Associated Press Published

W.Va. Supreme Court Says Debt Collector Calls OK


West Virginia’s top court says a debt collector didn’t violate state consumer protection law by making 250 phone calls to a man who denied owing $1,349.

The Supreme Court, divided 3-2, says Valentine & Kerabatis bought Gary Lenahan’s consumer account from security systems provider ADT in 2012.

Justice Elizabeth Walker writes it’s undisputed Lenahan notified ADT he didn’t owe the money but didn’t tell Valentine & Kerabatis.

In reversing a lower court, she finds “no evidence” the company “intended to annoy, abuse, oppress or threaten” Lenahan in violation of state law.

The collection company used programmed dialing to call him 22 times the first two weeks, 17 times the next three days and 211 times over the next seven months. He didn’t answer.

The lower court awarded him $75,000.