1319.02 Enforcing commitment to pay attorneys' fees in commercial contract of indebtedness.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Contract of indebtedness" means a note, bond, mortgage, conditional sale contract, retail installment contract, lease, security agreement, or other written evidence of indebtedness, other than indebtedness incurred for purposes that are primarily personal, family, or household.

(2) "Commitment to pay attorneys' fees" means an obligation to pay attorneys' fees that arises in connection with the enforcement of a contract of indebtedness.

(3) "Maturity of the debt" includes maturity upon default or otherwise.

(B) If a contract of indebtedness includes a commitment to pay attorneys' fees, and if the contract is enforced through judicial proceedings or otherwise after maturity of the debt, a person that has the right to recover attorneys' fees under the commitment, at the option of that person, may recover attorneys' fees in accordance with the commitment, to the extent that the commitment is enforceable under divisions (C) and (D) of this section.

(C) A commitment to pay attorneys' fees is enforceable under this section only if the total amount owed on the contract of indebtedness at the time the contract was entered into exceeds one hundred thousand dollars.

(D) A commitment to pay attorneys' fees is enforceable only to the extent that it obligates payment of a reasonable amount. In determining the amount of attorneys' fees that is reasonable, all relevant factors shall be considered, including but not limited to, the nature of the services rendered, the time expended in rendering the services, the amount of money and the value of the property affected, and the professional skill and expertise of the attorney or attorneys rendering the services. Unless a court has been requested to make a determination of the amount of attorneys' fees that is reasonable and finds to the contrary by a preponderance of the evidence, the following are deemed reasonable amounts:

(1) If the commitment to pay attorneys' fees is based upon a specific percentage of the total principal, interest, and other charges owed on the contract of indebtedness, the percentage of the total so owed as specified in the contract of indebtedness;

(2) If the commitment to pay attorneys' fees is not based upon a specific percentage of the total principal, interest, and other charges owed on the contract of indebtedness, an amount equal to the attorneys' fees customarily charged by the attorney or attorneys rendering the services.

Cite as R.C. § 1319.02

History. Renumbered from § 1301.21 by 129th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 9, §1, eff. 6/29/2011.