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Dreher Tomkies LLP
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2750 Huntington Center
41 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
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Fax (614) 628-1600



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BILL INTRODUCED IN OHIO TO REGULATE RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE SERVICERS

A bill has been introduced in the Ohio General Assembly to regulate residential mortgage servicers. Ohio S.B. No. 14. The bill is assigned to the Senate Financial Institutions Committee. The bill provides that the new law shall be known as the Residential Mortgage Servicers Registration Act.

The Act defines “mortgage servicer” to mean a person who engages directly or indirectly, whether for compensation, gain for another, or on the person’s own behalf, in the business of receiving schedule periodic payments from a borrower pursuant to the terms of a residential mortgage loan, including amounts received for deposit in an escrow account, and applying those payments received toward principal, interest, and other obligations of the borrower including amounts to be paid from an escrow account. The Act would require mortgage servicers to obtain a certificate of registration.

The proposed Act contains numerous prohibited practices and imposes various obligations on mortgage servicers. The Act prohibits a mortgage servicer from refusing to provide information regarding the amount required to pay in full a residential mortgage loan when the borrower or a person the borrower designates makes that request in writing. Among other requirements, the Act requires mortgage servicers to (i) act with good faith and fair dealing in any transaction, practice or course of business associated with servicing, (ii) act with reasonable skill, care and diligence and (iii) act in good faith to provide the borrower with the facts relating to the nature and extent of any delinquency or default and the amounts owed or necessary to reinstate the loan or cure the default. The Act prohibits a mortgage servicer from initiating a foreclosure action without proof of ownership as evidenced by a declaration signed under penalty of perjury, stating that the party in interest has reviewed the original note and all subsequent assignments and has concluded that the party in interest owns the note. The Act regulates various collection practices.

The Act permits a borrower injured by a violation of the Act to recover improper charges or fees paid to the mortgage servicer and attorneys’ fees and authorizes punitive damages. The Act also provides for criminal penalties.

BILL INTRODUCED IN OHIO TO SHORTEN STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON WRITTEN CONTRACTS

A bill has been introduced in the Ohio General Assembly to shorten the period of limitations for actions upon a contract in writing. Ohio H.B. 170. The bill would shorten the statute of limitations on written contracts in Ohio to six years. The current law provides for a 15 year statute of limitations.

The bill provides that the six year limitation period "applies to actions in which the cause of action accrues on or after the effective date of this act."

The bill is assigned to the House Judiciary and Ethics Committee.

Please let us know if you would like a copy of either bill or have any questions.

  • Elizabeth Anstaett and Darrell Dreher