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Credit Laws

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Regulates Debt Collectors)
Describes what debt collectors may and may not do if you owe money. It applies only to third party debt collectors (i.e., collection agencies), or those who use a name other than their own in collecting consumer debts. Very few commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, or credit unions are covered by this Act, since they usually collect only their own debts. Complaints concerning debt collection practices, such as harassment or abuse, should generally be filed with the Federal Trade Commission.

Time Limit On Collecting A Debt (Consumer-SOS)

Consumer Sales Practices Act (Ohio)

  • Protects consumers from unfair, deceptive or unconscionable acts or practices in connection
    with the purchase or solicitation for a purchase that would be used for the home or personal
  • Makes it illegal for sellers to misrepresent the nature of their business, products or services,
     the price of their goods or the terms of a transaction.
  • Prohibits sellers from taking advantage of a consumer’s illiteracy, mental or physical disability, or
    inability to understand the terms of a sale.
  • Prohibits sellers from selling a product or service to a consumer they know cannot afford or
    substantially benefit from the purchase.
  • Requires sellers to honor guarantees, warranties and rain checks.
  • Protects consumers from deceptive advertising and other types of fraud.

Credit Freeze Act (Ohio)
Requires credit reporting agencies to allow consumers to place a “freeze” on each of their credit reports to prevent opening new credit accounts in the consumers' names.
The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in consumers’ names without their consent.

Small Loan Lender Act (Payday Lending Law) (Ohio)  
Limits payday loans to 28% annual percentage rate, prohibits unfair debt collection and requires Internet lenders to have an Ohio location.

Credit Services Organization Act (Ohio)
Mandates registration and bonding for organizations that offer credit repair, debt counseling or related services. Gives consumers a three-day right to cancel contracts with credit service organizations.

Debt Adjusters Act (Ohio)

  • Set rules and regulations for nonprofits and other businesses that offer credit repair services, debt counseling, budget management and related services to consumers facing financial difficulties.   
  • Requires debt adjusters to file annual financial statement with the Attorney General's Office.
  • Requires debt adjusters to submit funds to creditors within 30 days of receipt, maintain separate trust accounts for these funds, and maintain $100,000 insurance coverage.
  • Prohibits debt adjusters from accepting more than $75 for initial consultation, accepting more than $100 annually for consultation fees or contributions or charging more than 8.5 percent of amount paid by debtor each month or $30, whichever is greater.

Credit Card Recording Act (Ohio)
Prohibits sellers from printing credit card expiration dates or more than five digits of consumers’ credit card numbers on receipts.

Credit Card Truncation Act (Ohio)
Prohibits sellers from giving out consumers' social security numbers, credit card account numbers, expiration dates and other personal financial information.  

Civil Rights-Frequently Asked Questions (Ohio)
Discrimination questions regarding work, education, credit, public accommodation, filing charges, retaliation and more.

Creditor and Debtor Exemption Rights Recently Changed (Ohio)

Offer & Compromise When You Owe A State Agency Money (Ohio)
An offer in compromise allows a person who owes the state money to negotiate less than the balance owed. Offers in compromise can be made to debtors who face economic hardship or to the innocent spouse of a debtor.

Using The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Debt Collection Letter
Use this letter to ask collection agencies to provide you with information concerning their basis for claiming that you owe a debt ("verification of the debt") and also ask them to stop contacting you. This only applies to collection agencies, not to creditors who directly sold you goods or gave you credit or loaned you money.

Fair Credit Reporting Act
Establishes procedures for correcting mistakes on an individual's credit record. A credit record may be retained seven years for judgments, liens, suits and other adverse information except for bankruptcies, which may be retained ten years. If a consumer has been denied credit, a free credit report may be requested within 30 days of denial.

Fair Credit Reporting Act Amendment(1996)
Strengthens privacy provisions and defines more clearly the responsibilities and liabilities of businesses that provide information to-and access data from-credit reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Employers, or prospective employers must obtain an applicant's written consent prior to obtaining credit information, background, and medical information regarding an applicant.

Fair Credit Billing Act
Establishes procedures for the prompt correction of errors on open-end credit accounts. It also protects a consumer's credit rating while the consumer is settling a dispute.

State Caps On Interest Rates/Usury (All 50 States & DC)
Careful!  These caps may not apply to national and federally chartered banks, pawnshops, payday loans, rent to own contracts, and certain other lenders. Note: Credit card rates are limited by the usury laws found in the lender's home state and not in that of the borrower's.

State & Federal Laws Governing Credit Matters (All 50 States)
Select Ohio and see what additional protections your state offers in addition to federal law. For federal laws, scroll down to their federal section and click on the link of your choice.

Bad Check Laws (State By State Statutes For Each Crime)

Soldiers' and Sailors' Relief Act:
If you're a reserve component service member called to active duty, you're protected by a law that can save you some legal problems and possibly some money as well. Under the provisions of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940, you may qualify for any or all of the following: • Reduced interest rate on mortgage payments. • Reduced interest rate on credit card debt. • Protection from eviction if your rent is $1,200 or less. • Delay of all civil court actions, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure or divorce proceedings.

Summary of Federal Credit Laws 

How Various Kinds Of Debt Are Treated In Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 & Debt Reaffirmation

Privacy & Identity Theft (Consumer-SOS)

Debt Collectors & Your Rights (Consumer-SOS)

The Credit Practices Rule
(FTC Brochure On Your Rights)
What The lender cannot ask for as collateral, prohibited contract provisions, and required disclosures and notices.

Where To Go For Help (Consumer-SOS)

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Credit Laws-Ohio