Despite the fact that residents of Ohio have seen significant economic recovery take place since the financial collapse of 2008, the state still lags slightly behind the national average in a number of key areas with respect to outstanding debts.
For this reason, there are some additional regulations that anyone attempting to collect an outstanding debt in the state of Ohio will need to respect. Before diving into the nuts and bolts of those laws, let’s first start with an overview of the state of debt in Ohio.
The State of Debt in Ohio
On average, Ohio residents rank slightly below the national average when it comes to credit card and mortgage debt, but remains significantly above the national average in terms of student loan debt. The state has seen a dramatic decrease in delinquent accounts for all types of debt over the past few years.
Consumers in Ohio have been posting fewer bankruptcy filings and have slightly increased their average credit score over the past year, but they still rank above the national average in bankruptcy filings, and credit scores remain well below the high mark that was set in 2009.
Consumer Protection in Ohio
Like we have seen in many states, lawmakers in Ohio have established a number of additional rules and regulations to build on the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). But as a starting point, every commercial debt collector attempting to recover a debt in the state of Ohio must adhere to the FDCPA.
Ohio was a leading state in terms of protecting consumers when they passed the Consumer Sales Practices Act in 1972. Since that time, they have also passed the Credit Card Truncation Act in 1992 and the Credit Card Recording Act in 2004. These additional protections made it illegal for sellers to disclose consumers’ credit card numbers, social security numbers, expiration dates, and other key financial information.
Credit Services in Ohio
Ohio lawmakers have also established credit services for their residents through the Credit Services Organization Act of 2004 and the Debt Adjusters Act of 2004. In addition to these laws, the state also provides debt counseling, credit repair, and other related services for their consumers.
Debt Collection in Ohio
Some of the collection practices that are unique to the state of Ohio include the ability for debtors to set up payment plans instead of having payments garnished from their paychecks. The state also permits collection agencies to add additional fees to the debt following a judgment.
In 2012, Ohio reduced the statute of limitations for an outstanding debt from 15 years to 8 years for a debt with a written contract. They also established a statute of limitations of 6 years for an oral contract.
While they do have plenty of legislation in place to protect consumers from fraudulent collectors, Ohio is actually a very friendly state for legitimate debt collectors who respect the details laid out in the FDCPA. As long as you are collecting a legitimate debt in a respectable manner, you will have very little cause for concern operating in the state of Ohio.