original obligation was not in fact incurred for such necessaries;

(b) The seeking or obtaining of any written statement or acknowledgment in any form containing an affirmation of any obligation by a consumer who has been declared bankrupt, without clearly disclosing the nature and consequences of such affirmation and the fact that the consumer is not legally obligated to make such affirmation;

(c) The collection or the attempt to collect from the consumer all or any part of the debt collector's fee or charge for services rendered: Provided, That attorney's fees, court costs and other reasonable collection costs and charges necessary for the collection of any amount due upon delinquent educational loans made by any institution of higher education within this state may be recovered when the terms of the obligation so provide. Recovery of attorney's fees and collection costs may not exceed thirty-three and one-third percent of the amount due and owing to any such institution: Provided, however, That nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to limit or prohibit any institution of higher education from paying additional attorney fees and collection costs as long as such additional attorney fees and collection costs do not exceed an amount equal to five percent of the amount of the debt actually recovered and such additional attorney fees and collection costs are deducted or paid from the amount of the debt recovered for the institution or paid from other funds available to the institution;

(d) The collection of or the attempt to collect any interest or other charge, fee or expense incidental to the principal obligation unless such interest or incidental fee, charge or expense is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the obligation and by statute; and

(e) Any communication with a consumer whenever it appears that the consumer is represented by an attorney and the attorney's name and address are known, or could be easily ascertained, unless the attorney fails to answer correspondence, return phone calls or discuss the obligation in question or unless the attorney consents to direct communication.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-129a. Deceptive or oppressive telephone calls.
No debt collector shall place a telephone call or otherwise communicate by telephone with a consumer or third party, at any place, including a place of employment, falsely stating that the call is "urgent" or an "emergency".W. Va. Code § 46A-2-129a. Deceptive or oppressive telephone calls.
No debt collector shall place a telephone call or otherwise communicate by telephone with a consumer or third party, at any place, including a place of employment, falsely stating that the call is "urgent" or an "emergency".

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-130. Limitation on garnishment.
(1) For the purposes of the provisions in this chapter relating to garnishment:
(a) "Disposable earnings" means that part of the earnings of an individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of amounts required by law to be withheld; and

(b) "Garnishment" means any legal or equitable procedure through which the earnings of an individual are required to be withheld for payment of a debt.

(2) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subjected to garnishment to enforce payment of a judgment arising from a consumer credit sale or consumer loan may not exceed the lesser of:

(a) Twenty percent of his disposable earnings for that week, or

(b) 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.

(c) In the case of earnings for a pay period other than a week, the commissioner shall prescribe by rule a multiple of the federal minimum hourly wage equivalent in effect to that set forthin subdivision (b), subsection (2) of this section.

(3) No court may make, execute or enforce an order or process in violation of this section. Any time after a consumer's earnings have been executed upon pursuant to article five-a or article five-b, chapter thirty-eight of this code by a creditor resulting from a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan, such consumer may petition any court having jurisdiction of such matter or the circuit court of the county wherein he resides to reduce or temporarily or permanently remove such execution upon his earnings on the grounds that such execution causes or will cause undue hardship to him or his family. When such fact is proved to the satisfaction of such court, it may reduce or temporarily or permanently remove such execution.

(4) No garnishment governed by the provisions of this section will be given priority over a voluntary assignment of wages to fulfill a support obligation, a garnishment to collect arrearages in support payments, or a notice of withholding from wages of amounts payable as support, notwithstanding the fact that the garnishment in question or the judgment upon which it is based may have preceded the support-related assignment, garnishment, or notice of withholding in point of time or filing.
W. Va. Code § 46A-2-130. Limitation on garnishment.
(1) For the purposes of the provisions in this chapter relating to garnishment:
(a) "Disposable earnings" means that part of the earnings of an individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of amounts required by law to be withheld; and

(b) "Garnishment" means any legal or equitable procedure through which the earnings of an individual are required to be withheld for payment of a debt.

(2) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subjected to garnishment to enforce payment of a judgment arising from a consumer credit sale or consumer loan may not exceed the lesser of:

(a) Twenty percent of his disposable earnings for that week, or

(b) 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.

(c) In the case of earnings for a pay period other than a week, the commissioner shall prescribe by rule a multiple of the federal minimum hourly wage equivalent in effect to that set forthin subdivision (b), subsection (2) of this section.

(3) No court may make, execute or enforce an order or process in violation of this section. Any time after a consumer's earnings have been executed upon pursuant to article five-a or article five-b, chapter thirty-eight of this code by a creditor resulting from a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan, such consumer may petition any court having jurisdiction of such matter or the circuit court of the county wherein he resides to reduce or temporarily or permanently remove such execution upon his earnings on the grounds that such execution causes or will cause undue hardship to him or his family. When such fact is proved to the satisfaction of such court, it may reduce or temporarily or permanently remove such execution.

(4) No garnishment governed by the provisions of this section will be given priority over a voluntary assignment of wages to fulfill a support obligation, a garnishment to collect arrearages in support payments, or a notice of withholding from wages of amounts payable as support, notwithstanding the fact that the garnishment in question or the judgment upon which it is based may have preceded the support-related assignment, garnishment, or notice of withholding in point of time or filing.

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W. Va. Code § 46A-2-133. Form of agreement or offer to purchase; statement of buyer's rights.

In every home solicitation sale in this state, except where a buyer has requested a seller to provide goods or services without delay because of an emergency, the seller shall present to the buyer a written agreement or offer to purchase which designates as the date of the transaction the day on which the buyer has signed it and which contains a statement of the buyer's rights as hereinafter provided for. No such written agreement or offer to purchase shall be effective until after it has been signed by the buyer and he has written the date of such signature in his own handwriting. The statement must appear under the conspicuous caption:"BUYER'S RIGHT TO CANCEL" and read as follows:"If this agreement was solicited at a place other than the seller's business establishment at a fixed location and you decide you do not want these goods or services, you may cancel this agreement by mailing a notice to the seller. The notice must say that you do not want the goods or services and must be mailed before midnight of the third business day after you sign this agreement. The notice must be mailed to: (Name and mailing address of seller)." Until the seller has fully complied with this section, the buyer may cancel the home solicitation sale, by notifying the seller of his intention to cancel in any manner. Any written agreement or offer to purchase which contains the form and content of notice of cancellation required by the federal trade commission and which provides information substantially similar to that required by this section shall be deemed to comply fully with this section.W. Va. Code § 46A-2-133. Form of agreement or offer to purchase; statement of buyer's rights.

In every home solicitation sale in this state, except where a buyer has requested a seller to provide goods or services without delay because of an emergency, the seller shall present to the buyer a written agreement or offer to purchase which designates as the date of the transaction the day on which the buyer has signed it and which contains a statement of the buyer's rights as hereinafter provided for. No such written agreement or offer to purchase shall be effective until after it has been signed by the buyer and he has written the date of such signature in his own handwriting. The statement must appear under the conspicuous caption:"BUYER'S RIGHT TO CANCEL" and read as follows:"If this agreement was solicited at a place other than the seller's business establishment at a fixed location and you decide you do not want these goods or services, you may cancel this agreement by mailing a notice to the seller. The notice must say that you do not want the goods or services and must be mailed before midnight of the third business day after you sign this agreement. The notice must be mailed to: (Name and mailing address of seller)." Until the seller has fully complied with this section, the buyer may cancel the home solicitation sale, by notifying the seller of his intention to cancel in any manner. Any written agreement or offer to purchase which contains the form and content of notice of cancellation required by the federal trade commission and which provides information substantially similar to that required by this section shall be deemed to comply fully with this section.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-1-1. Short title.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "West Virginia Consumer Goods Rental Protection Act".W. Va. Code § 46B-1-1. Short title.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "West Virginia Consumer Goods Rental Protection Act".

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W. Va. Code § 46B-1-2. Scope.
This chapter applies to any transaction, regardless of form, which creates a rental agreement for the rental of consumer goods, unless such transaction is specifically exempted from the application of this chapter by an express provision contained herein.W. Va. Code § 46B-1-2. Scope.
This chapter applies to any transaction, regardless of form, which creates a rental agreement for the rental of consumer goods, unless such transaction is specifically exempted from the application of this chapter by an express provision contained herein.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-1-4. Legislative purpose and intent.
The underlying purposes and intent of this chapter are as follows:

(1) To simplify and clarify the law governing contracts for the rental of consumer goods;

(2) To assure an adequate means for consumers to enter into contracts for the rental of consumer goods at an affordable price, so that consumers are financially able to comply with the terms of such contracts;

(3) To further consumer understanding of the terms of agreements which involve the purchase or rental of consumer goods;

(4) To foster competition among dealers or rent-to-own dealers who supply consumer goods under rental agreements, so that consumers may rent such consumer goods at a reasonable cost;

(5) To protect consumers against unfair practices by some dealers, while having due regard for the interests of legitimate and scrupulous dealers; and

(6) To permit and encourage the development and use of fair and economically sound business practices on the part of dealers, as well as promoting the practice of thrift and the exercise of good judgment by consumers prior to their entering into agreements for the purchase or rental of consumer goods.
W. Va. Code § 46B-1-4. Legislative purpose and intent.
The underlying purposes and intent of this chapter are as follows:

(1) To simplify and clarify the law governing contracts for the rental of consumer goods;

(2) To assure an adequate means for consumers to enter into contracts for the rental of consumer goods at an affordable price, so that consumers are financially able to comply with the terms of such contracts;

(3) To further consumer understanding of the terms of agreements which involve the purchase or rental of consumer goods;

(4) To foster competition among dealers or rent-to-own dealers who supply consumer goods under rental agreements, so that consumers may rent such consumer goods at a reasonable cost;

(5) To protect consumers against unfair practices by some dealers, while having due regard for the interests of legitimate and scrupulous dealers; and

(6) To permit and encourage the development and use of fair and economically sound business practices on the part of dealers, as well as promoting the practice of thrift and the exercise of good judgment by consumers prior to their entering into agreements for the purchase or rental of consumer goods.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-1-5. General definitions.The following words and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, unless the context in which such words or phrases are used elsewhere in this chapter clearly requires a different meaning:

(1) "Agricultural purpose" means a purpose related to the production, harvest, exhibition, marketing, transportation, processing or manufacture of agricultural products by a natural person who cultivates, plants, propagates or nurtures the agricultural products. "Agricultural products" include agricultural, horticultural, viticultural and dairy products, livestock, wildlife, poultry, bees, forest products, fish and shellfish and any products thereof, including processed and manufactured products, and any and all products raised or produced on farms and any processed or manufactured products thereof.

(2) "Consumer" means a natural person who acquires, or seeks to acquire, the right to possession and use of consumer goods from a dealer.

(3) "Consumer goods" or "goods" means goods intended to be used primarily for personal, family or household purposes.

(4) "Damage waiver" means the voiding or disregard by the dealer of any obligation on the part of the consumer to pay the value of the consumer goods or to make payments pursuant to a rent-to-own agreement in the event of loss or damage to the consumer goods in excess of normal wear and tear or the insurance of the value of the consumer goods or of payments pursuant to the rent-to-own agreement in the event of loss or damage to the consumer goods in excess of normal wear and tear.

(5) "Dealer" or "rent-to-own dealer" means a person who, in the ordinary course of business, transfers or offers to transfer the right to possession and use of consumer goods to a consumer or acts as an agent to transfer or offer to transfer the right to possession and use of consumer goods to a consumer, pursuant to a rental agreement.

(6) "Debt collection" means any action, conduct or practice of soliciting claims for collection or the collection of a claim or claims owed or due or alleged to be owed or due to a dealer by a consumer under a rent-to-own agreement.

(7) "Debt collector" means any person or organization engaging directly or indirectly in debt collection. The term includes any person or organization who sells or offers to sell forms which are, or are represented to be, a collection system, device or scheme and are intended or calculated to be used to collect claims.

(8) "Financial organization" means a corporation, partnership, cooperative or association which:

(A) Is organized, chartered or holding an authorization certificate under the laws of this state or of the United States which authorizes the organization to make consumer loans; and

(B) Is subject to supervision and examination with respect to such loans by an official or agency of this state or of the United States.

(9) "Ownership" means the right to enjoy, possess and use consumer goods to the exclusion of other persons, including the right to transfer legal title to such consumer goods or to otherwise control, handle or dispose of such consumer goods, whether or not indicia of such ownership is established by, or otherwise required to be evidenced by, a title-paper, letter, receipt or other document or instrument.

(10) "Period" or "rental period" means a week, a month or another specific length of time set forth in a rent-to-own agreement, during which such period the consumer has a right to continue possessing and using consumer goods, after having made the periodic rental payment for such period.

(11) "Periodic payment" means a payment required to be made by a consumer to have the right to possession and use of consumer goods during a specified time period. The periodic payment does not include any applicable sales, use, privilege, excise or documentary stamp taxes otherwise payable upon a transfer of consumer goods from a dealer to a consumer, except as provided for by the disclosure requirements or other applicable requirements set forth in this chapter.

(12) "Person" or "party" includes a natural person or an individual, an organization, partnership or corporation.

(13) "Person related to" with respect to an individual means: (A) The spouse of the individual; (B) a brother, brother-in-law, sister or sister-in-law of the individual; (C) an ancestor or lineal descendant of the individual or his spouse; and (D) any other relative, by blood or marriage, of the individual or his spouse who shares the same home with the individual. "Person related to" with respect to an organization, partnership or corporation means: (A) A person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with the organization, partnership or corporation; (B) an officer or director of the organization, partnership or corporation or a person performing similar functions with respect to the organization or to a person related to the organization, partnership or corporation; (C) the spouse of a person related to the organization, partnership or corporation; and (D) a relative by blood or marriage of a person related to the organization, partnership or corporation shares the same home with him or her.

(14) "Premises" means a particular physical place of business opened to the public by a dealer.

(15) "Rental agreement" means the bargain, with respect to the rental of consumer goods under a rent-to-own agreement, of the dealer and the consumer as found in their language or by implication from other circumstances including course of dealing or usage of trade or course of performance as provided in this chapter.

(16) "Rental contract" means the total legal obligation that results from the rental agreement as affected by this chapter and any other applicable rules of law.

(17) (A) "Rent-to-own agreement" means a rental agreement which:

(i) Transfers the right to possession and use of the rental property from the dealer to the consumer;

(ii) Obligates the consumer to pay successive periodic rental payments as each shall become due, in order to continue his or her right to possession and use of the rented consumer goods;

(iii) Is subject to termination by the consumer as permitted by this chapter, whereupon the consumer is not obligated to make payments for any period of time other than a period during which he or she chooses to maintain possession and use of the rented consumer goods; and

(iv) Provides that upon compliance with the terms of the agreement the consumer shall become or has the option to become the owner of the property.

(B) The term "rent-to-own agreement" does not include a rental agreement in which:

(i) A financial organization is a party, if the rental agreement is subject to the federal Truth in Lending Act or the federal Consumer Leasing Act and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto;

(ii) Any of the consumer goods which are the subject matter of the rental agreement are vehicles as defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of this code;

(iii) All of the consumer goods which are the subject of the rental agreement are either two-way telecommunications equipment, medical equipment or musical instruments, and the rental agreement is subject to the federal Truth in Lending Act or the federal Consumer Leasing Act and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto; or

(iv) All of the goods which are the subject matter of the rental agreement are primarily intended to be used for agricultural purposes.

(18) "Retail value" or "fair market value" of particular consumer goods means the price at which goods of like type, quality and quantity would change hands between a willing seller and a willing buyer, at retail, for cash, in the particular market area at the time of the rent-to-own rental agreement, which price does not include any applicable sales, use, privilege, excise ordocumentary stamp taxes payable upon the transfer of such goods.

(19) "Rent-to-own charge", in connection with any rent-to-own agreement, means the sum of all charges in excess of the retail value which must be paid directly or indirectly by the consumer in order for the consumer to acquire ownership of the consumer goods without payment of further consideration.

(20) "Termination" means the cancellation of a rental agreement when the consumer determines that he or she no longer desires to pay periodic payments and retain the right to possession and use of the consumer goods or either party puts an end to the rental agreement for default by the other party in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(21) "Total of payments" means the total of all periodic payments specified in the written agreement which the consumer must pay in order to acquire ownership of the consumer goods without the payment of additional consideration to the dealer.

(22) "Willing buyer" means a person who:

(A) Buys consumer goods at retail for his or her personal use or for the use of his or her family or household;

(B) Has a reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts to be considered in ascertaining the fair market price of consumer goods which are offered to be sold at retail; and

(C) Is under no compulsion to buy or to buy from a particular seller.

(23) "Willing seller" means a person other than a rent-to-own dealer who:

(A) In the ordinary course of business regularly sells or offers for sale consumer goods at retail;

(B) Has no direct or indirect ownership connection with any dealer;

(C) Has a reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts to be considered in fixing the fair market price of consumer goods which are offered to be sold at retail; and

(D) Is under no compulsion to sell or to sell to a particular buyer.

(24) "Written agreement" means a written document containing or evidencing the terms of a rent-to-own transaction, reduced to a tangible and legible form by printing, typewriting, computer print-out or any other intentional reduction.
W. Va. Code § 46B-1-5. General definitions.The following words and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, unless the context in which such words or phrases are used elsewhere in this chapter clearly requires a different meaning:

(1) "Agricultural purpose" means a purpose related to the production, harvest, exhibition, marketing, transportation, processing or manufacture of agricultural products by a natural person who cultivates, plants, propagates or nurtures the agricultural products. "Agricultural products" include agricultural, horticultural, viticultural and dairy products, livestock, wildlife, poultry, bees, forest products, fish and shellfish and any products thereof, including processed and manufactured products, and any and all products raised or produced on farms and any processed or manufactured products thereof.

(2) "Consumer" means a natural person who acquires, or seeks to acquire, the right to possession and use of consumer goods from a dealer.

(3) "Consumer goods" or "goods" means goods intended to be used primarily for personal, family or household purposes.

(4) "Damage waiver" means the voiding or disregard by the dealer of any obligation on the part of the consumer to pay the value of the consumer goods or to make payments pursuant to a rent-to-own agreement in the event of loss or damage to the consumer goods in excess of normal wear and tear or the insurance of the value of the consumer goods or of payments pursuant to the rent-to-own agreement in the event of loss or damage to the consumer goods in excess of normal wear and tear.

(5) "Dealer" or "rent-to-own dealer" means a person who, in the ordinary course of business, transfers or offers to transfer the right to possession and use of consumer goods to a consumer or acts as an agent to transfer or offer to transfer the right to possession and use of consumer goods to a consumer, pursuant to a rental agreement.

(6) "Debt collection" means any action, conduct or practice of soliciting claims for collection or the collection of a claim or claims owed or due or alleged to be owed or due to a dealer by a consumer under a rent-to-own agreement.

(7) "Debt collector" means any person or organization engaging directly or indirectly in debt collection. The term includes any person or organization who sells or offers to sell forms which are, or are represented to be, a collection system, device or scheme and are intended or calculated to be used to collect claims.

(8) "Financial organization" means a corporation, partnership, cooperative or association which:

(A) Is organized, chartered or holding an authorization certificate under the laws of this state or of the United States which authorizes the organization to make consumer loans; and

(B) Is subject to supervision and examination with respect to such loans by an official or agency of this state or of the United States.

(9) "Ownership" means the right to enjoy, possess and use consumer goods to the exclusion of other persons, including the right to transfer legal title to such consumer goods or to otherwise control, handle or dispose of such consumer goods, whether or not indicia of such ownership is established by, or otherwise required to be evidenced by, a title-paper, letter, receipt or other document or instrument.

(10) "Period" or "rental period" means a week, a month or another specific length of time set forth in a rent-to-own agreement, during which such period the consumer has a right to continue possessing and using consumer goods, after having made the periodic rental payment for such period.

(11) "Periodic payment" means a payment required to be made by a consumer to have the right to possession and use of consumer goods during a specified time period. The periodic payment does not include any applicable sales, use, privilege, excise or documentary stamp taxes otherwise payable upon a transfer of consumer goods from a dealer to a consumer, except as provided for by the disclosure requirements or other applicable requirements set forth in this chapter.

(12) "Person" or "party" includes a natural person or an individual, an organization, partnership or corporation.

(13) "Person related to" with respect to an individual means: (A) The spouse of the individual; (B) a brother, brother-in-law, sister or sister-in-law of the individual; (C) an ancestor or lineal descendant of the individual or his spouse; and (D) any other relative, by blood or marriage, of the individual or his spouse who shares the same home with the individual. "Person related to" with respect to an organization, partnership or corporation means: (A) A person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with the organization, partnership or corporation; (B) an officer or director of the organization, partnership or corporation or a person performing similar functions with respect to the organization or to a person related to the organization, partnership or corporation; (C) the spouse of a person related to the organization, partnership or corporation; and (D) a relative by blood or marriage of a person related to the organization, partnership or corporation shares the same home with him or her.

(14) "Premises" means a particular physical place of business opened to the public by a dealer.

(15) "Rental agreement" means the bargain, with respect to the rental of consumer goods under a rent-to-own agreement, of the dealer and the consumer as found in their language or by implication from other circumstances including course of dealing or usage of trade or course of performance as provided in this chapter.

(16) "Rental contract" means the total legal obligation that results from the rental agreement as affected by this chapter and any other applicable rules of law.

(17) (A) "Rent-to-own agreement" means a rental agreement which:

(i) Transfers the right to possession and use of the rental property from the dealer to the consumer;

(ii) Obligates the consumer to pay successive periodic rental payments as each shall become due, in order to continue his or her right to possession and use of the rented consumer goods;

(iii) Is subject to termination by the consumer as permitted by this chapter, whereupon the consumer is not obligated to make payments for any period of time other than a period during which he or she chooses to maintain possession and use of the rented consumer goods; and

(iv) Provides that upon compliance with the terms of the agreement the consumer shall become or has the option to become the owner of the property.

(B) The term "rent-to-own agreement" does not include a rental agreement in which:

(i) A financial organization is a party, if the rental agreement is subject to the federal Truth in Lending Act or the federal Consumer Leasing Act and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto;

(ii) Any of the consumer goods which are the subject matter of the rental agreement are vehicles as defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of this code;

(iii) All of the consumer goods which are the subject of the rental agreement are either two-way telecommunications equipment, medical equipment or musical instruments, and the rental agreement is subject to the federal Truth in Lending Act or the federal Consumer Leasing Act and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto; or

(iv) All of the goods which are the subject matter of the rental agreement are primarily intended to be used for agricultural purposes.

(18) "Retail value" or "fair market value" of particular consumer goods means the price at which goods of like type, quality and quantity would change hands between a willing seller and a willing buyer, at retail, for cash, in the particular market area at the time of the rent-to-own rental agreement, which price does not include any applicable sales, use, privilege, excise ordocumentary stamp taxes payable upon the transfer of such goods.

(19) "Rent-to-own charge", in connection with any rent-to-own agreement, means the sum of all charges in excess of the retail value which must be paid directly or indirectly by the consumer in order for the consumer to acquire ownership of the consumer goods without payment of further consideration.

(20) "Termination" means the cancellation of a rental agreement when the consumer determines that he or she no longer desires to pay periodic payments and retain the right to possession and use of the consumer goods or either party puts an end to the rental agreement for default by the other party in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(21) "Total of payments" means the total of all periodic payments specified in the written agreement which the consumer must pay in order to acquire ownership of the consumer goods without the payment of additional consideration to the dealer.

(22) "Willing buyer" means a person who:

(A) Buys consumer goods at retail for his or her personal use or for the use of his or her family or household;

(B) Has a reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts to be considered in ascertaining the fair market price of consumer goods which are offered to be sold at retail; and

(C) Is under no compulsion to buy or to buy from a particular seller.

(23) "Willing seller" means a person other than a rent-to-own dealer who:

(A) In the ordinary course of business regularly sells or offers for sale consumer goods at retail;

(B) Has no direct or indirect ownership connection with any dealer;

(C) Has a reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts to be considered in fixing the fair market price of consumer goods which are offered to be sold at retail; and

(D) Is under no compulsion to sell or to sell to a particular buyer.

(24) "Written agreement" means a written document containing or evidencing the terms of a rent-to-own transaction, reduced to a tangible and legible form by printing, typewriting, computer print-out or any other intentional reduction.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-4-1. Extortionate conduct in rent-to-own transaction.
If the court finds as a matter of fact that it was the understanding of the dealer and the consumer at the time a rental agreement for a rent-to-own transaction was made that delay in making a payment could result in the use of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to the person, reputation or property of any person, the agreement of the extension of credit is unenforceable through civil judicial process against the dealer and the consumer, at his or her option, may rescind the agreement and retain the goods without any obligation to pay for them.W. Va. Code § 46B-4-1. Extortionate conduct in rent-to-own transaction.
If the court finds as a matter of fact that it was the understanding of the dealer and the consumer at the time a rental agreement for a rent-to-own transaction was made that delay in making a payment could result in the use of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to the person, reputation or property of any person, the agreement of the extension of credit is unenforceable through civil judicial process against the dealer and the consumer, at his or her option, may rescind the agreement and retain the goods without any obligation to pay for them.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-4-2. Referral sales or leases.
With respect to a rent-to-own transaction, the dealer may not give or offer to give a rebate or discount or otherwise pay or offer to pay value to the consumer as an inducement for a sale or lease in consideration of his giving to the dealer the names of prospective purchasers or consumers, or otherwise aiding the dealer in making a lease to another person, if the earning of the rebate, discount or other value is contingent upon the occurrence of an event subsequent to the time the consumer agrees to lease. If a consumer is induced by a violation of this section to enter into a rent-to-own transaction, the agreement is unenforceable against the consumer, who at his or her option, may rescind the agreement and retain the goods without any obligation to pay for them.W. Va. Code § 46B-4-2. Referral sales or leases.
With respect to a rent-to-own transaction, the dealer may not give or offer to give a rebate or discount or otherwise pay or offer to pay value to the consumer as an inducement for a sale or lease in consideration of his giving to the dealer the names of prospective purchasers or consumers, or otherwise aiding the dealer in making a lease to another person, if the earning of the rebate, discount or other value is contingent upon the occurrence of an event subsequent to the time the consumer agrees to lease. If a consumer is induced by a violation of this section to enter into a rent-to-own transaction, the agreement is unenforceable against the consumer, who at his or her option, may rescind the agreement and retain the goods without any obligation to pay for them.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-4-3. Practice of law by debt collectors.
Unless a licensed attorney in this state, no debt collector shall engage in conduct deemed the practice of law. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed the practice of law:

(1) The performance of legal services, furnishing of legal advice or false representation, direct or by implication, that any person is an attorney;

(2) Any communication with consumers in the name of an attorney or upon stationery or other written matter bearing an attorney's name; and

(3) Any demand for or payment of money constituting a share of compensation for services performed or to be performed by an attorney in collecting a claim.
W. Va. Code § 46B-4-3. Practice of law by debt collectors.
Unless a licensed attorney in this state, no debt collector shall engage in conduct deemed the practice of law. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed the practice of law:

(1) The performance of legal services, furnishing of legal advice or false representation, direct or by implication, that any person is an attorney;

(2) Any communication with consumers in the name of an attorney or upon stationery or other written matter bearing an attorney's name; and

(3) Any demand for or payment of money constituting a share of compensation for services performed or to be performed by an attorney in collecting a claim.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-4-4. Threats or coercion.
No debt collector shall collect or attempt to collect any money alleged to be due and owing by means of any threat, coercion or attempt to coerce. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The use, or express or implicit threat of use, of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to the person, reputation or property of any person;

(2) The accusation or threat to accuse any person of fraud, any crime or any conduct which, if true, would tend to disgrace such other person or in any way subject him to ridicule or any conduct which, if true, would tend to disgrace such other person or in any way subject him to ridicule or contempt of society;

(3) False accusations made to another person, including any credit reporting agency, that a consumer is willfully refusing to pay a just debt or the threat to so make false accusations;

(4) The threat to sell or assign to another the obligation of the consumer with an attending representation or implication that the result of such sale or assignment would be that the consumer would lose any defense to the claim or would be subjected to harsh, vindictive or abusive collection attempts;

(5) The threat that nonpayment of an alleged claim will result in the:

(A) Arrest of any person; or

(B) Garnishment of any wages of any person or the taking of other action requiring judicial sanction, without informing the consumer that there must be in effect a judicial order permitting such garnishment or such other action before it can be taken; and

(6) The threat to take any action prohibited by this chapter or other law regulating the debt collector's conduct.
W. Va. Code § 46B-4-4. Threats or coercion.
No debt collector shall collect or attempt to collect any money alleged to be due and owing by means of any threat, coercion or attempt to coerce. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The use, or express or implicit threat of use, of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to the person, reputation or property of any person;

(2) The accusation or threat to accuse any person of fraud, any crime or any conduct which, if true, would tend to disgrace such other person or in any way subject him to ridicule or any conduct which, if true, would tend to disgrace such other person or in any way subject him to ridicule or contempt of society;

(3) False accusations made to another person, including any credit reporting agency, that a consumer is willfully refusing to pay a just debt or the threat to so make false accusations;

(4) The threat to sell or assign to another the obligation of the consumer with an attending representation or implication that the result of such sale or assignment would be that the consumer would lose any defense to the claim or would be subjected to harsh, vindictive or abusive collection attempts;

(5) The threat that nonpayment of an alleged claim will result in the:

(A) Arrest of any person; or

(B) Garnishment of any wages of any person or the taking of other action requiring judicial sanction, without informing the consumer that there must be in effect a judicial order permitting such garnishment or such other action before it can be taken; and

(6) The threat to take any action prohibited by this chapter or other law regulating the debt collector's conduct.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-4-5. Oppression and abuse.
No debt collector shall unreasonably oppress or abuse any person in connection with the collection of or attempt to collect any claim alleged to be due and owing by that person or another. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The use of profane or obscene language or language that is intended to unreasonably abuse the hearer or reader;

(2) The placement of telephone calls without disclosure of the caller's identity and with the intent to annoy, harass or threaten any person at the called number;

(3) Causing expense to any person in the form of long distance telephone tolls, telegram fees or other charges incurred by a medium of communication, by concealment of the true purpose of the communication; and

(4) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously, or at unusual times or at times known to be inconvenient, with intent to annoy, abuse, oppress or threaten any person at the called number.
W. Va. Code § 46B-4-5. Oppression and abuse.
No debt collector shall unreasonably oppress or abuse any person in connection with the collection of or attempt to collect any claim alleged to be due and owing by that person or another. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The use of profane or obscene language or language that is intended to unreasonably abuse the hearer or reader;

(2) The placement of telephone calls without disclosure of the caller's identity and with the intent to annoy, harass or threaten any person at the called number;

(3) Causing expense to any person in the form of long distance telephone tolls, telegram fees or other charges incurred by a medium of communication, by concealment of the true purpose of the communication; and

(4) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously, or at unusual times or at times known to be inconvenient, with intent to annoy, abuse, oppress or threaten any person at the called number.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-4-6. Unreasonable publication.
No debt collector shall unreasonably publicize information relating to any alleged indebtedness of consumer. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The communication to any employer or his agent before judgment has been rendered of any information relating to an employee's indebtedness other than through proper legal action, process or proceeding;

(2) The disclosure, publication or communication of information relating to a consumer's indebtedness to any relative or family member of the consumer if such person is not residing with the consumer, except through proper legal action or process or at the express and unsolicited request of the relative or family member;

(3) The disclosure, publication or communication of any information relating to a consumer's indebtedness to any other person other than a credit reporting agency, by publishing or posting any list of consumers, commonly known as "deadbeat lists"; and

(4) The use of any form of communication to the consumer, which ordinarily may be seen by any other persons, that displays or conveys any information about the alleged claim other than the name, address and phone number of the debt collector.
W. Va. Code § 46B-4-6. Unreasonable publication.
No debt collector shall unreasonably publicize information relating to any alleged indebtedness of consumer. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The communication to any employer or his agent before judgment has been rendered of any information relating to an employee's indebtedness other than through proper legal action, process or proceeding;

(2) The disclosure, publication or communication of information relating to a consumer's indebtedness to any relative or family member of the consumer if such person is not residing with the consumer, except through proper legal action or process or at the express and unsolicited request of the relative or family member;

(3) The disclosure, publication or communication of any information relating to a consumer's indebtedness to any other person other than a credit reporting agency, by publishing or posting any list of consumers, commonly known as "deadbeat lists"; and

(4) The use of any form of communication to the consumer, which ordinarily may be seen by any other persons, that displays or conveys any information about the alleged claim other than the name, address and phone number of the debt collector.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-4-7. Fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representations.
No debt collector shall use any fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation or means to collect or attempt to collect claims or to obtain information concerning consumers. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The use of any business, company or organization name while engaged in the collection of claims, other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company or organization;

(2) The failure to clearly disclose in all communications made to collect or attempt to collect a claim or to obtain or attempt to obtain information about a consumer, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a claim and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose;

(3) Any false representation that the debt collector has in his possession information or something of value for the consumer that is made to solicit or discover information about the consumer;

(4) The failure to clearly disclose the name and full business address of the person to whom the claim has been assigned for collection, or to whom the claim is owed, at the time of making any demand for money;

(5) Any false representation or implication of the character, extent or amount of a claim against a consumer or of its status in any legal proceeding;

(6) Any false representation or false implication that any debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, affiliated with or an instrumentality, agent or official of this state or any agency of the federal, state or local government;

(7) The use or distribution or sale of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued or approved by a court, an official or any other legally constituted or authorized authority, or which creates a false impression about its source, authorization or approval;

(8) Any representation that an existing obligation of the consumer may be increased by the addition of attorney's fees, investigation fees, service fees or any other fees or charges when in fact such fees or charges may not legally be added to the existing obligation; and

(9) Any false representation or false impression about the status or true nature of or the services rendered by the debt collector or his business.
W. Va. Code § 46B-4-7. Fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representations.
No debt collector shall use any fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation or means to collect or attempt to collect claims or to obtain information concerning consumers. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The use of any business, company or organization name while engaged in the collection of claims, other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company or organization;

(2) The failure to clearly disclose in all communications made to collect or attempt to collect a claim or to obtain or attempt to obtain information about a consumer, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a claim and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose;

(3) Any false representation that the debt collector has in his possession information or something of value for the consumer that is made to solicit or discover information about the consumer;

(4) The failure to clearly disclose the name and full business address of the person to whom the claim has been assigned for collection, or to whom the claim is owed, at the time of making any demand for money;

(5) Any false representation or implication of the character, extent or amount of a claim against a consumer or of its status in any legal proceeding;

(6) Any false representation or false implication that any debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, affiliated with or an instrumentality, agent or official of this state or any agency of the federal, state or local government;

(7) The use or distribution or sale of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued or approved by a court, an official or any other legally constituted or authorized authority, or which creates a false impression about its source, authorization or approval;

(8) Any representation that an existing obligation of the consumer may be increased by the addition of attorney's fees, investigation fees, service fees or any other fees or charges when in fact such fees or charges may not legally be added to the existing obligation; and

(9) Any false representation or false impression about the status or true nature of or the services rendered by the debt collector or his business.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-4-8. Unfair or unconscionable means.
No debt collector shall use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any claim. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The seeking or obtaining of any written statement or acknowledgment in any form that specifies that a consumer's obligation is one incurred for necessaries of life where the original obligation was not in fact incurred for such necessaries;

(2) The seeking or obtaining of any written statement or acknowledgment in any form containing an affirmation of any obligation by a consumer who has been declared bankrupt without clearly disclosing the nature and consequences of such affirmation and the fact that the consumer is not legally obligated to make such affirmation;

(3) The collection or the attempt to collect from the consumer all or any part of the debt collector's fee or charge for services rendered;

(4) The collection of or the attempt to collect any interest or other charge, fee or expense incidental to the principal obligation unless such interest or incidental fee, charge or expense is expressly authorized by the written rental agreement and by statute; and

(5) Any communication with a consumer whenever it appears that the consumer is represented by an attorney and the attorney's name and address are known, or could be easily ascertained, unless the attorney fails to answer correspondence, return phone calls or discuss the obligation in question or unless the attorney consents to direct communication.
W. Va. Code § 46B-4-8. Unfair or unconscionable means.
No debt collector shall use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any claim. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is deemed to violate this section:

(1) The seeking or obtaining of any written statement or acknowledgment in any form that specifies that a consumer's obligation is one incurred for necessaries of life where the original obligation was not in fact incurred for such necessaries;

(2) The seeking or obtaining of any written statement or acknowledgment in any form containing an affirmation of any obligation by a consumer who has been declared bankrupt without clearly disclosing the nature and consequences of such affirmation and the fact that the consumer is not legally obligated to make such affirmation;

(3) The collection or the attempt to collect from the consumer all or any part of the debt collector's fee or charge for services rendered;

(4) The collection of or the attempt to collect any interest or other charge, fee or expense incidental to the principal obligation unless such interest or incidental fee, charge or expense is expressly authorized by the written rental agreement and by statute; and

(5) Any communication with a consumer whenever it appears that the consumer is represented by an attorney and the attorney's name and address are known, or could be easily ascertained, unless the attorney fails to answer correspondence, return phone calls or discuss the obligation in question or unless the attorney consents to direct communication.

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W. Va. Code § 46B-4-9. Postal violations.
No debt collector shall use, distribute, sell or prepare for use any written communication which violates or fails to conform to United States postal laws and regulations.W. Va. Code § 46B-4-9. Postal violations.
No debt collector shall use, distribute, sell or prepare for use any written communication which violates or fails to conform to United States postal laws and regulations.

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W. Va. Code § 47-11A-1. Legislative findings; designation of article.

The sale of goods at less than the cost thereof results in economic maladjustments and tends toward the creation of monopolies, thereby destroying fair and healthy competition and tending toward bankruptcy among merchants who maintain a fair price policy, and is, therefore, an unfair trade practice. It is hereby declared that any advertisement, offer to sell, or sale of any merchandise, either by retailers or wholesalers, at less than cost, as defined in this article, or any advertisement of an intent to give, any offer to give, or gift of any merchandise, either by retailers or wholesalers, for the purposes of unfairly diverting trade from or otherwise injuring competitors and destroying competition, is an unfair method of competition contrary to public policy and in contravention of the policy of this article, which shall be known and designated as the "Unfair Practices Act."W. Va. Code § 47-11A-1. Legislative findings; designation of article.

The sale of goods at less than the cost thereof results in economic maladjustments and tends toward the creation of monopolies, thereby destroying fair and healthy competition and tending toward bankruptcy among merchants who maintain a fair price policy, and is, therefore, an unfair trade practice. It is hereby declared that any advertisement, offer to sell, or sale of any merchandise, either by retailers or wholesalers, at less than cost, as defined in this article, or any advertisement of an intent to give, any offer to give, or gift of any merchandise, either by retailers or wholesalers, for the purposes of unfairly diverting trade from or otherwise injuring competitors and destroying competition, is an unfair method of competition contrary to public policy and in contravention of the policy of this article, which shall be known and designated as the "Unfair Practices Act."

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W. Va. Code § 47-11A-2. When selling below cost or giving away of merchandise prohibited; penalty.
It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, firm, corporation, joint-stock company, or other association engaged in business as a retailer or wholesaler within this state, to sell, offer for sale or advertise for sale any article, product or item of merchandise at less than the cost thereof to the vendor, or give, offer to give or advertise the intent to give away any article, product or item of merchandise for the purposes of unfairly diverting trade from or otherwise injuring one or more competitors, and destroying competition. Each violation shall constitute a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, any person, partnership, firm, corporation, joint-stock company, or other association violating this section shall be subject to the penalty set out in section eleven hereof.W. Va. Code § 47-11A-2. When selling below cost or giving away of merchandise prohibited; penalty.
It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, firm, corporation, joint-stock company, or other association engaged in business as a retailer or wholesaler within this state, to sell, offer for sale or advertise for sale any article, product or item of merchandise at less than the cost thereof to the vendor, or give, offer to give or advertise the intent to give away any article, product or item of merchandise for the purposes of unfairly diverting trade from or otherwise injuring one or more competitors, and destroying competition. Each violation shall constitute a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, any person, partnership, firm, corporation, joint-stock company, or other association violating this section shall be subject to the penalty set out in section eleven hereof.

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W. Va. Code § 47-11A-3. When rebates and special privileges prohibited; penalty.

The secret payment or allowance of rebates, refunds, commissions, or unearned discounts, whether in the form of money or otherwise, or secretly extending to certain purchasers special services or privileges not extended to all purchasers purchasing upon like terms and conditions, to the injury of a competitor and where such payment or allowance tends to destroy competition, is an unfair trade practice and any person, partnership, firm, corporation, joint-stock company, or other association resorting to such trade practice shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be subject to the penalties set out in section eleven of this article.W. Va. Code § 47-11A-3. When rebates and special privileges prohibited; penalty.

The secret payment or allowance of rebates, refunds, commissions, or unearned discounts, whether in the form of money or otherwise, or secretly extending to certain purchasers special services or privileges not extended to all purchasers purchasing upon like terms and conditions, to the injury of a competitor and where such payment or allowance tends to destroy competition, is an unfair trade practice and any person, partnership, firm, corporation, joint-stock company, or other association resorting to such trade practice shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be subject to the penalties set out in section eleven of this article.

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W. Va. Code § 47-11A-12. Contracts violating article illegal and unenforceable.

Any contract, express or implied, made by any person, firm, partnership, corporation, joint-stock company or other association, in violation of any of the provisions of this article, is hereby declared to be an illegal contract and no recovery thereon shall be had.W. Va. Code § 47-11A-12. Contracts violating article illegal and unenforceable.

Any contract, express or implied, made by any person, firm, partnership, corporation, joint-stock company or other association, in violation of any of the provisions of this article, is hereby declared to be an illegal contract and no recovery thereon shall be had.

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W. Va. Code § 47-11A-12a. Unsolicited goods.
No person, firm, partnership, association or corporation, or agent or employee thereof, shall, in any manner, or by any means, offer for sale goods, wares or merchandise, where the offer includes the voluntary and unsolicited sending of goods, wares or merchandise not actually ordered or requested by the recipient, either orally or in writing. The receipt of any such unsolicited goods, wares or merchandise shall for all purposes be deemed an unconditional gift to the recipient who may use or dispose of the same in any manner he sees fit without any obligation on his part to the sender.W. Va. Code § 47-11A-12a. Unsolicited goods.
No person, firm, partnership, association or corporation, or agent or employee thereof, shall, in any manner, or by any means, offer for sale goods, wares or merchandise, where the offer includes the voluntary and unsolicited sending of goods, wares or merchandise not actually ordered or requested by the recipient, either orally or in writing. The receipt of any such unsolicited goods, wares or merchandise shall for all purposes be deemed an unconditional gift to the recipient who may use or dispose of the same in any manner he sees fit without any obligation on his part to the sender.

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W. Va. Code § 47-11A-14. Purpose and construction of article.The Legislature declares that the purpose of this article is to safeguard the public against the creation or perpetuation of monopolies and to foster and encourage competition, by prohibiting unfair and discriminatory practices by which fair and honest competition is destroyed or prevented. This article shall be liberally construed that its beneficial purposes may be subserved.W. Va. Code § 47-11A-14. Purpose and construction of article.The Legislature declares that the purpose of this article is to safeguard the public against the creation or perpetuation of monopolies and to foster and encourage competition, by prohibiting unfair and discriminatory practices by which fair and honest competition is destroyed or prevented. This article shall be liberally construed that its beneficial purposes may be subserved.

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W. Va. Code § 47-15-1. Definitions.
(a) "Pyramid promotional scheme" shall mean the organization of any chain letter club, pyramid club, or other group organized or brought together under any plan or device whereby fees or dues or anything of material value to be paid or given by members thereof are to be paid or given to any other member thereof, which plan or device includes any provision for the increase in such membership through a chain process of any members securing other new members and thereby advancing themselves in the group to a position where such members in turn receive fees, dues or things of material value from other members.
(b) "Promote" or "promotion" shall mean the initiation, preparation, operation, advertisement, or the recruitment of any person or persons in the furtherance of any pyramid promotional scheme as defined in subsection (a) of this section.
W. Va. Code § 47-15-1. Definitions.
(a) "Pyramid promotional scheme" shall mean the organization of any chain letter club, pyramid club, or other group organized or brought together under any plan or device whereby fees or dues or anything of material value to be paid or given by members thereof are to be paid or given to any other member thereof, which plan or device includes any provision for the increase in such membership through a chain process of any members securing other new members and thereby advancing themselves in the group to a position where such members in turn receive fees, dues or things of material value from other members.
(b) "Promote" or "promotion" shall mean the initiation, preparation, operation, advertisement, or the recruitment of any person or persons in the furtherance of any pyramid promotional scheme as defined in subsection (a) of this section.

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W. Va. Code § 47-15-2. Unlawful act.
No person shall promote any pyramid promotional scheme, either personally or through an agent or agents.W. Va. Code § 47-15-2. Unlawful act.
No person shall promote any pyramid promotional scheme, either personally or through an agent or agents.

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W. Va. Code § 47-15-3. Contracts void and unenforceable.
All contracts and agreements entered into after the effective date of this article wherein the whole or any part of the consideration of such contract or agreement is given in exchange for the right to participate in any pyramid promotional scheme are hereby declared to be against public policy and are hereby declared to be void and unenforceable.W. Va. Code § 47-15-3. Contracts void and unenforceable.
All contracts and agreements entered into after the effective date of this article wherein the whole or any part of the consideration of such contract or agreement is given in exchange for the right to participate in any pyramid promotional scheme are hereby declared to be against public policy and are hereby declared to be void and unenforceable.

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W. Va. Code § 47-24-1. Short title.
The article may be cited as the "Reverse Mortgage Enabling Act."W. Va. Code § 47-24-1. Short title.
The article may be cited as the "Reverse Mortgage Enabling Act."

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W. Va. Code § 47-24-2. Statement of purpose.
It is the intent of this legislation that elderly homeowners be permitted to meet their financial needs by accessing the equity in their homes through a reverse mortgage.

The Legislature recognizes that many restrictions and requirements that exist to govern traditional mortgage transactions are inapplicable in the context of reverse mortgages.

In order to foster reverse mortgage transactions and better serve the elderly citizens of this state, the Legislature authorizes the making of reverse mortgages, and expressly relieves reverse mortgage lenders and borrowers from compliance with inappropriate requirements.
W. Va. Code § 47-24-2. Statement of purpose.
It is the intent of this legislation that elderly homeowners be permitted to meet their financial needs by accessing the equity in their homes through a reverse mortgage.

The Legislature recognizes that many restrictions and requirements that exist to govern traditional mortgage transactions are inapplicable in the context of reverse mortgages.

In order to foster reverse mortgage transactions and better serve the elderly citizens of this state, the Legislature authorizes the making of reverse mortgages, and expressly relieves reverse mortgage lenders and borrowers from compliance with inappropriate requirements.

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W. Va. Code § 47-24-3. Definition.
"Reverse mortgage" means a nonrecourse loan secured by real property which:

(1) Provides cash advances to a borrower based on the equity in a borrower's owner-occupied principal residence;

(2) Requires no payment of principal or interest until the entire loan becomes due and payable; and

(3) Is made by any lender authorized to engage in business as a bank, savings institution, or credit union under the laws of this state or any other lender, other than an industrial loan company, affiliated with a federally-insured depository institution in this state, and licensed as a financial institution pursuant to chapter thirty-one-a of this code.
W. Va. Code § 47-24-3. Definition.
"Reverse mortgage" means a nonrecourse loan secured by real property which:

(1) Provides cash advances to a borrower based on the equity in a borrower's owner-occupied principal residence;

(2) Requires no payment of principal or interest until the entire loan becomes due and payable; and

(3) Is made by any lender authorized to engage in business as a bank, savings institution, or credit union under the laws of this state or any other lender, other than an industrial loan company, affiliated with a federally-insured depository institution in this state, and licensed as a financial institution pursuant to chapter thirty-one-a of this code.

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W. Va. Code § 47-24-4. General rules for reverse mortgages.
Reverse mortgage loans shall be governed by the following rules, without regard to the requirements set out elsewhere for other types of mortgage transactions:

(a) Interest. A reverse mortgage may provide for an interest rate which is fixed or adjustable, and may also provide for interest that is contingent on appreciation in the value of the property, including appreciation or shared equity.

(b) Intervening liens. All advances made under a reverse mortgage and all interest on such advances shall have priority over any lien filed after the closing of a reverse mortgage.

(c) Lender default. Lenders failing to make loan advances as required in the loan documents, and failing to cure such default as required in the loan documents, shall forfeit any right to collect interest. Lenders may also be subject to the penalty provisions set forth in chapter thirty-one-a of this code.

(d) Mortgage recordation tax. The recordation tax on reverse mortgages shall not exceed the actual cost of recording the mortgage.

(e) Periodic advances. If a reverse mortgage provides for periodic advances to a borrower, such advances shall not be reduced in amount or number based on any adjustment in the interest rate.

(f) Prepayment. Payment, in whole or in part, shall bepermitted without penalty at any time during the period of the loan.

(g) Repayment.

(1) The mortgage may become due and payable upon the occurrence of any one of the following events:

(A) The title to the home securing the loan is sold or otherwise transferred;

(B) All borrowers cease occupying the home as a principal residence, subject to the additional conditions set forth in paragraph (A) and (B), subdivision (2), subsection (g) of this section;

(C) Any fixed maturity date agreed to by the lender and the borrower is reached; or

(D) An event occurs which is specified in the loan documents and which jeopardizes the lender's security.

(2) The repayment requirement is also expressly subject to the following additional conditions:

(A) Temporary absences from the home not exceeding sixty consecutive days shall not cause the mortgage to become due and payable;

(B) Temporary absences from the home exceeding sixty consecutive days but less than one year shall not cause the mortgage to become due and payable so long as the borrower hastaken prior action which secures the home in a manner satisfactory to the lender;

(C) The lender's right to collect reverse mortgage proceeds shall be subject to the applicable statute of limitations for loan contracts in section six, article two, chapter fifty-five. Notwithstanding section six, the statute of limitations shall commence on the date that the mortgage becomes due and payable;

(D) The lender must prominently disclose in the loan document any interest or other fees to be charged during the period that commences on the date that the mortgage becomes due and payable, and ends when repayment in full is made.
W. Va. Code § 47-24-4. General rules for reverse mortgages.
Reverse mortgage loans shall be governed by the following rules, without regard to the requirements set out elsewhere for other types of mortgage transactions:

(a) Interest. A reverse mortgage may provide for an interest rate which is fixed or adjustable, and may also provide for interest that is contingent on appreciation in the value of the property, including appreciation or shared equity.

(b) Intervening liens. All advances made under a reverse mortgage and all interest on such advances shall have priority over any lien filed after the closing of a reverse mortgage.

(c) Lender default. Lenders failing to make loan advances as required in the loan documents, and failing to cure such default as required in the loan documents, shall forfeit any right to collect interest. Lenders may also be subject to the penalty provisions set forth in chapter thirty-one-a of this code.

(d) Mortgage recordation tax. The recordation tax on reverse mortgages shall not exceed the actual cost of recording the mortgage.

(e) Periodic advances. If a reverse mortgage provides for periodic advances to a borrower, such advances shall not be reduced in amount or number based on any adjustment in the interest rate.

(f) Prepayment. Payment, in whole or in part, shall bepermitted without penalty at any time during the period of the loan.

(g) Repayment.

(1) The mortgage may become due and payable upon the occurrence of any one of the following events:

(A) The title to the home securing the loan is sold or otherwise transferred;

(B) All borrowers cease occupying the home as a principal residence, subject to the additional conditions set forth in paragraph (A) and (B), subdivision (2), subsection (g) of this section;

(C) Any fixed maturity date agreed to by the lender and the borrower is reached; or

(D) An event occurs which is specified in the loan documents and which jeopardizes the lender's security.

(2) The repayment requirement is also expressly subject to the following additional conditions:

(A) Temporary absences from the home not exceeding sixty consecutive days shall not cause the mortgage to become due and payable;

(B) Temporary absences from the home exceeding sixty consecutive days but less than one year shall not cause the mortgage to become due and payable so long as the borrower hastaken prior action which secures the home in a manner satisfactory to the lender;

(C) The lender's right to collect reverse mortgage proceeds shall be subject to the applicable statute of limitations for loan contracts in section six, article two, chapter fifty-five. Notwithstanding section six, the statute of limitations shall commence on the date that the mortgage becomes due and payable;

(D) The lender must prominently disclose in the loan document any interest or other fees to be charged during the period that commences on the date that the mortgage becomes due and payable, and ends when repayment in full is made.

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W. Va. Code § 47-24-7. Consumer information and counseling.
(a) No reverse mortgage commitment shall be made by a lender unless the loan applicant attests, in writing that the applicant received from the lender at time of initial inquiry a statement prepared by the commissioner of banking, in consultation with the board of the West Virginia housing development fund, regarding the advisability and availability of independent information and counseling services on reverse mortgages.

(b) The commissioner of banking, in conjunction with the West Virginia housing development fund, shall be responsible for:

(1) Providing independent consumer information on reverse mortgages and alternatives; and

(2) Referring consumers to independent counseling services with expertise in reverse mortgages.
W. Va. Code § 47-24-7. Consumer information and counseling.
(a) No reverse mortgage commitment shall be made by a lender unless the loan applicant attests, in writing that the applicant received from the lender at time of initial inquiry a statement prepared by the commissioner of banking, in consultation with the board of the West Virginia housing development fund, regarding the advisability and availability of independent information and counseling services on reverse mortgages.

(b) The commissioner of banking, in conjunction with the West Virginia housing development fund, shall be responsible for:

(1) Providing independent consumer information on reverse mortgages and alternatives; and

(2) Referring consumers to independent counseling services with expertise in reverse mortgages.

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W. Va. Code § 61-2-29b. Unlawful expenditure or dissipation of funds of an incapacitated adult by as caregiver.
(a) A caregiver of an incapacitated adult who intentionally misappropriates or misuses the funds or assets of an incapacitated adult in the amount of less than $1,000 in value for the caregiver's personal use, advantage or wrongful profit or to the advantage or wrongful profit of another, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or confined in jail no more than one year, or both fined and confined.
(b) A caregiver of an incapacitated adult who intentionally misappropriates or misuses the funds or assets of an incapacitated adult in the amount of $1,000 or more in value for the caregiver's personal use, advantage or wrongful profit or to the advantage or wrongful profit of another, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned in a correctional facility not less than one nor more than ten years and, shall be fined not more than $5,000.
(c) A caregiver of an incapacitated adult, who by means of intentional intimidation, coercion, infliction of bodily injury or threats of the infliction of bodily injury to an incapacitated adult, willfully misappropriates or misuses for the caregiver's personal use, advantage or wrongful profit or to the advantage or wrongful profit of another is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than five nor more than fifteen years, and fined not more than $5,000.
W. Va. Code § 61-2-29b. Financial exploitation of an elderly person, protected person or incapacitated adult; penalties; definitions.
(a) Financial exploitation occurs when a person intentionally misappropriates or misuses the funds or assets of an elderly person, protected person or incapacitated adult. Any person who violates this section is guilty of larceny and shall be ordered to pay restitution.
(b) In determining the value of the money, goods, property or services referred to in subsection (a) of the section, it shall be permissible to cumulate amounts or values where such money, goods, property or services were fraudulently obtained as part of a common scheme or plan.

(c) Financial institutions and their employees, as defined by section one, article two-a, chapter thirty-one-a of this code and as permitted by section four, subsection thirteen of that article, others engaged in financially related activities as defined by section one, article eight-c, chapter thirty-one-a of this code, caregivers, relatives and other concerned persons are permitted to report suspected cases of financial exploitation to state or federal law enforcement authorities, the county prosecuting attorney and to the Department of Health and Human Resources, Adult Protective Services Division or Medicaid Fraud Division, as appropriate. Public officers and employees are required to report suspected cases of financial exploitation to the appropriate entities as stated above. The requisite agencies shall investigate or cause the investigation of the allegations.

(d) When financial exploitation is suspected and to the extent permitted by federal law, financial institutions and their employees or other business entities required by federal law or regulation to file suspicious activity reports and currency transaction reports shall also be permitted to disclose suspicious activity reports or currency transaction reports to the prosecuting attorney of any county in which the transactions underlying the suspicious activity reports or currency transaction reports occurred.

(e) Any person or entity that in good faith reports a suspected case of financial exploitation pursuant to this section is immune from civil liability founded upon making that report.

(f) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Incapacitated adult" means a person as defined by section twenty-nine of this article;

(2) "Elderly person" means a person who is sixty-five years

or older; and

(3) "Protected person" means any person who is defined as a "protected person" in subsection thirteen, section four, article one, chapter forty-four-a of this code and who is subject to the protections of chapter forty-four-a or forty-four-c of this code.

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W. Va. Code § 61-10-19. Cornering market in foods or other necessities of life; penalty.
It shall be unlawful for any person or body of persons buying or selling any foodstuffs, fuel or any article or articles pertaining to necessities of life, either in his individual capacity or as an officer, agent, or employee of a corporation, or a member of a partnership, to store any such foodstuffs, fuel, article or articles for the purpose of cornering the market or affecting the market price thereof, or for the purpose of limiting the supply thereof to the public, whether temporarily or otherwise. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars, and may, in the discretion of the court, be confined in the county jail not exceeding one year.W. Va. Code § 61-10-19. Cornering market in foods or other necessities of life; penalty.
It shall be unlawful for any person or body of persons buying or selling any foodstuffs, fuel or any article or articles pertaining to necessities of life, either in his individual capacity or as an officer, agent, or employee of a corporation, or a member of a partnership, to store any such foodstuffs, fuel, article or articles for the purpose of cornering the market or affecting the market price thereof, or for the purpose of limiting the supply thereof to the public, whether temporarily or otherwise. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars, and may, in the discretion of the court, be confined in the county jail not exceeding one year.

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W. Va. Code § 61-3C-1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the "West Virginia Computer Crime and Abuse Act."W. Va. Code § 61-3C-1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the "West Virginia Computer Crime and Abuse Act."

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W. Va. Code § 61-3C-2. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that:
(a) The computer and related industries play an essential role in the commerce and welfare of this state.

(b) Computer-related crime is a growing problem in business and government.

(c) Computer-related crime has a direct effect on state commerce and can result in serious economic and, in some cases, physical harm to the public.

(d) Because of the pervasiveness of computers in today's society, opportunities are great for computer related crimes through the introduction of false records into a computer or computer system, the unauthorized use of computers and computer facilities, the alteration and destruction of computers, computer programs and computer data, and the theft of computer resources, computer software and computer data.

(e) Because computers have now become an integral part of society, the Legislature recognizes the need to protect the rights of owners and legitimate users of computers and computer systems, as well as the privacy interest of the general public, from those who abuse computers and computer systems.

(f) While various forms of computer crime or abuse might possibly be the subject of criminal charges or civil suit based on other provisions of law, it is appropriate and desirable that a supplemental and additional statute be provided which specifically proscribes various forms of computer crime and abuse and provides criminal penalties and civil remedies therefor.
W. Va. Code § 61-3C-2. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that:
(a) The computer and related industries play an essential role in the commerce and welfare of this state.

(b) Computer-related crime is a growing problem in business and government.

(c) Computer-related crime has a direct effect on state commerce and can result in serious economic and, in some cases, physical harm to the public.

(d) Because of the pervasiveness of computers in today's society, opportunities are great for computer related crimes through the introduction of false records into a computer or computer system, the unauthorized use of computers and computer facilities, the alteration and destruction of computers, computer programs and computer data, and the theft of computer resources, computer software and computer data.

(e) Because computers have now become an integral part of society, the Legislature recognizes the need to protect the rights of owners and legitimate users of computers and computer systems, as well as the privacy interest of the general public, from those who abuse computers and computer systems.

(f) While various forms of computer crime or abuse might possibly be the subject of criminal charges or civil suit based on other provisions of law, it is appropriate and desirable that a supplemental and additional statute be provided which specifically proscribes various forms of computer crime and abuse and provides criminal penalties and civil remedies therefor.

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W. Va. Code § 61-3C-3. Definitions.As used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Access" means to instruct, communicate with, store data in, retrieve data from, intercept data from or otherwise make use of any computer, computer network, computer program, computer software, computer data or other computer resources.

(b) "Authorization" means the express or implied consent given by a person to another to access or use said person's computer, computer network, computer program, computer software, computer system, password, identifying code or personal identification number.

(c) "Computer" means an electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical or other high speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic or storage functions and includes any data storage facility or communication facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device. The term "computer" includes any connected or directly related device, equipment or facility which enables the computer to store, retrieve or communicate computer programs, computer data or the results of computer operations to or from a person, another computer or another device, but such term does not include an automated typewriter or typesetter, a portable hand-held calculator or other similar device.

(d) "Computer contaminant" means any set of computer instructions that are designed to damage or destroy information within a computer, computer system or computer network without the consent or permission of the owner of the information. They include, but are not limited to, a group of computer instructions commonly called viruses or worms that are self-replicating or self-propagating and are designed to contaminate other computer programs or computer data, consume computer resources or damage or destroy the normal operation of the computer.

(e) "Computer data" means any representation of knowledge, facts, concepts, instruction or other information computed, classified, processed, transmitted, received, retrieved, originated, stored, manifested, measured, detected, recorded, reproduced, handled or utilized by a computer, computer network, computer program or computer software and may be in any medium, including, but not limited to, computer print-outs, microfilm, microfiche, magnetic storage media, optical storage media, punch paper tape or punch cards, or it may be stored internally in read-only memory or random access memory of a computer or any other peripheral device.

(f) "Computer network" means a set of connected devices and communication facilities, including more than one computer, with the capability to transmit computer data among them through such communication facilities.

(g) "Computer operations" means arithmetic, logical, storage, display, monitoring or retrieval functions or any combination thereof and includes, but is not limited to, communication with, storage of data in or to, or retrieval of data from any device and the human manual manipulation of electronic magnetic impulses. A "computer operation" for a particular computer shall also mean any function for which that computer was designed.

(h) "Computer program" means an ordered set of computer data representing instructions or statements, in a form readable by a computer, which controls, directs or otherwise influences the functioning of a computer or computer network.

(i) "Computer software" means a set of computer programs, procedures and associated documentation concerned with computer data or with the operation of a computer, computer program or computer network.

(j) "Computer services" means computer access time, computer data processing or computer data storage and the computer data processed or stored in connection therewith.

(k) "Computer supplies" means punch cards, paper tape, magnetic tape, magnetic disks or diskettes, optical disks or diskettes, disk or diskette packs, paper, microfilm and any other tangible input, output or storage medium used in connection with a computer, computer network, computer data, computer software or computer program.

(l) "Computer resources" includes, but is not limited to, information retrieval; computer data processing, transmission and storage; and any other functions performed, in whole or in part, by the use of a computer, computer network, computer software or computer program.

(m) "Owner" means any person who owns or leases or is a licensee of a computer, computer network, computer data, computer program, computer software, computer resources or computer supplies.

(n) "Person" means any natural person, general partnership, limited partnership, trust, association, corporation, joint venture or any state, county or municipal government and any subdivision, branch, department or agency thereof.

(o) "Property" includes:

(1) Real property;

(2) Computers and computer networks;

(3) Financial instruments, computer data, computer programs, computer software and all other personal property regardless of whether they are:

(i) Tangible or intangible;

(ii) In a format readable by humans or by a computer;

(iii) In transit between computers or within a computer network or between any devices which comprise a computer; or

(iv) Located on any paper or in any device on which it is stored by a computer or by a human; and

(4) Computer services.

(p) "Value" means having any potential to provide any direct or indirect gain or advantage to any person.

(q) "Financial instrument" includes, but is not limited to, any check, draft, warrant, money order, note, certificate of deposit, letter of credit, bill of exchange, credit or debit card, transaction authorization mechanism, marketable security or any computerized representation thereof.

(r) "Value of property or computer services" shall be: (1) The market value of the property or computer services at the time of a violation of this article; or (2) if the property or computer services are unrecoverable, damaged or destroyed as a result of a violation of section six or seven of this article, the cost of reproducing or replacing the property or computer services at the time of the violation.
W. Va. Code § 61-3C-3. Definitions.As used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Access" means to instruct, communicate with, store data in, retrieve data from, intercept data from or otherwise make use of any computer, computer network, computer program, computer software, computer data or other computer resources.

(b) "Authorization" means the express or implied consent given by a person to another to access or use said person's computer, computer network, computer program, computer software, computer system, password, identifying code or personal identification number.

(c) "Computer" means an electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical or other high speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic or storage functions and includes any data storage facility or communication facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device. The term "computer" includes any connected or directly related device, equipment or facility which enables the computer to store, retrieve or communicate computer programs, computer data or the results of computer operations to or from a person, another computer or another device, but such term does not include an automated typewriter or typesetter, a portable hand-held calculator or other similar device.

(d) "Computer contaminant" means any set of computer instructions that are designed to damage or destroy information within a computer, computer system or computer network without the consent or permission of the owner of the information. They include, but are not limited to, a group of computer instructions commonly called viruses or worms that are self-replicating or self-propagating and are designed to contaminate other computer programs or computer data, consume computer resources or damage or destroy the normal operation of the computer.

(e) "Computer data" means any representation of knowledge, facts, concepts, instruction or other information computed, classified, processed, transmitted, received, retrieved, originated, stored, manifested, measured, detected, recorded, reproduced, handled or utilized by a computer, computer network, computer program or computer software and may be in any medium, including, but not limited to, computer print-outs, microfilm, microfiche, magnetic storage media, optical storage media, punch paper tape or punch cards, or it may be stored internally in read-only memory or random access memory of a computer or any other peripheral device.

(f) "Computer network" means a set of connected devices and communication facilities, including more than one computer, with the capability to transmit computer data among them through such communication facilities.

(g) "Computer operations" means arithmetic, logical, storage, display, monitoring or retrieval functions or any combination thereof and includes, but is not limited to, communication with, storage of data in or to, or retrieval of data from any device and the human manual manipulation of electronic magnetic impulses. A "computer operation" for a particular computer shall also mean any function for which that computer was designed.

(h) "Computer program" means an ordered set of computer data representing instructions or statements, in a form readable by a computer, which controls, directs or otherwise influences the functioning of a computer or computer network.

(i) "Computer software" means a set of computer programs, procedures and associated documentation concerned with computer data or with the operation of a computer, computer program or computer network.

(j) "Computer services" means computer access time, computer data processing or computer data storage and the computer data processed or stored in connection therewith.

(k) "Computer supplies" means punch cards, paper tape, magnetic tape, magnetic disks or diskettes, optical disks or diskettes, disk or diskette packs, paper, microfilm and any other tangible input, output or storage medium used in connection with a computer, computer network, computer data, computer software or computer program.

(l) "Computer resources" includes, but is not limited to, information retrieval; computer data processing, transmission and storage; and any other functions performed, in whole or in part, by the use of a computer, computer network, computer software or computer program.

(m) "Owner" means any person who owns or leases or is a licensee of a computer, computer network, computer data, computer program, computer software, computer resources or computer supplies.

(n) "Person" means any natural person, general partnership, limited partnership, trust, association, corporation, joint venture or any state, county or municipal government and any subdivision, branch, department or agency thereof.

(o) "Property" includes:

(1) Real property;

(2) Computers and computer networks;

(3) Financial instruments, computer data, computer programs, computer software and all other personal property regardless of whether they are:

(i) Tangible or intangible;

(ii) In a format readable by humans or by a computer;

(iii) In transit between computers or within a computer network or between any devices which comprise a computer; or

(iv) Located on any paper or in any device on which it is stored by a computer or by a human; and

(4) Computer services.

(p) "Value" means having any potential to provide any direct or indirect gain or advantage to any person.

(q) "Financial instrument" includes, but is not limited to, any check, draft, warrant, money order, note, certificate of deposit, letter of credit, bill of exchange, credit or debit card, transaction authorization mechanism, marketable security or any computerized representation thereof.

(r) "Value of property or computer services" shall be: (1) The market value of the property or computer services at the time of a violation of this article; or (2) if the property or computer services are unrecoverable, damaged or destroyed as a result of a violation of section six or seven of this article, the cost of reproducing or replacing the property or computer services at the time of the violation.

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W. Va. Code § 61-3C-4. Computer fraud; access to Legislature computer; criminal penalties.

(a) Any person who, knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly, accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer services or computer network for the purpose of (1) executing any scheme or artifice to defraud or (2) obtaining money, property or services by means of fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned in the penitentiary for not more than ten years, or both fined and imprisoned.
(b)(1) Any person who, knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly, accesses, attempts to access, or causes to be accessed any data stored in a computer owned by the Legislature without authorization is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned in the penitentiary for not more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section seventeen of this article to the contrary, in any criminal prosecution under this subsection against an employee or member of the Legislature, it shall not be a defense (A) that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that he or she had authorization to access the data merely because of his or her employment or membership, or (B) that the defendant could not have reasonably known he or she did not have authorization to access the data: Provided, That the joint committee on government and finance shall promulgate rules for the respective houses of the Legislature regarding appropriate access of members and staff and others to the legislative computer system.
W. Va. Code § 61-3C-4. Computer fraud; access to Legislature computer; criminal penalties.

(a) Any person who, knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly, accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer services or computer network for the purpose of (1) executing any scheme or artifice to defraud or (2) obtaining money, property or services by means of fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned in the penitentiary for not more than ten years, or both fined and imprisoned.
(b)(1) Any person who, knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly, accesses, attempts to access, or causes to be accessed any data stored in a computer owned by the Legislature without authorization is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned in the penitentiary for not more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section seventeen of this article to the contrary, in any criminal prosecution under this subsection against an employee or member of the Legislature, it shall not be a defense (A) that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that he or she had authorization to access the data merely because of his or her employment or membership, or (B) that the defendant could not have reasonably known he or she did not have authorization to access the data: Provided, That the joint committee on government and finance shall promulgate rules for the respective houses of the Legislature regarding appropriate access of members and staff and others to the legislative computer system.

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W. Va. Code § 61-3C-13. Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices.

(a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) "Access device" means any card, plate, code, account number, or other means of account access that can be used, alone or in conjunction with another access device, to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value, or that can be used to initiate a transfer of funds (other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument);

(2) "Counterfeit access device" means any access device that is counterfeit, fictitious, altered, or forged, or an identifiable component of an access device or a counterfeit access device;

(3) "Unauthorized access device" means any access device that is lost, stolen, expired, revoked, canceled, or obtained without authority;

(4) "Produce" includes design, alter, authenticate, duplicate, or assemble;

(5) "Traffic" means transfer, or otherwise dispose of, to another, or obtain control of with intent to transfer or dispose of.

(b) Any person who knowingly and willfully possesses any counterfeit or unauthorized access device shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or confined in the county jail for not more than six months, or both.

(c) Any person who knowingly, willfully and with intent to defraud possesses a counterfeit or unauthorized access device or who knowingly, willfully and with intent to defraud, uses, produces or traffics in any counterfeit or unauthorized access device shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned in the penitentiary not more than ten years, or both.

(d) This section shall not prohibit any lawfully authorized investigative or protective activity of any state, county or municipal law-enforcement agency.
W. Va. Code § 61-3C-13. Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices.

(a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) "Access device" means any card, plate, code, account number, or other means of account access that can be used, alone or in conjunction with another access device, to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value, or that can be used to initiate a transfer of funds (other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument);

(2) "Counterfeit access device" means any access device that is counterfeit, fictitious, altered, or forged, or an identifiable component of an access device or a counterfeit access device;

(3) "Unauthorized access device" means any access device that is lost, stolen, expired, revoked, canceled, or obtained without authority;

(4) "Produce" includes design, alter, authenticate, duplicate, or assemble;

(5) "Traffic" means transfer, or otherwise dispose of, to another, or obtain control of with intent to transfer or dispose of.

(b) Any person who knowingly and willfully possesses any counterfeit or unauthorized access device shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or confined in the county jail for not more than six months, or both.

(c) Any person who knowingly, willfully and with intent to defraud possesses a counterfeit or unauthorized access device or who knowingly, willfully and with intent to defraud, uses, produces or traffics in any counterfeit or unauthorized access device shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned in the penitentiary not more than ten years, or both.

(d) This section shall not prohibit any lawfully authorized investigative or protective activity of any state, county or municipal law-enforcement agency.

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W. Va. Code § 61-3C-14. Endangering public safety.Any person who accesses a computer or computer network and knowingly, willfully and without authorization (a) interrupts or impairs the providing of services by any private or public utility; (b) interrupts or impairs the providing of any medical services; (c) interrupts or impairs the providing of services by any state, county or local government agency, public carrier or public communication service; or otherwise endangers public safety shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.W. Va. Code § 61-3C-14. Endangering public safety.Any person who accesses a computer or computer network and knowingly, willfully and without authorization (a) interrupts or impairs the providing of services by any private or public utility; (b) interrupts or impairs the providing of any medical services; (c) interrupts or impairs the providing of services by any state, county or local government agency, public carrier or public communication service; or otherwise endangers public safety shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

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W. Va. Code § 61-3C-14a. Obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer, cell phones and electronic communication devices; penalty.
(a) It is unlawful for any person, with the intent to harass or abuse another person, to use a computer, to:
(1) Make contact with another without disclosing his or her identity with the intent to harass or abuse;

(2) Make contact with a person after being requested by the person to desist from contacting them;

(3) Threaten to commit a crime against any person or property; or

(4) Cause obscene material to be delivered or transmitted to a specific person after being requested to desist from sending such material.

For purposes of this section, "obscene material" means material that:

(A) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, is intended to appeal to the prurient interest, or is pandered to a prurient interest;

(B) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexually explicit conduct consisting of an ultimate sexual act, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, an excretory function, masturbation, lewd exhibition of the genitals, or sadomasochistic sexual abuse; and

(C) A reasonable person would find, taken as a whole, lacks literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

(b) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly permit a computer, under his or her control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(c) Any offense committed under this section may be determined to have occurred at the place at which the contact originated or the place at which the contact was received or intended to be received.

(d) Any person who violates a provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 or confined in a county or regional jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. For a second or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or confined in a county or regional jail for not more than one year, or both fined and confined.
W. Va. Code § 61-3C-14a. Obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer, cell phones and electronic communication devices; penalty.
(a) It is unlawful for any person, with the intent to harass or abuse another person, to use a computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device to:
(1) Make contact with another without disclosing his or her identity with the intent to harass or abuse;

(2) Make contact with a person after being requested by the person to desist from contacting them;

(3) Threaten to commit a crime against any person or property; or

(4) Cause obscene material to be delivered or transmitted to a specific person after being requested to desist from sending such material.

(b) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Electronic communication device" means and includes a telephone, wireless phone, computer, pager or any other electronic or wireless device which is capable of transmitting a document, image, voice, e-mail or text message using such device in an electronic, digital or analog form from one person or location so it may be viewed or received by another person or persons at other locations.

(2) "use of a computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device" includes, but is not limited to, the transmission of text messages, electronic mail, photographs, videos, images or other nonvoice data by means of an electronic communication system, and includes the transmission of such data, documents, messages and images to another's computer, e-mail account, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device.

(3) "obscene material" means material that:

(A) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, is intended to appeal to the prurient interest, or is pandered to a prurient interest;

(B) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexually explicit conduct consisting of an ultimate sexual act, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, an excretory function, masturbation, lewd exhibition of the genitals, or sadomasochistic sexual abuse; and

(C) A reasonable person would find, taken as a whole, lacks literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

(c) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly permit a computer, mobile phone or personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device under his or her control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(d) Any offense committed under this section may be determined to have occurred at the place at which the contact originated or the place at which the contact was received or intended to be received.

(e) Any person who violates a provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. For a second or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or confined in jail for not more than one year, or both fined and confined.