Chapter 1349: CONSUMER PROTECTION

1349.01 Responsible party fails to obtain health insurance.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Consumer reporting agency" has the same meaning as in the "Fair Credit Reporting Act," 84 Stat. 1128, 15 U.S.C.A. 1681a .

(2) "Court" means the division of the court of common pleas having jurisdiction over actions for divorce, annulment, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, child support, or spousal support.

(3) "Health insurance coverage" means hospital, surgical, or medical expense coverage provided under any health insurance or health care policy, contract, or plan or any other health benefits arrangement.

(4) "Provider" has the same meaning as in section 3902.11 of the Revised Code.

(B) If, pursuant to an action for divorce, annulment, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation, the court determines that a party who is a resident of this state is responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage for the party's former spouse or children or if, pursuant to a child support order issued in accordance with sections 3119.29 to 3119.56 of the Revised Code, the court requires a party who is a resident of this state to obtain health insurance coverage for the children who are the subject of the child support order, and the party fails to obtain such coverage, no provider or collection agency shall collect or attempt to collect from the former spouse, children, or person responsible for the children, any reimbursement of any hospital, surgical, or medical expenses incurred by the provider for services rendered to the former spouse or children, which expenses would have been covered but for the failure of the party to obtain the coverage, if the former spouse, any of the children, or a person responsible for the children, provides the following to the provider or collection agency:

(1) A copy of the court order requiring the party to obtain health insurance coverage for the former spouse or children.

(2) Reasonable assistance in locating the party and obtaining information about the party's health insurance coverage.

(C) If the requirements of divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section are not met, the provider or collection agency may collect the hospital, surgical, or medical expenses both from the former spouse or person responsible for the children and from the party who failed to obtain the coverage. If the requirements of divisions (B)(1) and (2) are met, the provider or collection agency may collect or attempt to collect the expenses only from the party.

A party required to obtain health insurance coverage for a former spouse or children who fails to obtain the coverage is liable to the provider for the hospital, surgical, or medical expenses incurred by the provider as a result of the failure to obtain the coverage. This section does not prohibit a former spouse or person responsible for the children from initiating an action to enforce the order requiring the party to obtain health insurance for the former spouse or children or to collect any amounts the former spouse or person responsible for the children pays for hospital, surgical, or medical expenses for which the party is responsible under the order requiring the party to obtain health insurance for the former spouse or children.

(D)

(1) If the requirements of divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section are met, both of the following restrictions shall apply:

(a) No collection agency or provider of hospital, surgical, or medical services may report to a consumer reporting agency, for inclusion in the credit file or credit report of the former spouse or person responsible for the children, any information relative to the nonpayment of expenses for the services incurred by the provider, if the nonpayment is the result of the failure of the party responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage to obtain health insurance coverage.

(b) No consumer reporting agency shall include in the credit file or credit report of the former spouse or person responsible for the children, any information relative to the nonpayment of any hospital, surgical, or medical expenses incurred by a provider as a result of the party's failure to obtain the coverage.

(2) If the requirements of divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section are not met, both of the following provisions shall apply:

(a) A provider of hospital, surgical, or medical services, or a collection agency, may report to a consumer reporting agency, for inclusion in the credit file or credit report of the former spouse or person responsible for the children, any information relative to the nonpayment of expenses for the services incurred by the provider, if the nonpayment is the result of the failure of the party responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage to obtain such coverage.

(b) A consumer reporting agency may include in the credit file or credit report of the former spouse or person responsible for the children, any information relative to the nonpayment of any hospital, surgical, or medical expenses incurred by the provider, if the nonpayment is the result of the failure of the party responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage to obtain such coverage.

(3)

(a) A provider of hospital, surgical, or medical services, or a collection agency, may report to a consumer reporting agency, for inclusion in the credit file or credit report of that party, any information relative to the nonpayment of expenses for the services incurred by the provider, if the nonpayment is the result of the failure of the party responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage to obtain such coverage.

(b) A consumer reporting agency may include in the credit file or credit report of the party responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage, any information relative to the nonpayment of any hospital, surgical, or medical expenses incurred by a provider, if the nonpayment is the result of the failure of that party to obtain health insurance coverage.

(4) If any information described in division (D)(2) of this section is placed in the credit file or credit report of the former spouse or person responsible for the children, the consumer reporting agency shall remove the information from the credit file and credit report if the former spouse or person responsible for the children provides the agency with the information required in divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section. If the agency fails to remove the information from the credit file or credit report pursuant to the terms of the "Fair Credit Reporting Act," 84 Stat. 1128, 15 U.S.C. 1681a , within a reasonable time after receiving the information required by divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section, the former spouse may initiate an action to require the agency to remove the information.

If any information described in division (D)(3) of this section is placed in the party's credit file or credit report, the party has the burden of proving that the party is not responsible for obtaining the health insurance coverage or, if responsible, that the expenses incurred are not covered expenses. If the party meets that burden, the agency shall remove the information from the party's credit file and credit report immediately. If the agency fails to remove the information from the credit file or credit report immediately after the party meets the burden, the party may initiate an action to require the agency to remove the information.

Effective Date: 12-13-2002

1349.02 Termination of motor vehicle lease by person on active duty.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Active duty" means active duty pursuant to an executive order of the president of the United States, an act of the congress of the United States, or section 5919.29 or 5923.21 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Motor vehicle" means any automobile, car minivan, passenger van, sport utility vehicle, pickup truck, or other self-propelled vehicle not operated or driven on fixed rails or track.

(B) Any person, or spouse of a person, who is deployed on active duty for a period of not less than one hundred eighty days may terminate any motor vehicle lease that meets both of the following requirements:

(1) It is entered into on or after the effective date of this section.

(2) It is executed by or on behalf of the person who is deployed on active duty.

(C) Termination of the motor vehicle lease shall not be effective until:

(1) The person who is deployed on active duty or the person's spouse gives the lessor by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice of the intention to terminate the lease together with a copy of the military or gubernatorial orders calling the person to active duty; and

(2) The motor vehicle subject to the lease is returned to the custody or control of the lessor not later than fifteen days after the delivery of the written notice.

(D) Lease amounts unpaid for the period preceding the effective date of the lease's termination shall be paid on a prorated basis. The lessor may not impose an early termination charge, but any taxes, costs of summons, and title or registration fees and any other obligation and liability of the lessee under the terms of the lease, including reasonable charges to the lessee for excess wear, use, and mileage, that are due and unpaid at the time of the lease's termination shall be paid by the lessee.

(E) The lessor shall refund to the lessee lease amounts paid in advance for a period after the effective date of the lease's termination within thirty days of the effective date of the lease's termination.

(F) Upon application by the lessor to a court before the effective date of the lease's termination, relief granted by this section may be modified as justice and equity require.

Effective Date: 05-18-2005

1349.03 Termination of cellular phone contract by person on active duty.

(A) As used in this section, "active duty" means active duty pursuant to an executive order of the president of the United States, an act of the congress of the United States, or section 5919.29 or 5923.21 of the Revised Code.

(B) Any person, or spouse of a person, who is deployed on active duty may terminate, without penalty, a cellular phone contract that meets both of the following requirements:

(1) It is entered into on or after the effective date of this section.

(2) It is executed by or on behalf of the person who is deployed on active duty.

(C) Termination of the cellular phone contract shall not be effective until:

(1) Thirty days after the person who is deployed on active duty or the person's spouse gives notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the intention to terminate the cellular phone contract; and

(2) Unless the person who is deployed on active duty owns the cellular phone, the cellular phone is returned to the custody or control of the cellular telephone company, or the person who is deployed on active duty or the person's spouse agrees in writing to return the cellular phone as soon as practicable after the deployment is completed.

Effective Date: 05-18-2005

1349.04 Consumer protection of persons on active military duty.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Active duty" means active duty pursuant to an executive order of the president of the United States, an act of the congress of the United States, or section 5919.29 or 5923.21 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Immediate family" means a person's spouse residing in the person's household; brothers and sisters of the whole or half blood; children, including adopted children and stepchildren; parents; and grandparents.

(B) The attorney general shall appoint a member of the staff of the consumer protection division of the attorney general's office to expedite cases or issues raised by a person, or the immediate family of the person, who is deployed on active duty, which cases or issues raised relate to sections 125.021 , 317.322 , 1343.031 , 1349.02 , 1349.03 , 1713.60 , 1923.062 , 3313.64 , 3332.20 , 3345.53 , 3915.053 , 4933.12 , or 4933.121 of the Revised Code or to any other relevant section of the Revised Code regulating consumer protection.

Effective Date: 2007 HB372 03-24-2008

1349.05 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 07-30-1993

1349.06 Flea market sales record of purchases.

(A) As used in this section, "flea market" has the same meaning as in section 3715.52 of the Revised Code.

(B)

(1) Each person that offers new and unused personal property for sale to the general public at a flea market or other location shall maintain, in accordance with division (B) of this section, a record of the person's purchases of that property.

For each purchase transaction, the record shall include at least all of the following:

(a) The date of the transaction;

(b) The name and address of the individual from whom, or the entity from which, the property was purchased;

(c) A full and accurate description of the property purchased, including any identifying letters or marks on the property;

(d) The price paid for the property.

(2) With respect to a single purchase of property for five hundred dollars or more, a bill of sale associated with the purchase that contains the information listed in division (B)(1) of this section is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of that division.

(3) The record of each purchase transaction shall be maintained for at least two years.

(C) No person shall do any of the following:

(1) Knowingly falsify, obliterate, or destroy the record required to be maintained by this section;

(2) Knowingly refuse or otherwise fail, upon the request of a law enforcement officer, to make the record required to be maintained by this section available for inspection within a period of time that is reasonable under the circumstances surrounding the request. Nothing in division (C)(2) of this section requires that a law enforcement officer be given immediate access to the record without reasonable notice.

(3) Fail to comply with this section.

(D)

(1) If the record required to be maintained by this section is lost, stolen, or destroyed, and the circumstances surrounding the loss, theft, or destruction do not constitute a violation of division (C)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the person shall do both of the following:

(a) Within thirty days after the loss, theft, or destruction, give notice of the loss, theft, or destruction to the sheriff of the county in which the person's principal residence in this state or principal place of business in this state is located;

(b) Immediately begin maintaining a new record as required by this section.

(2) A person that notifies the sheriff in accordance with division (D)(1) of this section is in compliance with division (B) of this section as to the record that was lost, stolen, or destroyed and is a subject of the notice.

(E) This section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) The sale of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that is required to be registered under Chapter 4503. of the Revised Code or for which a certificate of title is required under Chapter 4505. of the Revised Code;

(2) The sale of food products, agricultural products, or forestry products;

(3) Any business conducted at an industry or association trade show;

(4) The sale of handmade or handcrafted items by the individual who produced the items.

Effective Date: 10-29-1999

1349.11 Lending institution may not require use or employment of affiliated real estate broker.

(A) No lending institution, as defined in section 175.01 of the Revised Code, that is affiliated with or authorized to be affiliated with a real estate broker and that provides real estate brokerage services to third parties shall fix or vary the terms and conditions on a mortgage loan or the granting of a mortgage loan on the condition or requirement that the customer of the lending institution use or employ the services of the affiliated real estate broker.

(B) A lending institution, service corporation, or any person engaged in providing real estate brokerage services to third parties at all times shall be identified as separate and distinct from any lending institution with which it is affiliated or associated and shall hold itself out as separate and distinct by doing both of the following:

(1) Providing full and complete disclosure in writing of its relationship with the lending institution to persons who employ it to provide real estate brokerage services;

(2) Separately identifying any office space it uses in any building also used by the lending institution.

(C) No service corporation, real estate broker, or person associated with a lending institution shall represent to the public or to any person employing the corporation, real estate broker, or person to provide real estate brokerage services that the lending institution offers different terms and conditions on mortgage loans to those who employ the corporation, real estate broker, or person for real estate brokerage services than to persons who do not so employ the corporation, real estate broker, or person.

(D) This section does not apply to real estate owned by lending institutions.

(E) Subject to division (F) of this section, the director of commerce and appropriate division superintendents within the department of commerce shall enforce this section.

(F)

(1)

(a) The superintendent of real estate shall enforce and administer this section insofar as it relates to persons licensed as real estate brokers pursuant to Chapter 4735. of the Revised Code. In that enforcement and administration, the superintendent possesses and may use the authority conferred by that chapter.

(b) The director of commerce and the superintendent of any division within the department of commerce that has jurisdiction over a particular lending institution shall enforce and administer this section insofar as it relates to that lending institution. The superintendent of real estate shall not enforce and administer this section insofar as it relates to any lending institution.

(2) Any licensed real estate broker subject to division (B) or (C) of this section who fails to comply with either division is guilty of misconduct for purposes of division (A)(6) of section 4735.18 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 01-04-1988; 07-01-2005

1349.16 Identification information required for opening personal checking account.

(A) As used in this section, "financial institution" includes every bank as defined in section 1101.01 of the Revised Code, savings and loan association as defined in section 1151.01 of the Revised Code, savings bank as defined in section 1161.01 of the Revised Code, and credit union organized or qualified as such under sections 1733.01 to 1733.45 of the Revised Code or the "Federal Credit Union Act," 84 Stat. 994 (1970), 12 U.S.C.A. 1752 , as amended.

(B) Before opening or authorizing signatory power over a checking account intended for personal, family, or household purposes, a financial institution:

(1) Shall require the applicant to provide his current address and a valid driver's or commercial driver's license or identification card issued by the registrar of motor vehicles or a deputy registrar under section 4507.50 of the Revised Code. If the applicant does not have a valid driver's or commercial driver's license or identification card, the applicant may provide an identification document that includes his full name, birthdate, and signature.

(2) May require the applicant to provide relevant information in addition to the information specified in division (B)(1) of this section.

(C) Every person that issues or prints checks, bills of exchange, or other drafts for use with a checking account intended for personal, family, or household purposes opened on or after October 16, 1990 shall print the date on which the checking account was opened on the face of each check, bill of exchange, or other draft.

(D) This section does not apply to temporary checks furnished at the time a checking account is opened.

(E) This section does not create any civil cause of action against a financial institution, its directors, trustees, officers, employees, agents, representatives, or other persons acting on its behalf, or against any person that issues or prints checks, bills of exchange, or other drafts, for failure to comply with this section.

Effective Date: 07-30-1993

1349.17 Restricting recording credit card, telephone or social security numbers.

(A) No person shall record or cause to be recorded either of the following:

(1) A credit card account number of the other party to a transaction, when a check, bill of exchange, or other draft is presented for payment;

(2) The telephone number or social security account number of the other party to a transaction, when payment is made by credit card charge agreement, check, bill of exchange, or other draft.

(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to a transaction, if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The credit card account number, social security account number, or telephone number is recorded for a legitimate business purpose, including collection purposes.

(2) The other party to the transaction consents to the recording of the credit card account number, social security account number, or telephone number.

(3) The credit card account number, social security account number, or telephone number that is recorded during the course of the transaction is not disclosed to any third party for any purposes other than collection purposes and is not used to market goods or services unrelated to the goods or services purchased in the transaction.

(C) Nothing in this section prohibits the recording of the number of a credit card account when given in lieu of a deposit to secure payment in the event of default, loss, damage, or other occurrence, or requires a person to accept a check presented for payment, if the other party to the transaction refuses to consent to the recording of the number of the party's social security account or license to operate a motor vehicle.

Effective Date: 07-30-1993

1349.18 Printing credit card number and expiration date on receipt.

(A) No person or limited liability company that accepts credit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last five digits of the credit card account number, or print the expiration date of a credit card, on any receipt provided to the cardholder.

(B) This section applies only to receipts that are electronically printed and does not apply to any transaction in which the sole means of recording the cardholder's credit card account number is by handwriting or by an imprint or copy of the credit card.

(C) A violation of this section is deemed an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of section 1345.02 of the Revised Code. A person injured by a violation of this section has a cause of action and is entitled to the same relief available to a consumer under section 1345.09 of the Revised Code, and all powers and remedies available to the attorney general to enforce sections 1345.01 to 1345.13 of the Revised Code are available to the attorney general to enforce this section.

(D) As used in this section, "credit card" includes, but is not limited to, a credit card, charge card, debit card, or other card, code, device, or other means of access to a customer's account for the purpose of obtaining money, property, labor, or services on credit, or for initiating an electronic fund transfer at a point-of-sale terminal, an automated teller machine, or a cash dispensing machine.

Effective Date: 07-01-2004

1349.19 Private disclosure of security breach of computerized personal information data.

(A) As used in this section:

(1)

(a) "Breach of the security of the system" means unauthorized access to and acquisition of computerized data that compromises the security or confidentiality of personal information owned or licensed by a person and that causes, reasonably is believed to have caused, or reasonably is believed will cause a material risk of identity theft or other fraud to the person or property of a resident of this state.

(b) For purposes of division (A)(1)(a) of this section:

(i) Good faith acquisition of personal information by an employee or agent of the person for the purposes of the person is not a breach of the security of the system, provided that the personal information is not used for an unlawful purpose or subject to further unauthorized disclosure.

(ii) Acquisition of personal information pursuant to a search warrant, subpoena, or other court order, or pursuant to a subpoena, order, or duty of a regulatory state agency, is not a breach of the security of the system.

(2) "Business entity" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association, or other group, however organized and whether operating for profit or not for profit, including a financial institution organized, chartered, or holding a license authorizing operation under the laws of this state, any other state, the United States, or any other country, or the parent or subsidiary of a financial institution.

(3) "Consumer reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis" means a consumer reporting agency that regularly engages in the practice of assembling or evaluating, and maintaining, for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties bearing on a consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, each of the following regarding consumers residing nationwide:

(a) Public record information;

(b) Credit account information from persons who furnish that information regularly and in the ordinary course of business.

(4) "Encryption" means the use of an algorithmic process to transform data into a form in which there is a low probability of assigning meaning without use of a confidential process or key.

(5) "Individual" means a natural person.

(6) "Person" has the same meaning as in section 1.59 of the Revised Code, except that "person" includes a business entity only if the business entity conducts business in this state.

(7)

(a) "Personal information" means an individual's name, consisting of the individual's first name or first initial and last name, in combination with and linked to any one or more of the following data elements, when the data elements are not encrypted, redacted, or altered by any method or technology in such a manner that the data elements are unreadable:

(i) Social security number;

(ii) Driver's license number or state identification card number;

(iii) Account number or credit or debit card number, in combination with and linked to any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to an individual's financial account.

(b) "Personal information" does not include publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state, or local government records or any of the following media that are widely distributed:

(i) Any news, editorial, or advertising statement published in any bona fide newspaper, journal, or magazine, or broadcast over radio or television;

(ii) Any gathering or furnishing of information or news by any bona fide reporter, correspondent, or news bureau to news media described in division (A)(7)(b)(i) of this section;

(iii) Any publication designed for and distributed to members of any bona fide association or charitable or fraternal nonprofit corporation;

(iv) Any type of media similar in nature to any item, entity, or activity identified in division (A)(7)(b)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section.

(8) "Record" means any information that is stored in an electronic medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. "Record" does not include any publicly available directory containing information an individual voluntarily has consented to have publicly disseminated or listed, such as name, address, or telephone number.

(9) "Redacted" means altered or truncated so that no more than the last four digits of a social security number, driver's license number, state identification card number, account number, or credit or debit card number is accessible as part of the data.

(10) "System" means any collection or group of related records that are kept in an organized manner, that are maintained by a person, and from which personal information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifier assigned to the individual. "System" does not include any published directory, any reference material or newsletter, or any routine information that is maintained for the purpose of internal office administration of the person, if the use of the directory, material, newsletter, or information would not adversely affect an individual, and there has been no unauthorized external breach of the directory, material, newsletter, or information.

(B)

(1) Any person that owns or licenses computerized data that includes personal information shall disclose any breach of the security of the system, following its discovery or notification of the breach of the security of the system, to any resident of this state whose personal information was, or reasonably is believed to have been, accessed and acquired by an unauthorized person if the access and acquisition by the unauthorized person causes or reasonably is believed will cause a material risk of identity theft or other fraud to the resident. The disclosure described in this division may be made pursuant to any provision of a contract entered into by the person with another person prior to the date the breach of the security of the system occurred if that contract does not conflict with any provision of this section and does not waive any provision of this section. For purposes of this section, a resident of this state is an individual whose principal mailing address as reflected in the records of the person is in this state.

(2) The person shall make the disclosure described in division (B)(1) of this section in the most expedient time possible but not later than forty-five days following its discovery or notification of the breach in the security of the system, subject to the legitimate needs of law enforcement activities described in division (D) of this section and consistent with any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach, including which residents' personal information was accessed and acquired, and to restore the reasonable integrity of the data system.

(C) Any person that, on behalf of or at the direction of another person or on behalf of or at the direction of any governmental entity, is the custodian of or stores computerized data that includes personal information shall notify that other person or governmental entity of any breach of the security of the system in an expeditious manner, if the personal information was, or reasonably is believed to have been, accessed and acquired by an unauthorized person and if the access and acquisition by the unauthorized person causes or reasonably is believed will cause a material risk of identity theft or other fraud to a resident of this state.

(D) The person may delay the disclosure or notification required by division (B), (C), or (G) of this section if a law enforcement agency determines that the disclosure or notification will impede a criminal investigation or jeopardize homeland or national security, in which case, the person shall make the disclosure or notification after the law enforcement agency determines that disclosure or notification will not compromise the investigation or jeopardize homeland or national security.

(E) For purposes of this section, a person may disclose or make a notification by any of the following methods:

(1) Written notice;

(2) Electronic notice, if the person's primary method of communication with the resident to whom the disclosure must be made is by electronic means;

(3) Telephone notice;

(4) Substitute notice in accordance with this division, if the person required to disclose demonstrates that the person does not have sufficient contact information to provide notice in a manner described in division (E)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, or that the cost of providing disclosure or notice to residents to whom disclosure or notification is required would exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars, or that the affected class of subject residents to whom disclosure or notification is required exceeds five hundred thousand persons. Substitute notice under this division shall consist of all of the following:

(a) Electronic mail notice if the person has an electronic mail address for the resident to whom the disclosure must be made;

(b) Conspicuous posting of the disclosure or notice on the person's web site, if the person maintains one;

(c) Notification to major media outlets, to the extent that the cumulative total of the readership, viewing audience, or listening audience of all of the outlets so notified equals or exceeds seventy-five per cent of the population of this state.

(5) Substitute notice in accordance with this division, if the person required to disclose demonstrates that the person is a business entity with ten employees or fewer and that the cost of providing the disclosures or notices to residents to whom disclosure or notification is required will exceed ten thousand dollars. Substitute notice under this division shall consist of all of the following:

(a) Notification by a paid advertisement in a local newspaper that is distributed in the geographic area in which the business entity is located, which advertisement shall be of sufficient size that it covers at least one-quarter of a page in the newspaper and shall be published in the newspaper at least once a week for three consecutive weeks;

(b) Conspicuous posting of the disclosure or notice on the business entity's web site, if the entity maintains one;

(c) Notification to major media outlets in the geographic area in which the business entity is located.

(F)

(1) A financial institution, trust company, or credit union or any affiliate of a financial institution, trust company, or credit union that is required by federal law, including, but not limited to, any federal statute, regulation, regulatory guidance, or other regulatory action, to notify its customers of an information security breach with respect to information about those customers and that is subject to examination by its functional government regulatory agency for compliance with the applicable federal law, is exempt from the requirements of this section.

(2) This section does not apply to any person or entity that is a covered entity as defined in 45 C.F.R. 160.103 , as amended.

(G) If a person discovers circumstances that require disclosure under this section to more than one thousand residents of this state involved in a single occurrence of a breach of the security of the system, the person shall notify, without unreasonable delay, all consumer reporting agencies that compile and maintain files on consumers on a nationwide basis of the timing, distribution, and content of the disclosure given by the person to the residents of this state. In no case shall a person that is required to make a notification required by this division delay any disclosure or notification required by division (B) or (C) of this section in order to make the notification required by this division.

(H) Any waiver of this section is contrary to public policy and is void and unenforceable.

(I) The attorney general may conduct pursuant to sections 1349.191 and 1349.192 of the Revised Code an investigation and bring a civil action upon an alleged failure by a person to comply with the requirements of this section.

Effective Date: 02-17-2006; 03-30-2007

1349.191 Investigation of noncompliance with disclosure laws.

(A) As used in this section and section 1349.192 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Agency of a political subdivision" has the same meaning as in section 1347.12 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Business" has the same meaning as in section 1349.19 of the Revised Code.

(3) "State agency" has the same meaning as in section 1.60 of the Revised Code.

(B) The attorney general may conduct an investigation if the attorney general, based on complaints or the attorney general's own inquiries, has reason to believe that a state agency or an agency of a political subdivision has failed or is failing to comply with section 1347.12 of the Revised Code or that a person has failed or is failing to comply with section 1349.19 of the Revised Code.

(C) In any investigation conducted pursuant to this section, the attorney general may administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, adduce evidence, and subpoena the production of any book, document, record, or other relevant matter.

(D)

(1) If the attorney general under division (C) of this section subpoenas the production of any relevant matter that is located outside this state, the attorney general may designate a representative, including an official of the state in which that relevant matter is located, to inspect the relevant matter on the attorney general's behalf. The attorney general may carry out similar requests received from officials of other states.

(2) Any person who is subpoenaed to produce relevant matter pursuant to division (C) of this section shall make that relevant matter available at a convenient location within this state or the state of the representative designated under division (D)(1) of this section.

(E) Any person who is subpoenaed as a witness or to produce relevant matter pursuant to division (C) of this section may file in the court of common pleas of Franklin county, the county in this state in which the person resides, or the county in this state in which the person's principal place of business is located a petition to extend for good cause shown the date on which the subpoena is to be returned or to modify or quash for good cause shown that subpoena. The person may file the petition at any time prior to the date specified for the return of the subpoena or within twenty days after the service of the subpoena, whichever is earlier.

(F) Any person who is subpoenaed as a witness or to produce relevant matter pursuant to division (C) of this section shall comply with the terms of the subpoena unless the court orders otherwise prior to the date specified for the return of the subpoena or, if applicable, that date as extended. If a person fails without lawful excuse to obey a subpoena, the attorney general may apply to the court of common pleas for an order that does one or more of the following:

(1) Compels the requested discovery;

(2) Adjudges the person in contempt of court;

(3) Grants injunctive relief to restrain the person from failing to comply with section 1347.12 or 1349.19 of the Revised Code, whichever is applicable;

(4) Grants injunctive relief to preserve or restore the status quo;

(5) Grants other relief that may be required until the person obeys the subpoena.

(G) The court shall impose a civil penalty on any person who violates an order of a court issued under division (F) of this section in the same manner as the imposition of a civil penalty under section 1349.192 of the Revised Code for a failure to comply with section 1347.12 or 1349.19 of the Revised Code, whichever is applicable.

Effective Date: 02-17-2006

1349.192 Civil action by attorney general for violation of disclosure laws.

(A)

(1) The attorney general shall have the exclusive authority to bring a civil action in a court of common pleas for appropriate relief under this section, including a temporary restraining order, preliminary or permanent injunction, and civil penalties, if it appears that a state agency or an agency of a political subdivision has failed or is failing to comply with section 1347.12 of the Revised Code or that a person has failed or is failing to comply with section 1349.19 of the Revised Code. Upon its finding that a state agency or an agency of a political subdivision has failed to comply with section 1347.12 of the Revised Code or that a person has failed to comply with section 1349.19 of the Revised Code, the court shall impose a civil penalty upon the state agency, agency of a political subdivision, or person as follows:

(a) For each day that the state agency, agency of a political subdivision, or person has intentionally or recklessly failed to comply with the applicable section, subject to divisions (A)(1)(b) and (c) of this section, a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars for each day the agency or person fails to comply with the section;

(b) If the state agency, agency of a political subdivision, or person has intentionally or recklessly failed to comply with the applicable section for more than sixty days, subject to division (A)(1)(c) of this section, a civil penalty in the amount specified in division (A)(1)(a) of this section for each day of the first sixty days that the agency or person fails to comply with the section and, for each day commencing with the sixty-first day that the state agency, agency of a political subdivision, or person has failed to comply with the section, a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars for each such day the agency or person fails to comply with the section;

(c) If the state agency, agency of a political subdivision, or person has intentionally or recklessly failed to comply with the applicable section for more than ninety days, a civil penalty in the amount specified in division (A)(1)(a) of this section for each day of the first sixty days that the agency or person fails to comply with the section, a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars for each day commencing with the sixty-first day and continuing through the ninetieth day that the agency or person fails to comply with the section, and, for each day commencing with the ninety-first day that the state agency, agency of a political subdivision, or person has failed to comply with the section, a civil penalty of up to ten thousand dollars for each such day the agency or person fails to comply with the section.

(2) Any civil penalty that is assessed under division (A)(1) of this section shall be deposited into the consumer protection enforcement fund created by section 1345.51 of the Revised Code.

(3) In determining the appropriate civil penalty to assess under division (A)(1) of this section, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the following:

(a) If the defendant in the civil action is a state agency, an agency of a political subdivision, or a person that is a business entity, whether or not the high managerial officer, agent, or employee of the agency or business entity having supervisory responsibility for compliance with section 1347.12 or 1349.19 of the Revised Code, whichever is applicable, acted in bad faith in failing to comply with the section.

(b) If the defendant in the civil action is a person other than a business entity, whether or not the person acted in bad faith in failing to comply with section 1349.19 of the Revised Code.

(B) Any state agency or agency of a political subdivision that is found by the court to have failed to comply with section 1347.12 of the Revised Code or any person that is found by the court to have failed to comply with section 1349.19 of the Revised Code shall be liable to the attorney general for the attorney general's costs in conducting an investigation under section 1349.191 of the Revised Code and bringing an action under this section.

(C) The rights and remedies that are provided under this section are in addition to any other rights or remedies that are provided by law.

Effective Date: 02-17-2006

1349.20 Escrow transactions concerning residential realty definitions.

As used in sections 1349.20 to 1349.22 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Banking day" means any day on which the federal reserve bank is open to the public for carrying on substantially all of its functions.

(B) "Check" means a negotiable instrument that is drawn on a federally insured bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or savings bank and contains an unconditional order to pay, on demand, a specified sum in money.

(C) "Escrow account" means a checking account with a federally insured bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or savings bank, which is used exclusively for the deposit of funds transferred electronically or otherwise, cash, money orders, or negotiable instruments that are received by the escrow or closing agent to effect an escrow transaction, but excludes an account of an attorney that is used to hold client funds and an account maintained by a real estate broker under division (A)(26) of section 4735.18 of the Revised Code.

(D) "Escrow or closing agent" means a person who controls and effects, in an escrow transaction, the delivery described in division (E) of this section, but excludes a federally insured bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or savings bank that makes a loan as part of a residential real property transaction and excludes a real estate broker who, in a fiduciary capacity, receives and deposits, in an account maintained under division (A)(26) of section 4735.18 of the Revised Code, cash, funds, checks, or negotiable instruments for earnest money or good faith or other purposes.

(E) "Escrow transaction" means a transaction in which a person, for the purpose of effecting and closing the sale, purchase, exchange, transfer, encumbrance, or lease of an interest in residential real property to another person, provides a written instrument or document, money, negotiable instrument, check, evidence of title to real property, or any other thing of value to an escrow or closing agent, to be held by the agent until a specified event occurs or until the performance of a prescribed condition, when it is to be delivered to a specific person by the agent in compliance with applicable instructions, whether by filing such written instrument or document in the public records or by direct tender to the appropriate person.

(F) "Negotiable instrument" has the same meaning as in section 1303.03 of the Revised Code.

(G) "Residential real property" means any real property improved or to be improved with a one- to four-family dwelling.

Effective Date: 01-01-1996

1349.21 Disbursing from an escrow account.

No escrow or closing agent knowingly shall make, in an escrow transaction, a disbursement from an escrow account on behalf of another person, unless the following conditions are met:

(A) The cash, funds, money orders, checks, or negotiable instruments necessary for the disbursement have been transferred electronically to or deposited into the escrow account of the escrow or closing agent and are available for withdrawal and disbursement, or have been physically received by the agent prior to disbursement and are intended for deposit no later than the next banking day after the date of disbursement.

(B) The transfers or deposits described in division (A) of this section consist of any of the following:

(1) Cash or electronically transferred funds;

(2) Certified checks, cashier's checks, official checks, or money orders that are drawn on an existing account at a federally insured bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or savings bank;

(3) A check issued by the United States or this state, or by an agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision of the United States or this state;

(4) A check drawn on the escrow account of a title insurance company or title insurance agent, provided the escrow or closing agent has reasonable and prudent cause to believe that sufficient funds are available for withdrawal in the account upon which the check is drawn at the time of disbursement;

(5) A personal check in an amount not exceeding one thousand dollars.

Effective Date: 01-01-1996

1349.22 Advancing funds for incidental fees.

Nothing in section 1349.21 of the Revised Code prohibits an escrow or closing agent from advancing funds not exceeding one thousand dollars from an escrow account or otherwise on behalf of a party to an escrow transaction for the purpose of paying incidental fees, such as conveyance and recording fees, in order to effect and close the sale, purchase, exchange, transfer, encumbrance, or lease of residential real property that is the subject of the escrow transaction.

Effective Date: 01-01-1996

1349.25 Covered loan definitions.

As used in sections 1349.25 to 1349.37 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Actuarial method" means the method of allocating payments made on a debt between the amount financed and the finance charge pursuant to which a payment is applied first to the accumulated finance charge and any remainder is subtracted from, or any deficiency is added to, the unpaid balance of the amount financed.

(B) "Consumer" means a natural person to whom credit is offered or extended primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

(C) "Consummation" means the time that a consumer becomes contractually obligated on a credit transaction.

(D) "Covered loan" means a consumer credit mortgage loan transaction, including an open end credit plan, that involves property located within this state, is secured by the consumer's principal dwelling, and meets either of the following criteria:

(1) The annual percentage rate at consummation of the transaction exceeds the amount established under section 152(a) of the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994," 108 Stat. 2190, 15 U.S.C.A. 1602(aa) , as amended, and the regulations adopted thereunder by the federal reserve board, as amended.

(2) If the total loan amount is twenty-five thousand dollars or more, the total points and fees payable by the consumer at or before loan closing exceed five per cent of the total loan amount. If the total loan amount is less than twenty-five thousand dollars, the total points and fees payable by the consumer at or before loan closing exceed eight per cent of the total loan amount.

For purposes of division (D) of this section:

(a) "Points and fees" has the same meaning as in section 152(a) of the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994," 108 Stat. 2190, 15 U.S.C. 1602(aa) , as amended, and the regulations adopted thereunder by the federal reserve board, as amended, and includes single premium credit insurance and all compensation paid directly or indirectly to a mortgage broker from any source. For transactions under an open end credit plan, "points and fees" includes fees paid for the ability to access the line of credit and fees paid in order to utilize the maximum amount of credit available.

"Points and fees" does not include fees paid to a federal or state government agency that insures payment of some portion of a home loan, including the federal housing administration and the United States department of veterans affairs, or an amount not to exceed one percentage point in indirect mortgage broker compensation paid by any source.

(b) "Total loan amount" means the principal of the loan minus points and fees that are included in the principal amount. For transactions under an open end credit plan, "total loan amount" shall be calculated by using the total line of credit allowed under the loan at closing.

(c) "Consumer credit mortgage loan transaction" does not include a residential mortgage transaction or a reverse mortgage transaction.

Nothing in division (D) of this section shall be construed to authorize a consumer or any other party to pay compensation to a creditor for services provided by the creditor in connection with a covered loan, or to prohibit a creditor from charging or receiving such compensation.

(E) "Credit" means the right granted by a creditor to a debtor to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.

(F) "Creditor" has the same meaning as in section 152(c) of the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994," 108 Stat. 2190, 15 U.S.C.A. 1602(f) , as amended, and the regulations adopted thereunder by the federal reserve board, as amended.

(G) "Person" means a natural person, partnership, association, trust, corporation, or any other legal entity.

(H) The terms "open end credit plan," "residential mortgage transaction," and "reverse mortgage transaction" have the same meanings as in section 152(a) of the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994," 108 Stat. 2190, 15 U.S.C. 1602 , as amended, and the regulations adopted thereunder by the federal reserve board, as amended.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002; 01-01-2007

1349.26 Disclosures of creditor concerning covered loans.

(A) A creditor shall provide, for each covered loan, both of the following disclosures. The disclosures shall be in conspicuous type size and be in substantially the following form:

(1) "You are not required to complete this agreement merely because you have received these disclosures or have signed a loan application."

(2) "If you obtain this loan, the lender will have a mortgage on your home. You could lose your home, and any money you have put into it, if you do not meet your obligations under the loan."

(B) In addition to the disclosures required under division (A) of this section, a creditor shall disclose, for each covered loan, either of the following:

(1) In the case of a credit transaction with a fixed rate of interest, the annual percentage rate, the amount of the regular monthly payment, and the amount of any balloon payment;

(2) In the case of any other credit transaction, the annual percentage rate of the loan, the amount of the regular monthly payment, a statement that the interest rate and monthly payment may increase, and the amount of the maximum monthly payment, based on the maximum interest rate allowed pursuant to 12 U.S.C.A. 3806 .

(C) With respect to any mortgage that is refinanced on or after October 1, 2002, the creditor shall also disclose the total amount the consumer will borrow, as reflected by the face amount of the note. If the amount borrowed includes premiums or other charges for optional credit insurance or debt-cancellation coverage, that fact shall be stated, grouped together with the disclosure of the amount borrowed. The disclosure of the amount borrowed shall be treated as accurate if it is not more than one hundred dollars above or below the amount required to be disclosed.

(D)

(1) Subject to division (D)(2) of this section, each creditor shall provide the disclosures required under this section not less than three business days prior to consummation of the transaction. After providing those disclosures, a creditor shall not change the terms of the extension of credit if such changes make the disclosures inaccurate, unless new disclosures are provided in accordance with this section. A creditor may provide such new disclosures by telephone, if both of the following requirements are met:

(a) The change is initiated by the consumer.

(b) At the consummation of the loan transaction, the creditor provides to the consumer the new disclosures in writing and the creditor and consumer certify in writing that, not later than three days prior to the date of consummation of the transaction, the new disclosures were provided by telephone.

(2) A consumer may, after receiving the disclosures required under this section, modify or waive the three-day waiting period between delivery of those disclosures and consummation of the loan transaction, if the consumer determines that the extension of credit is needed to meet a bona fide personal financial emergency. To modify or waive the right, the consumer shall give the creditor a dated written statement that describes the emergency, specifically modifies or waives the waiting period, and bears the signature of all of the consumers entitled to the waiting period.

(E) Compliance with sections 226.31(c)(1) and 226.32(c) of Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as amended, shall be deemed compliance with this section.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002

1349.27 Creditor or assignee - prohibitions.

A creditor shall not do any of the following:

(A) Make a covered loan that includes any of the following:

(1) Terms under which a consumer must pay a prepayment penalty for paying all or part of the principal before the date on which the principal is due. For purposes of division (A)(1) of this section, any method of computing a refund of unearned scheduled interest is a prepayment penalty if it is less favorable to the consumer than the actuarial method.

Division (A)(1) of this section does not apply to a prepayment penalty imposed in accordance with section 129(c)(2) of the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994," 108 Stat. 2190, 15 U.S.C.A. 1639(c)(2) , as amended, and the regulations adopted thereunder by the federal reserve board, as amended.

(2) Terms under which the outstanding principal balance will increase at any time over the course of the loan because the regular periodic payments do not cover the full amount of interest due;

(3) Terms under which more than two periodic payments required under the loan are consolidated and paid in advance from the loan proceeds provided to the consumer;

(4) Terms under which a rebate of interest arising from a loan acceleration due to default is calculated by a method less favorable than the actuarial method.

(B) Make a covered loan that provides for an interest rate applicable after default that is higher than the interest rate that applies before default;

(C) Make a covered loan having a term of less than five years that includes terms under which the aggregate amount of the regular periodic payments would not fully amortize the outstanding principal balance. This division does not apply to any covered loan with a maturity of less than one year, if the purpose of the loan is a "bridge" loan connected with the acquisition or construction of a dwelling intended to become the consumer's principal dwelling.

(D) Engage in a pattern or practice of extending credit to consumers under covered loans based on the consumers' collateral without regard to the consumers' repayment ability, including the consumers' current and expected income, current obligations, and employment;

(E) Make a payment to a contractor under a home improvement contract from amounts extended as credit under a covered loan, except in either of the following ways:

(1) By an instrument that is payable to the consumer or jointly to the consumer and the contractor;

(2) At the election of the consumer, by a third party escrow agent in accordance with terms established in a written agreement signed by the consumer, the creditor, and the contractor before the date of payment.

(F) On or after October 1, 2002, make a covered loan that includes a demand feature that permits the creditor to terminate the loan in advance of the original maturity date and to demand repayment of the entire outstanding balance, except in any of the following circumstances:

(1) There is fraud or material misrepresentation by the consumer in connection with the loan.

(2) The consumer fails to meet the repayment terms of the agreement for any outstanding balance.

(3) There is any action or inaction by the consumer that adversely affects the creditor's security for the loan or any right of the creditor in that security.

(G)

(1) Within one year after having made a covered loan, refinance a covered loan to the same borrower into another covered loan, unless the refinancing is in the consumer's interest. An assignee holding or servicing a covered loan shall not, for the remainder of the one-year period following the date of origination of the covered loan, refinance any covered loan to the same consumer into another covered loan, unless the refinancing is in the consumer's interest.

A creditor or assignee shall not engage in acts or practices to evade division (G) (1) of this section, including a pattern or practice of arranging for the refinancing of its own loans by affiliated or unaffiliated creditors, or modifying a loan agreement, whether or not the existing loan is satisfied and replaced by the new loan, and charging a fee.

(2) Division (G)(1) of this section shall apply on and after October 1, 2002.

(H) Make a covered loan without first obtaining a copy of the mortgage loan origination disclosure statement that was delivered to the buyer in accordance with division (A)(1) of section 1322.062 of the Revised Code;

(I) Finance, directly or indirectly, into a covered loan or finance to the same borrower within thirty days of a covered loan any credit life or credit disability insurance premiums sold in connection with the covered loan, provided that any credit life or credit disability insurance premiums calculated and paid on a monthly or other periodic basis shall not be considered financed by the person originating the loan. For purposes of this division, credit life or credit disability insurance does not include a contract issued by a government agency or private mortgage insurance company to insure the lender against loss caused by a mortgagor's default.

(J) Replace or consolidate a zero interest rate or other low-rate loan made by a governmental or nonprofit lender with a covered loan within the first ten years of the low-rate loan unless the current holder of the loan consents in writing to the refinancing. For purposes of this division, a "low-rate loan" means a loan that carries a current interest rate two percentage points or more below the current yield on United States treasury securities with a comparable maturity. If the loan's current interest rate is either a discounted introductory rate or a rate that automatically steps up over time, the fully indexed rate or the fully stepped-up rate, as applicable, shall be used, in lieu of the current rate, to determine whether a loan is a low-rate loan.

(K) Make a covered loan if, at the time the loan was consummated, the consumer's total monthly debt, including amounts owed under the loan, exceed fifty per cent of the consumer's monthly gross income, as verified by the credit application, the consumer's financial statement, a credit report, financial information provided to the person originating the loan by or on behalf of the consumer, or any other reasonable means, unless the consumer submits both of the following:

(1) Verification that the consumer received prepurchase counseling from a counseling service that meets the criteria established by the superintendent of financial institutions under section 1349.271 of the Revised Code;

(2) A disclosure, signed by the consumer, that acknowledges the risk of entering into such a loan.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002; 01-01-2007

1349.271 Rules for prepurchase counseling.

(A) The superintendent of financial institutions shall, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, adopt rules that establish criteria for purposes of qualifying counseling services that provide prepurchase counseling to consumers.

(B) Any not-for-profit credit counseling service approved by an agency of the federal government shall be deemed to meet the criteria established by the superintendent under this section.

Effective Date: 01-01-2007

1349.29 Right to rescind.

If a covered loan transaction includes any term prohibited by section 1349.27 of the Revised Code, the consumer shall have the right to rescind the transaction in accordance with section 129(j) of the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994," 108 Stat. 2190, 15 U.S.C.A. 1639(j) , as amended, and the regulations adopted thereunder by the federal reserve board, as amended.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002

1349.30 Voluntary adjustments correcting errors.

(A) A person has no liability under section 1349.31 of the Revised Code, and shall not be subject to any sanction by the superintendent of financial institutions, for any failure to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code, if within sixty days after discovering the error, whether pursuant to the person's own procedures or an examination or investigation by the superintendent under division (A) or (B) of section 1349.34 of the Revised Code, and prior to the initiation of any action by the superintendent under divisions (C) to (F) of section 1349.34 of the Revised Code or the receipt of written notice of the error from the consumer, the person notifies the consumer or other person concerned of the error and makes whatever adjustments in the appropriate account are necessary to assure that the consumer will not be required to pay an amount in excess of the charge actually disclosed, or the dollar equivalent of the annual percentage rate actually disclosed, whichever is lower.

(B) A creditor or assignee shall not be held liable in any action brought under section 1349.29 of the Revised Code, if the creditor or assignee shows by a preponderance of evidence that the compliance failure was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error. For purposes of this division, "bona fide error" includes, but is not limited to, clerical, calculation, computer malfunction and programming, and printing errors. "Bona fide error" does not include an error of legal judgment with respect to a person's obligations under sections 1349.25 to 1349.36 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002

1349.31 Criminal proceedings initiated.

(A)

(1) No creditor shall willfully and knowingly fail to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code. For purposes of division (A)(1) of this section, "willfully and knowingly" has the same meaning as in section 112 of the "Truth in Lending Act," 82 Stat. 146 (1968), 15 U.S.C.A. 1611 , as amended.

(2) Whoever violates division (A)(1) of this section is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.

(B) The superintendent of financial institutions may directly bring an action to enjoin a violation of this section. The attorney general may directly bring an action against a mortgage broker, loan officer, or nonbank mortgage lender to enjoin a violation of this section with the same rights, privileges, and powers as those described in section 1345.06 of the Revised Code. The prosecuting attorney of the county in which the action may be brought may bring an action against a mortgage broker, loan officer, or nonbank mortgage lender to enjoin a violation of this section only if the prosecuting attorney first presents any evidence of the violation to the attorney general and, within a reasonable period of time, the attorney general has not agreed to bring the action.

For purposes of this division, "loan officer," "mortgage broker," and "nonbank mortgage lender" have the same meanings as in section 1345.01 of the Revised Code.

(C)

(1) The superintendent of financial institutions may initiate criminal proceedings under this section by presenting any evidence of criminal violations to the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the offense may be prosecuted. If the prosecuting attorney does not prosecute the violations, or at the request of the prosecuting attorney, the superintendent shall present any evidence of criminal violations to the attorney general, who may proceed in the prosecution with all the rights, privileges, and powers conferred by law on prosecuting attorneys, including the power to appear before grand juries and to interrogate witnesses before such grand juries. These powers of the attorney general shall be in addition to any other applicable powers of the attorney general.

(2) The prosecuting attorney of the county in which an alleged offense may be prosecuted may initiate criminal proceedings under this section.

(3) In order to initiate criminal proceedings under this section, the attorney general shall first present any evidence of criminal violations to the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the alleged offense may be prosecuted. If, within a reasonable period of time, the prosecuting attorney has not agreed to prosecute the violations, the attorney general may proceed in the prosecution with all the rights, privileges, and powers described in division (C)(1) of this section.

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: 05-24-2002; 01-01-2007

1349.32 Conforming Ohio law to federal law.

The purpose of sections 1349.25 to 1349.36 of the Revised Code is to bring Ohio law into conformance with the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994," 108 Stat. 2190, 15 U.S.C.A. 1601 note, as amended, and the regulations and interpretations adopted thereunder by the federal reserve board, in order to facilitate the uniform administration and enforcement of state and federal laws on the regulation of certain high cost mortgages.

In furtherance of that purpose, the regulations and interpretations adopted by the federal reserve board to implement the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994," which regulations and interpretations are effective as of the effective date of this section, are hereby deemed applicable to sections 1349.25 to 1349.36 of the Revised Code. Such regulations and interpretations include the amendment of sections 226.32 and 226.34 of Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which amendment was approved by the federal reserve board on December 12, 2001, and takes effect October 1, 2002.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002

1349.33 Rules adopting similar provisions where federal law is amended or modified.

(A) Notwithstanding any provision of sections 1349.25 to 1349.36 of the Revised Code, or any rule adopted thereunder, if the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994," 108 Stat. 2190, 15 U.S.C.A. 1601 note, as amended, or any regulation adopted thereunder by the federal reserve board, as amended, is amended or otherwise modified after the effective date of this section, the superintendent of financial institutions may by rule adopt similar provisions. If an amendment or other modification to the "Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994" requires the adoption of implementing regulations by the federal reserve board, the superintendent shall not adopt any rule under the authority of this section until those regulations are adopted.

(B) The superintendent shall adopt the rules authorized by division (A) of this section in accordance with section 111.15 of the Revised Code. Chapter 119. of the Revised Code does not apply to rules adopted under the authority of this section.

(C) A rule adopted by the superintendent under the authority of this section is effective on the later of the following dates:

(1) The date the superintendent issues the rule;

(2) The date the regulation, rule, interpretation, procedure, or guideline the superintendent's rule is based on becomes effective.

(D) The superintendent may, upon thirty days' written notice, revoke any rule adopted under the authority of this section. A rule adopted under the authority of this section, and not revoked by the superintendent, lapses and has no further force and effect thirty months after its effective date.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002

1349.34 Examination and investigation of records.

(A) As often as the superintendent of financial institutions considers it necessary, the superintendent may examine a person's records regarding covered loans. The superintendent may recover from the person any costs incurred in connection with and reasonably related to the examination.

(B) The superintendent may investigate alleged failures to comply with sections 1349.25 to 1349.36 of the Revised Code, or any rule adopted thereunder, or complaints concerning any such failure to comply. In conducting any investigation under this section, the superintendent may compel, by subpoena, witnesses to testify in relation to any matter over which the superintendent has jurisdiction and may require the production of any book, record, or other document pertaining to that matter. If a person fails to file any statement or report, obey any subpoena, give testimony, produce any book, record, or other document as required by a subpoena, or permit photocopying of any book, record, or other document subpoenaed, the court of common pleas of any county in this state, upon application made to it by the superintendent, shall compel obedience by attachment proceedings for contempt, as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from the court or a refusal to testify therein.

(C) Whenever it appears to the superintendent that a person has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in, any activity constituting a failure to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code, the superintendent may make application to the court of common pleas of any county in this state for an order enjoining any such activity. Upon a showing by the superintendent that a person has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in, any activity constituting a failure to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code, the court shall grant an injunction, restraining order, or other appropriate relief.

(D) Whenever it appears to the superintendent that a person has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in, any activity that may constitute a failure to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code, the superintendent, after notice and a hearing conducted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, may issue a cease and desist order. Such an order shall be enforceable in any court of common pleas in this state.

(E) If a person that fails to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code is licensed, registered, or charted by, or otherwise operates under the authority of, the superintendent, the superintendent may, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, suspend, revoke, or deny the renewal of such license, registration, charter, or other authority.

(F) If a person fails to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code, the superintendent may, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, impose a fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars per compliance failure. If the person fails to comply two or more times, the superintendent may, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, impose a fine of not more than five thousand dollars per compliance failure. If the person injured by the failure to comply is sixty-five years of age or older, the superintendent may double the amount of the fine.

An order to pay a fine pursuant to this division shall be enforceable in any court of common pleas in this state. All fines collected under this division shall be paid to the superintendent and shall be deposited by the superintendent into the state treasury to the credit of the consumer finance fund created under section 1321.21 of the Revised Code.

In determining the amount of a fine to be imposed under this division, the superintendent shall consider all of the following:

(1) The seriousness of the conduct;

(2) The person's good faith efforts to prevent the conduct;

(3) The person's history regarding violations and compliance with the superintendent's orders;

(4) The person's financial resources;

(5) Any other matter the superintendent considers appropriate in enforcing sections 1349.26 and 1349.27 of the Revised Code.

The superintendent shall not impose a fine under this division if the superintendent has imposed or will impose a fine under another provision of the Revised Code for the same conduct.

(G)

(1) The superintendent may take any of the actions set forth in this section with respect to any person other than a federally chartered financial institution or its operating subsidiaries. Whenever it appears to the superintendent that a federally chartered financial institution or its operating subsidiary has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in, any activity that may constitute a failure to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code, the superintendent may present any evidence of such activity to the institution's appropriate federal regulatory authority, along with any recommendations regarding the imposition of specific sanctions.

(2) Any action taken by the superintendent under this section shall be commenced within three years after the alleged compliance failure.

(H) The remedies available to the superintendent under this section are cumulative and concurrent, and the exercise of one remedy by the superintendent does not preclude or require the exercise of any other remedy.

(I) The remedies available to the superintendent under this section or to the appropriate federal regulatory authority, the right of rescission described in section 1349.29 of the Revised Code, and the criminal penalty provided in section 1349.31 of the Revised Code shall constitute the sole and exclusive remedies for any failure to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002

1349.35 Annual report.

The superintendent of financial institutions shall include, as part of the annual report required by section 1181.09 of the Revised Code, the number of complaints received, the number of enforcement actions taken, and any other relevant data regarding covered loans.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002

1349.36 Administrative rules.

The superintendent of financial institutions may, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, adopt reasonable rules to administer and enforce sections 1349.25 to 1349.35 of the Revised Code and to carry out the purpose of those sections as stated in section 1349.32 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002

1349.37 Office of consumer affairs.

There is hereby created in the division of financial institutions the office of consumer affairs. The responsibilities of the office shall, at a minimum, include all of the following:

(A) Providing education to residents of this state regarding borrowing and related financial topics;

(B) Providing referrals to credit counseling services;

(C) Receiving complaints regarding alleged failures to comply with section 1349.26 or 1349.27 of the Revised Code;

(D) Contacting the persons that are the subject of such complaints, on behalf of the consumers;

(E) Referring matters to the superintendent of financial institutions for action under section 1349.34 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 05-24-2002

1349.41 Prohibited conduct in mortgage loan sale or purchase.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Consumer" means an individual to whom credit is offered or extended primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

(2) "Lender" means a nonbank mortgage lender as defined in section 1345.01 of the Revised Code. "Lender" does not include a person that purchases or is assigned a loan or that functions solely as the servicer of a loan.

(3) "Mortgage" has the same meaning as in section 1322.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) A lender shall not engage in a transaction, practice, or course of business that is not in good faith or fair dealing, or that operates a fraud upon any person, in connection with the attempted or actual making, purchase, or sale of any mortgage loan.

(C) If a lender fails to comply with division (B) of this section, the affected consumer may recover damages of not less than all compensation paid directly or indirectly to the lender from any source, plus reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.

(D) The duty created by this section shall not be waived or modified.

Effective Date: 01-01-2007

1349.43 Internet database - violations and enforcement information.

(A) As used in this section, "loan officer," "mortgage broker," and "nonbank mortgage lender" have the same meanings as in section 1345.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) The department of commerce shall establish and maintain an electronic database accessible through the internet that contains information on all of the following:

(1) The enforcement actions taken by the superintendent of financial institutions for each violation of or failure to comply with any provision of sections 1322.01 to 1322.12 of the Revised Code, upon final disposition of the action;

(2) The enforcement actions taken by the attorney general under Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code against loan officers, mortgage brokers, and nonbank mortgage lenders, upon final disposition of each action;

(3) All judgments by courts of this state, concerning which appellate remedies have been exhausted or lost by the expiration of the time for appeal, finding either of the following:

(a) A violation of any provision of sections 1322.01 to 1322.12 of the Revised Code;

(b) That specific acts or practices by a loan officer, mortgage broker, or nonbank mortgage lender violate section 1345.02 , 1345.03 , or 1345.031 of the Revised Code.

(C) The attorney general shall submit to the department, on the first day of each January, April, July, and October, a list of all enforcement actions and judgments described in divisions (B)(2) and (3)(b) of this section.

(D) The department may adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that are necessary to implement this section.

(E) The electronic database maintained by the department in accordance with this section shall not include information that, pursuant to section 1322.061 of the Revised Code, is confidential.

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: 01-01-2007

1349.44 Report on financial institutions division operations.

(A) The superintendent of financial institutions shall report semiannually to the governor and the general assembly on the operations of the division of financial institutions with respect to the following:

(1) Enforcement actions instituted by the superintendent for a violation of or failure to comply with any provision of sections 1322.01 to 1322.12 of the Revised Code, and their final dispositions;

(2) Suspensions, revocations, or refusals to issue or renew certificates of registration and licenses under sections 1322.01 to 1322.12 of the Revised Code;

(3) Outreach efforts of the office of consumer affairs to provide education regarding predatory lending, borrowing, and related financial topics.

(B) The information required under divisions (A)(1) and (2) of this section does not include information that, pursuant to section 1322.061 of the Revised Code, is confidential.

Effective Date: 01-01-2007

1349.45 Misleading or deceptive use of financial institution name or logo prohibited.

(A) As used in this section, "financial institution" means any bank, savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union; any affiliate or subsidiary of a bank, savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union; or any registrant as defined in section 1321.51 of the Revised Code.

(B) No person shall use the name or logo of any financial institution in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of any product or service without the express written consent of the financial institution, if such use is misleading or deceptive as to the source of origin or sponsorship of, or the affiliation with, the product or service.

Effective Date: 11-05-2004

1349.51 Prohibiting disclosure of certain consumer information.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Consumer report" and "consumer reporting agency" have the same meanings as in the "Fair Credit Reporting Act," 84 Stat. 1128 (1970), 15 U.S.C.A. 1681a , as amended.

(2) "Licensed resident insurance agent" means any natural person or business entity licensed as a resident insurance agent under section 3905.06 of the Revised Code.

(B) No consumer reporting agency shall sell or otherwise furnish any information relative to an individual's insurance coverage that was submitted, in whole or in part, in conjunction with an insurance company's inquiry into an individual's credit history or request for a consumer report. This information includes, but is not limited to, the expiration date of an insurance policy, information that may be used to find a policy's expiration date or approximate expiration date, and the terms and conditions of an insurance policy.

(C) Division (B) of this section does not prohibit a consumer reporting agency from furnishing information relative to an individual's insurance coverage to the agent or producer that supplied the information.

(D) Division (B) of this section does not prohibit a consumer reporting agency from furnishing information relative to an individual's insurance coverage to an insurance company, the insurer's affiliates, or members of a holding company in which the insurer is a member, if the information was supplied by an agent or producer acting on behalf of the insurer.

(E) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an insurance company from obtaining a claims history or motor vehicle report.

(F) An insurance company shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless its licensed resident insurance agent from and against all liability, damages, fees, and costs arising out of or relating to the actions, errors, or omissions of its licensed resident insurance agent resulting from the use of credit information or insurance scores for the insurance company, provided that its licensed resident insurance agent follows the procedures and instructions established by the insurance company for its licensed resident insurance agent, works within the authority granted by the insurance company to its licensed resident insurance agent, and complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Nothing in this section shall be construed to provide a consumer or insured with a cause of action that does not exist in the absence of this section.

Effective Date: 09-23-2004

1349.52 Security freeze on consumer credit report.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Consumer credit reporting agency" means any person that, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of maintaining consumers' credit information for the purpose of furnishing credit reports to third parties.

(2) "Credit report" means any written, oral, or other communication of any credit information by a consumer credit reporting agency that operates or maintains a database of consumer credit information bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity.

(3) "Security freeze" means a restriction placed in a consumer's credit report at the request of the consumer that prohibits a consumer credit reporting agency from releasing all or any part of the consumer's credit report or any information derived from the consumer's credit report relating to the extension of credit without the express authorization of the consumer.

(4) "Other comparable service" means a service for which a receipt of delivery is provided.

(B) A consumer may elect to place a security freeze on the consumer's credit report by making a request to a consumer credit reporting agency in writing by certified mail or other comparable service or by any secured electronic method authorized by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(C) A consumer credit reporting agency shall place a security freeze on a credit report not later than three business days after receiving a request pursuant to division (B) of this section. The consumer credit reporting agency shall send a written confirmation of the security freeze to the consumer within five business days of placing the security freeze and, at the same time, shall provide the consumer with a unique personal identification number or password. The number or password shall not be the consumer's social security number.

(D) A consumer may allow the consumer's credit report to be accessed for a specific party or period of time while a security freeze is in place by contacting the consumer credit reporting agency by certified mail or other comparable service, secure electronic method selected by the consumer credit reporting agency, or telephone and requesting that the security freeze be temporarily lifted, and providing all of the following:

(1) Information generally considered sufficient to identify the consumer;

(2) The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to division (C) of this section;

(3) The proper information regarding the third party who is to receive the consumer credit report or the time period for which the consumer credit report shall be available to users of the credit report.

(E)

(1) A consumer credit reporting agency that receives a request in writing by certified mail or other comparable service from a consumer to temporarily lift a security freeze on a credit report pursuant to division (D) of this section shall comply with the request not later than three business days after receiving the request.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a consumer credit reporting agency that receives a request by secure electronic method selected by the consumer credit reporting agency, telephone, or another means authorized by the consumer credit reporting agency from a consumer to temporarily lift a security freeze on a credit report pursuant to division (D) of this section shall comply with the request not later than fifteen minutes after receiving the request unless any of the following applies:

(a) The consumer fails to meet the requirements of division (D) of this section.

(b) The consumer credit reporting agency's ability to temporarily lift the security freeze within fifteen minutes is prevented by an act of God, including fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, or similar natural disaster or phenomena; unauthorized or illegal acts by a third party, including terrorism, sabotage, riot, vandalism, labor strikes or disputes disrupting operations, or similar occurrence; operational interruption, including electrical failure, unanticipated delay in equipment or replacement part delivery, computer hardware or software failures inhibiting response time, or similar disruption; governmental action, including emergency orders or regulations, judicial or law enforcement action, or similar directives; regularly scheduled maintenance, during other than normal business hours of, or updates to, the consumer credit reporting agency's systems; or commercially reasonable maintenance of, or repair to, the consumer credit reporting agency's systems that is unexpected or unscheduled.

(3) A consumer credit reporting agency shall remove or temporarily lift a security freeze placed on a credit report only in the following cases:

(a) Upon consumer request pursuant to division (D) of this section;

(b) If the credit report was frozen due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer. If a consumer credit reporting agency intends to remove a security freeze upon a credit report pursuant to division (E)(3)(b) of this section, the consumer credit reporting agency shall notify the consumer in writing at least five business days prior to removing the security freeze on the credit report.

(F) A consumer credit reporting agency, when required by the "Fair Credit Reporting Act," 84 Stat. 1128 (1970), 15 U.S.C. 1681g(c) , to provide a summary of rights, or when receiving a request from a consumer for information about a security freeze, shall provide the following written notice:

"Ohio Consumers Have the Right to Obtain a Security Freeze:

You may obtain a security freeze on your credit report to protect your privacy and ensure that credit is not granted in your name without your knowledge. You have a right to place a "security freeze" on your credit report pursuant to Ohio law. The security freeze will prohibit a consumer credit reporting agency from releasing any information in your credit report without your express authorization or approval. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. When you place a security freeze on your credit report, within five business days you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the security freeze on your credit report or to temporarily authorize the release of your credit report for a specific party or parties or for a specific period of time after the security freeze is in place. To provide that authorization, you must contact the consumer credit reporting agency and provide all of the following:

(a) Information generally considered sufficient to identify the consumer;

(b) The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer credit reporting agency;

(c) The proper information regarding the third party who is to receive the consumer credit report or the time period for which the credit report shall be available to users of the credit report.

A consumer credit reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to temporarily lift a security freeze on a credit report shall comply with the request not later than fifteen minutes after receiving the request.

A security freeze does not apply to circumstances in which you have an existing account relationship and a copy of your report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents or affiliates for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control, or similar activities.

If you are actively seeking credit, you should understand that the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your own applications for credit. You should plan ahead and lift a freeze, either completely if you are shopping around, or specifically for a certain creditor, a few days before actually applying for new credit."

(G) Except as otherwise provided in division (E) of this section, a consumer credit reporting agency shall keep a security freeze in place until the consumer requests that the security freeze be removed. A consumer credit reporting agency shall remove a security freeze within three business days of receiving a request by telephone or by any other means authorized by the consumer credit reporting agency for removal from the consumer when the consumer provides the following:

(1) Information generally considered sufficient to identify the consumer;

(2) The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to division (C) of this section.

(H) A consumer credit reporting agency may release a credit report on which a security freeze has been placed to the following:

(1) A person, or subsidiary, affiliate, or agent of that person, or an assignee of a financial obligation owing by the consumer to that person, or a prospective assignee of a financial obligation owing by the consumer to that person in conjunction with the proposed purchase of the financial obligation, with which the consumer has or had prior to assignment an account or contract, including a demand deposit account, or to whom the consumer issued a negotiable instrument, for the purposes of reviewing the account or collecting the financial obligation owing for the account, contract, or negotiable instrument. For purposes of this paragraph, "reviewing the account" includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.

(2) A subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee, or prospective assignee of a person to whom access has been granted under division (D) of this section, for purposes of facilitating the extension of credit or other permissible use;

(3) Any state or local law enforcement agency, trial court, or private collection agency acting pursuant to a court order, warrant, or subpoena;

(4) Any federal, state, or local governmental entity, agency, or instrumentality that is acting within the entity's, agency's, or instrumentality's authority;

(5) A state or local child support enforcement agency;

(6) A person seeking to use the information contained in the consumer's credit report for the purpose of prescreening pursuant to the "Fair Credit Reporting Act," 84 Stat. 1128 (1970), 15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.;

(7) Any person or entity administering a credit file monitoring subscription service to which the consumer has subscribed;

(8) Any person or entity providing a consumer with a copy of the consumer's credit report upon the consumer's request;

(9) Any person or entity for use in setting or adjusting a rate, adjusting a claim, or underwriting for insurance purposes;

(10) Any person or entity acting to investigate fraud or acting to investigate or collect delinquent taxes or unpaid court orders provided those responsibilities are consistent with section 1681b of the "Fair Credit Reporting Act," 15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.

(I)

(1) A consumer credit reporting agency may charge a consumer a reasonable fee not to exceed five dollars for placing a security freeze on that consumer's credit report. If the consumer is a victim of a violation of section 2913.49 of the Revised Code, the consumer credit reporting agency shall not charge a fee to place a security freeze on that consumer's credit report, but that consumer shall send a copy of the police report related to the violation of section 2913.49 of the Revised Code to the consumer credit reporting agency.

(2) A consumer credit reporting agency may charge a consumer a reasonable fee not to exceed five dollars for removing or temporarily lifting a security freeze on that consumer's credit report if the consumer elects to remove or temporarily lift the security freeze on the consumer's credit report for a specific creditor and may charge a consumer a reasonable fee not to exceed five dollars if the consumer elects to temporarily lift the security freeze for a specified period of time.

(3) A consumer credit reporting agency may charge a reasonable fee not to exceed five dollars to a consumer who fails to retain the original personal identification number provided by the consumer credit reporting agency and must be reissued the same or a new personal identification number.

(J) If a security freeze is in place, a consumer credit reporting agency shall not change any of the following official information in a credit report without sending a written confirmation of the change to the consumer within thirty days of the change being posted to the consumer's file: name; date of birth; social security number; or address. Written confirmation is not required for technical modifications of a consumer's official information, including name and street abbreviations, complete spellings, or transposition of numbers or letters. In the case of an address change, the written confirmation shall be sent to both the new address and to the former address.

(K) The provisions of this section do not apply to a consumer credit reporting agency that acts only as a reseller of credit information by assembling and merging information contained in the database of another consumer credit reporting agency or multiple consumer credit reporting agencies and does not maintain a permanent database of credit information from which new credit reports are produced, except that the reseller of credit information shall honor any security freeze placed on a credit report by another consumer credit reporting agency.

(L) The following entities are not required to place a security freeze in a credit report:

(1) A check services company or fraud prevention services company that issues reports on incidents of fraud or authorizations for the purpose of approving or processing negotiable instruments, electronic funds transfers, or similar methods of payments;

(2) A demand deposit account information service company that issues reports, regarding account closures due to fraud, substantial overdrafts, automated teller machine abuse, or similar negative information regarding a consumer, to inquiring banks or other financial institutions for use only in reviewing a consumer request for a demand deposit account at the inquiring bank or financial institution.

(M)

(1) The attorney general may conduct an investigation if the attorney general, based on complaints or the attorney general's own inquiries, has reason to believe that a consumer credit reporting agency has failed or is failing to comply with this section.

(2) In any investigation conducted pursuant to this section, the attorney general may administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, adduce evidence, and subpoena the production of any book, document, record, or other relevant matter.

(3) If the attorney general under division (M)(2) of this section subpoenas the production of any relevant matter that is located outside this state, the attorney general may designate a representative, including an official of the state in which that relevant matter is located, to inspect the relevant matter on the attorney general's behalf. The attorney general may carry out similar requests received from officials of other states.

(4) Any person who is subpoenaed to produce relevant matter pursuant to division (M)(2) of this section shall make that relevant matter available at a convenient location within this state or the state of the representative designated under division (M)(3) of this section.

(5) Any person who is subpoenaed as a witness or to produce relevant matter pursuant to division (M)(2) of this section may file in the court of common pleas of Franklin county, the county in this state in which the person resides, or the county in this state in which the person's principal place of business is located a petition to extend for good cause shown the date on which the subpoena is to be returned or to modify or quash for good cause shown that subpoena. The person may file the petition at any time prior to the date specified for the return of the subpoena or within twenty days after the service of the subpoena, whichever is earlier.

(6) Any person who is subpoenaed as a witness or to produce relevant matter pursuant to division (M)(2) of this section shall comply with the terms of the subpoena unless the court orders otherwise prior to the date specified for the return of the subpoena or, if applicable, that date as extended. If a person fails without lawful excuse to obey a subpoena, the attorney general may apply to the court of common pleas for an order that does one or more of the following:

(a) Compels the requested discovery;

(b) Adjudges the person in contempt of court;

(c) Grants injunctive relief to restrain the person from failing to comply with section 1347.12 or 1349.19 of the Revised Code, whichever is applicable;

(d) Grants injunctive relief to preserve or restore the status quo;

(e) Grants other relief that may be required until the person obeys the subpoena.

(N)

(1) The attorney general has the authority to bring a civil action in a court of common pleas for appropriate relief under this section, including a temporary restraining order, preliminary or permanent injunction, and civil penalties, if it appears that a consumer credit reporting agency has failed or is failing to comply with this section. Upon its finding that a consumer credit reporting agency has intentionally or recklessly failed to comply with this section, the court shall impose a civil penalty upon the consumer credit reporting agency of up to two thousand five hundred dollars for each instance that the consumer credit reporting agency fails to comply.

(2) Any civil penalty that is assessed under division (N)(1) of this section shall be deposited into the consumer protection enforcement fund created by section 1345.51 of the Revised Code.

(3) In determining the appropriate civil penalty to assess under division (N)(1) of this section, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the degree of the defendant's culpability, any history of prior violations of this section by the defendant, the defendant's ability to pay, the effect of the court's decision on the defendant's ability to continue to conduct the defendant's business, and whether or not the defendant acted in bad faith in failing to comply with this section.

(O) Any consumer credit reporting agency that is found by the court to have failed to comply with this section is liable to the attorney general for the attorney general's costs in conducting an investigation and bringing an action under this section.

(P) The rights and remedies that are provided under this section are in addition to any other rights or remedies that are provided by law.

Effective Date: 2008 HB46 09-01-2008

1349.53 Civil action for noncompliance with security freeze.

(A) If a consumer credit reporting agency willfully fails to comply with division (C) or (J) of section 1349.52 of the Revised Code, the consumer may file a civil action against the consumer credit reporting agency. In the civil action, the consumer may recover all of the following:

(1) Actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the consumer credit reporting agency's failure to comply with division (C) or (J) of section 1349.52 of the Revised Code or damages of not less than one hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars, whichever is greater;

(2) Punitive damages;

(3) Court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

(B) A person who obtains a consumer's credit report from a consumer credit reporting agency under false pretenses or knowingly without the permission of the consumer is liable to the consumer credit reporting agency for actual damages sustained by the consumer credit reporting agency or one thousand dollars, whichever is greater.

(C) If a consumer credit reporting agency negligently fails to comply with division (C) or (J) of section 1349.52 of the Revised Code, the consumer may file a civil action against the consumer credit reporting agency. In the civil action, the consumer may recover all of the following:

(1) Actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the consumer credit reporting agency's failure to comply with division (C) or (J) of section 1349.52 of the Revised Code or as a result of the consumer credit reporting agency negligently allowing another person to obtain a consumer's credit report;

(2) Court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

(D) If the court finds that a civil action under division (A) or (C) of this section was brought in bad faith or for the purposes of harassment, the court shall award to the prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees in relation to the work expended in responding to the civil action.

(E) A person shall bring a civil action under division (A) or (C) of this section not later than the earlier of the following:

(1) Two years after the date of discovery by the plaintiff of a violation of division (C) or (J) of section 1349.52 of the Revised Code;

(2) Five years after the date a violation of division (C) or (J) of section 1349.52 of the Revised Code occurs.

(F) A consumer credit reporting agency is not liable in damages in a civil action brought pursuant to division (A) of this section for any damages a consumer allegedly sustains as a result of the consumer credit reporting agency's placement of a security freeze in violation of division (C) of section 1349.52 of the Revised Code on the consumer's credit report if the consumer credit reporting agency establishes as an affirmative defense that the consumer credit reporting agency made a good faith effort to comply with that division and the consumer credit reporting agency placed a security freeze on the consumer's credit report as a result of a misrepresentation of fact by another consumer.

Effective Date: 2008 HB46 09-01-2008

1349.55 Non-recourse civil litigation advance contracts.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Non-recourse civil litigation advance" means a transaction in which a company makes a cash payment to a consumer who has a pending civil claim or action in exchange for the right to receive an amount out of the proceeds of any realized settlement, judgment, award, or verdict the consumer may receive in the civil lawsuit.

(2) "Company" means a person or entity that enters into a non-recourse civil litigation advance transaction with a consumer.

(3) "Consumer" means a person or entity residing or domiciled in Ohio and represented by an attorney with a pending civil claim or action.

(B) All contracts for a non-recourse civil litigation advance shall comply with the following requirements:

(1) The contract shall be completely filled in and contain on the front page, appropriately headed and in at least twelve-point bold type, the following disclosures:

(a) The total dollar amount to be advanced to the consumer;

(b) An itemization of one-time fees;

(c) The total dollar amount to be repaid by the consumer, in six-month intervals for thirty-six months, and including all fees;

(d) The annual percentage rate of return, calculated as of the last day of each six-month interval, including frequency of compounding.

(2) The contract shall provide that the consumer may cancel the contract within five business days following the consumer's receipt of funds, without penalty or further obligation. The contract shall contain the following notice written in a clear and conspicuous manner: "CONSUMER'S RIGHT TO CANCELLATION: YOU MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT WITHOUT PENALTY OR FURTHER OBLIGATION WITHIN FIVE BUSINESS DAYS FROM THE DATE YOU RECEIVE FUNDING FROM [insert name of company]." The contract also shall specify that in order for the cancellation to be effective, the consumer must either return to the company the full amount of disbursed funds by delivering the company's uncashed check to the company's offices in person, within five business days of the disbursement of funds, or mail a notice of cancellation and include in that mailing a return of the full amount of disbursed funds in the form of the company's uncashed check, or a registered or certified check or money order, by insured, registered or certified United States mail, postmarked within five business days of receiving funds from the company, at the address specified in the contract for the cancellation.

(3) The contract shall contain the following statement in at least twelve-point boldface type: "THE COMPANY AGREES THAT IT SHALL HAVE NO RIGHT TO AND WILL NOT MAKE ANY DECISIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE CONDUCT OF THE UNDERLYING CIVIL ACTION OR CLAIM OR ANY SETTLEMENT OR RESOLUTION THEREOF AND THAT THE RIGHT TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS REMAINS SOLELY WITH YOU AND YOUR ATTORNEY IN THE CIVIL ACTION OR CLAIM."

(4) The contract shall contain the initials of the consumer on each page.

(5) The contract shall contain the following statement in at least twelve-point boldface type located immediately above the place on the contract where the consumer's signature is required: "DO NOT SIGN THIS CONTRACT BEFORE YOU READ IT COMPLETELY OR IF IT CONTAINS ANY BLANK SPACES. YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A COMPLETELY FILLED IN COPY OF THIS CONTRACT. BEFORE YOU SIGN THIS CONTRACT YOU SHOULD OBTAIN THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY. DEPENDING ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU MAY WANT TO CONSULT A TAX, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE BENEFIT PLANNING, OR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR ATTORNEY IN THE CIVIL ACTION OR CLAIM HAS PROVIDED NO TAX, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE BENEFIT PLANNING, OR FINANCIAL ADVICE REGARDING THIS TRANSACTION."

(6) The contract shall contain a written acknowledgment by the attorney representing the consumer in the civil action or claim that states all of the following:

(a) The attorney representing the consumer in the civil action or claim has reviewed the contract and all costs and fees have been disclosed including the annualized rate of return applied to calculate the amount to be paid by the consumer.

(b) The attorney representing the consumer in the civil action or claim is being paid on a contingency basis per a written fee agreement.

(c) All proceeds of the civil litigation will be disbursed via the trust account of the attorney representing the consumer in the civil action or claim or a settlement fund established to receive the proceeds of the civil litigation from the defendant on behalf of the consumer.

(d) The attorney representing the consumer in the civil action or claim is following the written instructions of the consumer with regard to the non-recourse civil litigation advance.

(7) For English, French, and Spanish speaking consumers, the contract shall be written in the same language in which the oral negotiations are conducted between the company and the consumer. For consumers whose primary language is not English, French, or Spanish, the principal terms of the contract shall be translated in writing into the consumer's native language, the consumer shall sign the translated document containing the principal terms and initial each page, and the translator shall sign a notarized affirmation confirming that the principal terms have been presented to the consumer in the consumer's native language and acknowledged by the consumer, in writing. Principal terms shall include all items that must be disclosed by this section.

(C) If a dispute arises between the consumer and the company concerning the contract for a non-recourse civil litigation advance, the responsibilities of the attorney representing the consumer in the civil action or claim shall be no greater than the attorney's responsibilities under the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct.

Effective Date: 2008 HB248 08-27-2008

1349.61 Sale of gift card expiring within two years of sale prohibited.

(A)

(1) Subject to division (C) of this section, no person or entity shall sell a gift card to a purchaser containing an expiration date that is less than two years after the date the gift card is issued.

(2) No person or entity, within two years after a gift card is issued, shall charge service charges or fees relative to that gift card, including dormancy fees, latency fees, or administrative fees, that have the effect of reducing the total amount for which the holder of the gift card may redeem the gift card.

(B) A gift card sold without an expiration date is valid until redeemed or replaced with a new gift card.

(C) Division (A) of this section does not apply to any of the following gift cards:

(1) A gift card that is distributed by the issuer to a consumer pursuant to an awards, loyalty, or promotional program without any money or anything of value being given in exchange for the gift card by the consumer;

(2) A gift card that is sold below face value at a volume discount to employers or to nonprofit and charitable organizations for fundraising purposes, if the expiration date on that gift card is not more than thirty days after the date of sale;

(3) A gift card that is sold by a nonprofit or charitable organization for fundraising purposes;

(4) A gift card that an employer gives to an employee if use of the gift card is limited to the employer's business establishment, which may include a group of merchants that are affiliated with that business establishment;

(5) A gift certificate issued in accordance with section 1533.131 of the Revised Code that may be used to obtain hunting and fishing licenses, fur taker, special deer, and special wild turkey permits, and wetlands habitat stamps;

(6) A gift card that is usable with multiple, unaffiliated sellers of goods or services;

(7) A gift card that an employer issues to an employee in recognition of services performed by the employee.

(D) Whoever violates division (A)(2) of this section is liable to the holder for any amount that the redemption value of the gift card was reduced, any court costs incurred, and reasonable attorney's fees.

(E) As used in this section:

(1) "Gift card" means a certificate, electronic card, or other medium issued by a merchant that evidences the giving of consideration in exchange for the right to redeem the certificate, electronic card, or other medium for goods, food, services, credit, or money of at least an equal value, including any electronic card issued by a merchant with a monetary value where the issuer has received payment for the full monetary value for the future purchase or delivery of goods or services and any certificate issued by a merchant where the issuer has received payment for the full monetary face value of the certificate for the future purchase or delivery of goods and services. "Gift card" does not include a prepaid calling card used to make telephone calls.

(2) "Employer" and "employee" have the same meanings as in section 4121.01 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 06-15-2006

1349.71 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §2, eff. 6/30/2011.

1349.72 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §2, eff. 6/30/2011.

1349.80 Live musical performance definitions.

As used in this section and section 1349.81 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Performing group" means a vocal or instrumental group seeking to use the name of a recording group that previously released a commercial sound recording under the recording group's name.

(B) "Recording group" means a vocal or instrumental group that includes at least one member who satisfies both of the following criteria:

(1) The member previously released a commercial sound recording under the vocal or instrumental group's name.

(2) The member has a legal right to the vocal or instrumental group's name by virtue of use of or operation under that group name or affiliation with the group.

(C) "Commercial sound recording" means a work that results from the fixation on a material object of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, regardless of the nature of the material object, including, but not limited to, a compact disc, cassette tape, or phonograph album in which sounds are embodied.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.31, SB 84, §1, eff. 9/30/2011.

Effective Date: 2008 SB269 04-07-2009

1349.81 Deception respecting relationship of performing and recording group.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section, no person shall advertise or conduct a live musical performance or production in this state through the use of a false, deceptive, or misleading affiliation, connection, or association between a performing group and a recording group.

(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to a person if any of the following circumstances apply:

(1) The performing group is the authorized registrant and owner of a federal service mark for that group registered in the United States patent and trademark office or is the owner of a valid trademark for that group under the "Lanham Act," 60 Stat. 427-443 (1946), 15 U.S.C. 1125(a) , as amended.

(2) At least one member of the performing group is a member of the recording group and has a legal right to that group name by virtue of use or operation under the group name without having abandoned the name or affiliation with the group.

(3) The live musical performance or production is identified in all advertising and promotion for the performance as a salute or tribute to the recording group.

(4) The advertising does not relate to a live musical performance or production that the performing group conducts in this state.

(5) The performance or production is authorized expressly in writing by at least one member of the recording group.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.31, SB 84, §1, eff. 9/30/2011.

Effective Date: 2008 SB269 04-07-2009

1349.82 Violation of RC 1349.81.

A violation of division (A) of section 1349.81 of the Revised Code is an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of section 1345.02 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.31, SB 84, §1, eff. 9/30/2011.

1349.99 Penalty.

(A) Whoever violates section 1349.06 or 1349.17 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(B)

(1) Whoever violates section 1349.45 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(2) Notwithstanding division (B)(1) of this section, the only remedies that are available for a violation of section 1349.45 of the Revised Code by a registrant or licensee under sections 1322.01 to 1322.12 of the Revised Code are those set forth in section 1322.10 of the Revised Code or otherwise provided by statute or common law.

(3) The provisions of division (B) of this section are not intended to be exclusive remedies and do not preclude the use of any other remedy provided by law.

Effective Date: 10-29-1999; 11-05-2004