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City Buzzing On Budget Finance

By Staff | Dec 2, 2015

Photo by Lauren Matthews Officials talk before a crowd Tuesday during a forum about the closing of Budget Finance Co. Inc. at the New Martinsville Municipal Building.

NEW MARTINSVILLE – The New Martinsville City Council building was packed Tuesday morning as a press conference was held concerning the effects that Budget Finance’s unexpected closure would have on its customers.

Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught said he would like to say that he had good news but he did not.

Haught encouraged those who have been affected by the Budget Finance shutdown to complete a form that the U.S. Attorney Office’s Northern District has released. Haught said the form was available via a link on his Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney’s Facebook page. He also said the US Attorney’s Office had a link to the form on its website.

Haught said the U.S. Attorney’s Office the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office and the Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office were doing everything possible to resolve the situation. Haught said he could not release all the information related to the investigation right now as it may jeopardize the case.

Haught said his officer has received about 400 telephone calls in the past 10 days from concerned clients of Budget Finance. Haught said he tries to return calls and answer as many questions as he can. He reiterated that he can not broadcast all the steps being taken in the investigation. Haught state that his office knows that the Budget Finance Company closed and that the closure he supposedly indefinite. knew that the closure stated that it was indefinitely.

One individual present at the meeting asked if the Budget Finance Co. Inc., shut down on its own or if it was shut down.

Haught said he could not state the circumstances but would be blunt in saying that he did not expect Budget Finance to reopen. One individual asked what should those who have loans out with budget finance do. Haught stated that anyone with a loan should go see their attorney to see if it is a legally valid debt. Furthermore, those with questions about 1099 forms should speak with their accountants.

Haught reiterated that all involved offices are working on the situation. When asked if there would be indictments, Haught emphasized that if a crime is being committed, his office would do whatever it could to see that the crimes are prosecuted.

Many individuals refused to comment to the press on the situation. City Council member Jeff Wright, along with area resident Troy Klein both remarked that the situation is “difficult and depressing.” Wright said it is unfortunate as “people have invested their hard earned money.”

Several unnamed individuals expressed displeasure in the conference, one individual stating that he had traveled over two hours to receive little information.

Recently, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II announced that federal and state authorities are seeking to identify anyone who has suffered a financial loss as a result of dealings arising from the company, which closed its doors in mid November.

An answering machine at the business, located on Riverview Lane, stated the company is “closed indefinitely.” The business has not returned calls seeking comment.

Individuals can also report losses directly to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wheeling by calling 304-234-7721 or by sending an email to ashley.lough@usdoj.gov.

Those affected in Ohio are encouraged to call the Ohio Department of Commerce at 614-644-4859.

Haught also asks that customers who have a complaint regarding their account at Budget Finance call the state Attorney General’s Consumer Rights Division at 304-558-8986 or the State Auditor’s Securities Commission at 304-558-2251.