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Engrossed Version House Bill 2775 History

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HB2775 eng
ENGROSSED

COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

H. B. 2775

(By Delegates Amores and Craig)


(Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary)


[March 15, 2005]


A BILL to amend and reenact §48-1-302 and §56-6-31 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the rate of interest allowed for prejudgment and post-judgment interest.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §48-1-302 and §56-6-31 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
CHAPTER 48. DOMESTIC RELATIONS.

ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS; DEFINITIONS.
PART 3. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS RELATING

TO DOMESTIC RELATIONS.

§48-1-302. Calculation of interest.

(a) If an obligation to pay interest arises under this chapter, the rate of interest is that specified in section 56-6-31 of this code. shall be ten dollars upon one hundred dollars per annum, and proportionately for a greater or lesser sum, or for a longer or shorter time, notwithstanding any other provisions of law. Interest accrues only upon the outstanding principal of such obligation. On and after the ninth day of June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, this section will be construed to permit the accumulation of simple interest and may not be construed to permit the compounding of interest. Interest which accrued on unpaid installments accruing before the ninth day of June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, may not be modified by any court, irrespective of whether such installment accrued simple or compound interest: Provided, That unpaid installments upon which interest was compounded before the effective date of this section shall accrue only simple interest thereon on and after the ninth day of June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no court may award or approve prejudgment interest in a domestic relations action against a party unless the court finds, in writing, that the party engaged in conduct that would violate subsection (b), rule eleven of the West Virginia rules of civil procedure. If prejudgment interest is awarded, the court shall calculate prejudgment interest from the date the offending representation was presented to the court. In computing prejudgment interest, the court shall apply the rate of interest prescribed in subsection (a) of this section, without regard to the provisions of section 56-6- 31 of this Code.
(c) Upon written agreement by both parties, an obligor may petition the court to enter an order conditionally suspending the collection of all or part of the interest that has accrued on past-due child support prior to the date of the agreement: Provided, That said agreement shall also establish a reasonable payment plan which is calculated to fully discharge all arrearages within twenty-four months. Upon successful completion of the payment plan, the court shall enter an order which permanently relieves the obligor of the obligation to pay the accrued interest. If the obligor fails to comply with the terms of the written agreement, then the court shall enter an order which reinstates the accrued interest.
CHAPTER 56. PLEADING AND PRACTICE.

ARTICLE 6. TRIAL
§56-6-31. Interest on judgment or decree.
(a) Except where it is otherwise provided by law, every judgment or decree for the payment of money entered by any court of this state shall bear interest from the date thereof, whether it be so stated in the judgment or decree or not: Provided, That if the judgment or decree, or any part thereof, is for special damages, as defined below, or for liquidated damages, the amount of such special or liquidated damages shall bear interest from the date the right to bring the same shall have accrued, as determined by the court. Special damages includes lost wages and income, medical expenses, damages to tangible personal property, and similar out- of-pocket expenditures, as determined by the court. The rate of interest shall be ten dollars upon one hundred dollars per annum, and proportionately for a greater or lesser sum, or for a longer or shorter time, notwithstanding any other provisions of law.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section five, article six, chapter forty-seven of this Code, the rate of interest on judgments and decrees for the payment of money, including prejudgment interest, is three percentage points above the Fifth Federal Reserve District discount rate in effect on the second day of January of the year in which the judgment or decree is entered. The Administrative Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall annually determine the interest rate to be paid upon judgments or decrees for the payment of money, and shall take appropriate measures to promptly notify the Courts and members of the West Virginia State Bar Association of the rate of interest in effect for the calander year in question. Once the rate of interest is established by a judgment or decree as provided for in this section, that established rate shall thereafter remain constant for that particular judgment or decree, notwithstanding changes in the Federal Reserve District discount rate in effect in subsequent years.
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