Essential Elements of a Promissory Note in West Virginia
A promissory note is an essential instrument in nearly every financial transaction. The document is the surest proof of an existing agreement involving a debtor and creditor. Without it, the courts may not intervene in a dispute.
A promissory note also defines clear obligations for the parties involved in a monetary transaction.
Here we’ll help you understand the essential clauses of a promissory note in West Virginia.
About West Virginia Promissory Notes
A promissory note is a signed contract between the borrower and the lender, recognizing the existence of a loan and the payment plan. The document sets out clear terms and obligations for each party, reducing the chances of a legal dispute. Like in other states, a promissory note is a valid contract in West Virginia, subject to the contract and usury laws.
Types of Promissory Notes
When signing a promissory note in West Virginia, you may have two options: secured and unsecured. But it all depends on your lending agreement and the amount you wish to borrow.
A secured contract in West Virginia has a formal promise to pay the loan, in addition to collateral. Therefore, when signing this contract, you should designate a valued item as collateral for the loan. The item comes in handy if you can’t fulfill the loan’s demands for any reason.
Alternatively, you can sign an unsecured note in West Virginia. In this contract, you won’t require any item for collateral. So, even if you default on the loan, the lender has no security item to take in place of the loan.
What’s the Interest Rate in West Virginia?
West Virginia allows parties to set a convenient interest rate for the contract. Under the State’s Revised Code Section 4747-6-5, the maximum interest rate for written agreements is 8%. Similarly, non-written contracts can attract an interest rate not exceeding 6% per year.
Essential Clauses of a Promissory Note
A promissory contract contains essential clauses highlighting the lender’s expectations of the borrower. The clauses also provide a clear direction on how to execute the contract.
The major clauses include:
Interest on Default
The clause highlights the interest rate for loan repayment if you default on the loan. Most lenders will assign a higher interest rate following nonpayment of the required premiums.
The clause explains how the borrower intends to split your loan repayments between the principal and interest.
An acceleration clause grants the lender the right to demand full loan payment if you fail to honor the agreement.
Some clauses in the agreement may be considered invalid under the law. The severability clause protects the remaining parts of the document that are valid.
Choice of Law
Different states have varying regulations governing the use of promissory notes. In West Virginia, for instance, the agreement is subject to contract and usury laws. So when creating the document, the parties must agree on the state jurisdiction to settle unforeseen disputes.
Settling a dispute in court attracts hefty attorney’s fees and parties may agree to share the costs. However, most lenders will want the borrower to settle all legal costs if a dispute occurs.
Do You Need a Notary When Signing a Promissory Note?
West Virginia promissory notes do not require notarization to remain valid. Instead, the document requires the signatures of the borrower and cosigner, if available. However, you can notarize your agreement to add to credibility in court if you wish.
Whether you’re buying a car, a valuable item or lending money to a friend, a promissory note is your transaction's surest proof. Fortunately, you don’t need an attorney to write one. Download a free West Virginia PDF template from our website.