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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 46 B- CHAPTER 46B. REGULATION OF THE RENTAL OF CONSUMER
GOODS UNDER RENT-TO-OWN AGREEMENTS.
WVC 46 B- 6 - ARTICLE 6. LIMITATIONS ON COLLECTIONS AND RELATED PROVISIONS.

WVC 46 B- 6 - 1 §46B-6-1. Assignment of earnings.

(a) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which may be subjected to any one or more assignments of earnings for the payment of a debt or debts arising from one or more rent-to-own transactions may not exceed twenty-five percent of his disposable earnings for that week.

(b) As used in this section:

(1) "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

(2) "Assignment of earnings" includes all forms of assignments, deductions, transfers or sales of earnings to another, either as payment or as security and whether stated to be revocable or nonrevocable and includes any deductions authorized under the provisions of section three, article five, chapter twenty-one of this code, except deductions for union or club dues, pension plans, payroll savings plans, charities, stock purchase plans and hospitalization and medical insurance.

(c) Any assignment of earnings and any deduction under section three, article five, chapter twenty-one of this code shall be revocable by the employee at will at any time, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary.

(d) The priority of multiple assignments of earnings shall be according to the date and time of each such assignment.

WVC 46 B- 6 - 2 §46B-6-2. Authorization to confess judgment prohibited.

A consumer may not authorize any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of a rent-to-own transaction. An authorization in violation of this section is void. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as in any way impliedly authorizing a confession of judgment in any other type of transaction.

WVC 46 B- 6 - 3 §46B-6-3. No garnishment before judgment.

Prior to entry of judgment in an action against the consumer for debt arising from a rent-to-own transaction, the dealer may not attach unpaid earnings of the consumer by garnishment or like proceedings. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as in any way impliedly authorizing garnishment before judgment in any other type of transaction.

WVC 46 B- 6 - 4 §46B-6-4. Limitation on garnishment.

(a) For the purposes of the provisions in this chapter relating to garnishment:

(1) "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

(2) "Garnishment" means any legal or equitable procedure through which the earnings of an individual are required to be withheld for payment of a debt.

(b) 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 rent-to-own transaction may not exceed the lesser of:

(1) Twenty percent of his disposable earnings for that week;

(2) 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, Section 206(a)(1), in effect at the time the earnings are payable; or

(3) 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 forth in subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(c) 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 five-b, chapter thirty-eight of this code by a creditor resulting from a rent-to-own transaction, 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.

(d) 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.

WVC 46 B- 6 - 5 §46B-6-5. No discharge or reprisal because of garnishment.

No employer shall discharge or take any other form of reprisal against an employee for the reason that a creditor of the employee has subjected or attempted to subject unpaid earnings of the employee to garnishment or like proceedings directed to the employer for the purpose of paying a judgment arising from a rent-to-own transaction.

WVC 46 B- 6 - 6 §46B-6-6. Personal property exemptions.

Any consumer residing in this state may set apart and hold personal property to be exempt from execution or other judicial process resulting from rent-to-own transactions, except for the purchase money due on such property, in such amounts as follows: Clothing and other wearing apparel of the consumer, his spouse and any dependents of such consumer, not to exceed the fair market value of two hundred dollars; furniture, appliances, furnishings and fixtures regularly used for family purposes in the consumer's residence, to the extent of the fair market value of one thousand dollars; children's books, pictures, toys and other such personal property of children; all medical health equipment used for health purposes by the consumer, his or her spouse and any dependent of such consumer; tools of trade, including any income-producing property used in the consumer's principal occupation, to the extent of the fair market value of one thousand dollars; and any policy of life or endowment insurance which is payable to the spouse or children of the insured consumer or to a trustee for their benefit, except the cash value of any accrued dividends thereon. When a consumer claims personal property as exempt under the provisions of this section, he shall deliver a list containing all the personal property owned or claimed by him and all items of such property he claims as exempt hereunder, with the value of each separate item listed according to his best knowledge, to the officer holding the execution or other such process. Such list shall be sworn to by affidavit. If the value of the property named in such list exceeds the amounts specified in this section, the consumer shall state at the foot thereof what part of such property he claims as exempt. If such value does not exceed the amounts specified in this section, the claim of exemption shall be held to extend to the whole thereof without stating more and, if no appraisement is demanded, the property so claimed shall be set aside as exempt. Where the consumer owning exempt property is absent or incapable of acting or neglects or declines to act hereunder, the claim of exemption may be made, the list delivered and the affidavit made by his spouse with the same effect as if the consumer had done so. Upon receipt of such a list, the officer to whom it is given shall immediately exhibit such list to the dealer or his agent or attorney. The rights granted and procedures provided for in article eight, chapter thirty-eight of this code shall apply to any proceeding under this section, except that the provisions of sections one and three of such article shall not apply.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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