1345.05 Attorney general powers and duties.

(A) The attorney general shall:

(1) Adopt, amend, and repeal procedural rules;

(2) Adopt as a rule a description of the organization of the attorney general's office, stating the general courses and methods of operation of the section of the office of the attorney general, which is to administer Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code and methods whereby the public may obtain information or make submissions or requests, including a description of all forms and instructions used by that office;

(3) Make available for public inspection all rules and all other written statements of policy or interpretations adopted or used by the attorney general in the discharge of the attorney general's functions, together with all judgments, including supporting opinions, by courts of this state that determine the rights of the parties and concerning which appellate remedies have been exhausted, or lost by the expiration of the time for appeal, determining that specific acts or practices violate section 1345.02 , 1345.03 , or 1345.031 of the Revised Code;

(4) Inform consumers and suppliers on a continuing basis of acts or practices that violate Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code by, among other things, publishing an informational document describing acts and practices in connection with residential mortgages that are unfair, deceptive, or unconscionable, and by making that information available on the attorney general's official web site;

(5) Cooperate with state and local officials, officials of other states, and officials of the federal government in the administration of comparable statutes;

(6) Report annually on or before the thirty-first day of January to the governor and the general assembly on the operations of the attorney general in respect to Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code, and on the acts or practices occurring in this state that violate such chapter. The report shall include a statement of investigatory and enforcement procedures and policies, of the number of investigations and enforcement proceedings instituted and of their disposition, and of other activities of the state and of other persons to promote the purposes of Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code.

(7) In carrying out official duties, the attorney general shall not disclose publicly the identity of suppliers investigated or the facts developed in investigations unless these matters have become a matter of public record in enforcement proceedings, in public hearings conducted pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section, or the suppliers investigated have consented in writing to public disclosure.

(B) The attorney general may:

(1) Conduct research, make inquiries, hold public hearings, and publish studies relating to consumer transactions;

(2) Adopt, amend, and repeal substantive rules defining with reasonable specificity acts or practices that violate sections 1345.02 , 1345.03 , and 1345.031 of the Revised Code. In adopting, amending, or repealing substantive rules defining acts or practices that violate section 1345.02 of the Revised Code, due consideration and great weight shall be given to federal trade commission orders, trade regulation rules and guides, and the federal courts' interpretations of subsection 45(a)(1) of the "Federal Trade Commission Act," 38 Stat. 717 (1914), 15 U.S.C.A. 41 , as amended.

In adopting, amending, or repealing such rules concerning a consumer transaction in connection with a residential mortgage, the attorney general shall consult with the superintendent of financial institutions and shall give due consideration to state and federal statutes, regulations, administrative agency interpretations, and case law.

(C) In the conduct of public hearings authorized by this section, the attorney general may administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, adduce evidence, and require the production of relevant material. Upon failure of a person without lawful excuse to obey a subpoena or to produce relevant matter, the attorney general may apply to a court of common pleas for an order compelling compliance.

(D) The attorney general may request that an individual who refuses to testify or to produce relevant material on the ground that the testimony or matter may incriminate the individual be ordered by the court to provide the testimony or matter. With the exception of a prosecution for perjury and an action for damages under section 1345.07 or 1345.09 of the Revised Code, an individual who complies with a court order to provide testimony or matter, after asserting a privilege against self incrimination to which the individual is entitled by law, shall not be subjected to a criminal proceeding on the basis of the testimony or matter discovered through that testimony or matter.

(E) Any person may petition the attorney general requesting the adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule. The attorney general shall prescribe by rule the form for such petitions and the procedure for their submission, consideration, and disposition. Within sixty days of submission of a petition, the attorney general shall either deny the petition in writing, stating the reasons for the denial, or initiate rule-making proceedings. There is no right to appeal from such denial of a petition.

(F) All rules shall be adopted subject to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(G) The informational document published in accordance with division (A)(4) of this section shall be made available for distribution to consumers who are applying for a mortgage loan. An acknowledgement of receipt shall be retained by the lender, mortgage broker, and loan officer, as applicable, subject to review by the attorney general and the department of commerce.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.17, SB 124, §1, eff. 12/28/2009.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 07-01-1983; 01-01-2007

Related Legislative Provision: See 128th General AssemblyFile No.17, SB 124, §5

See 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §745.60.