Maintain consumer protections

Oppose Senate Bill 563 and Senate Bill 556, which eliminate the consumer protections that saved my home

The West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act protects consumers, like me and you, from predatory lenders and illegal and abusive debt collection practices, among others. However, the West Virginia Legislature is trying to end these protections. It is proposing Senate Bills 556 and 563–these would gut our consumer protection laws and eliminate the necessary protections that all West Virginians deserve from abusive actors.

On a personal level, we would have lost our home if we did not have these consumer laws. After the birth of children, we began to have a financial hardship and reached out to our loan company, a national corporation, for help on our home mortgage. The loan company told us to stop making payments on our loan, apply for a loan modification, and wait. All the while, we were getting further behind on our payments. We tried to make payments, but it refused, and then, when we finally did get a modification, the loan company misrepresented and inflated the amounts we owed.

Fortunately, our consumer protection laws gave us hope and relief. These laws are there to protect us and my fellow West Virginians like you from these big corporations and abusive debt collectors. Now, with these proposed laws, we, the consumers, are opening up ourselves to more undeserved abuse and harassment. These bills will not protect us, will not provide us relief, and will not allow us to get adequate legal representation; rather, what they will do is allow the bad actors to run amok without any fear of punishment.

We cannot allow these bills. I urge you to contact our legislators, Senator Azinger and Senator Boley and oppose these bills. Oppose SB556 and SB563.

Roger and Reba Stull