West Virginia Debt Collection Laws 

James B. Atkins

Submitted by James B. Atkins, Esq., Atkins & Ogle Law Offices, LC


Published by the National List of Attorneys



Atkins & Ogle Law Offices, LC (A&O) is a law firm located in Buffalo, West Virginia. Three attorneys with over 50 years of combined legal experience and over 60 years of combined collections experience lead a team of nine full-time and four part-time staff members.


James B. Atkins is a managing attorney for A&O. His focus areas include debt collection, contract or civil disputes, criminal defense, and personal injury. Jamie is admitted to the West Virginia State Bar, the U.S. District Court Southern District of West Virginia, and is the president of the Putnam County Bar Association.

Jamie graduated cum laude from Glenville State College, with a bachelor’s degree in music education. He earned his J.D. from the West Virginia University College of Law. He held the position of President for both the Lugar Trial Association and the Christian Legal Society and as well as Chair for the Ethics Committee. He also earned selection into the National Order of Barristers. After graduation he taught as an adjunct lecturer for Glenville State College and West Virginia State University and co-authored/taught How to Get Results in Collection of Delinquent Debts in West Virginia.


Traditionally, A&O has been strong at litigation and post-judgment remedies on debt collection matters. In recent years the firm has developed strategies and efforts designed to better front-load collection results for clients. The firm has maintained a consistently strong percentage of the market share of West Virginia collections claims, due primarily to a business model that caters both to larger creditors and smaller, local businesses. Secondarily, A&O has continued to receive work in times of increased debtor legal action and national emphasis on compliance, due to written, tested and proven policies and procedures designed to protect our clients from frivolous attacks.

Collection Climate

West Virginia carries a reputation as being anti-collection. This reputation is fair, in part, albeit not a complete picture of the West Virginia collection climate. Through advertisement and news stories, the average West Virginia consumer/debtor has a greater awareness of his consumer protection rights. The office of the West Virginia Attorney General spends considerable resources targeting out-of-state creditors who attempt collection efforts within the state borders without proper licensing and bonding. A review of the Consumer Protection and Anti-Trust Division of the office of the Attorney General can shed more light on common pitfalls of creditors, as well as the type of information distributed to the general public.


Collections efforts in West Virginia, generally, are not difficult, as compared to other states.  West Virginia enjoys the highest percentage of home ownership in the nation, and debtors are loathe to encumber property for the sake of small claims, if it can be avoided.  Debtors are responsive and respectful with collection staff when spoken to with candor and respect.


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