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Representative Riedel Announces Passage of Legislation to Protect Ohio's Vulnerable Populations

March 23, 2017
Craig S. Riedel News

COLUMBUS—State Representative Craig S. Riedel (R-Defiance) yesterday announced that the Ohio House has passed legislation to help protect Ohio’s seniors and other unsuspecting populations against deceptive marketing practices. House Bill 52 makes several reforms to regulate the solicitation of real property deeds.

House Bill 52, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Rezabek (R-Clayton), comes in response to deed solicitation scams plaguing many Ohioans, whereby companies outside of Ohio will send official looking notifications to homeowners informing them that they need a copy of their property deed. Further, the notices will request up to $90 for the deed, preying on individuals who are unaware that they can receive a copy of their deed from the county recorder’s office for a minimal fee.

“House Bill 52 is smart legislation that will allow the state to prosecute those who take advantage of Ohio’s most vulnerable population,” said Rep. Riedel. “The purpose of this bill is to provide consumers with better information when they are deciding to purchase their property deeds.”

The provisions under the legislation require that specific disclosures be made to consumers when they are solicited a fee for real property deeds, including the cost to obtain the deed from the county recorder, the contact information for the county recorder, and the name and address of the person soliciting the fee. Other reforms prohibit the charging of a fee more than four times the cost to obtain a copy of a deed from the county recorder. A violation of these requirements falls under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and may result in a fine.

House Bill 52 is a part of the Buckeye Pathway, the policy platform of the Ohio House Republican Caucus, as it seeks to protect our vulnerable populations and strengthen families and communities. The bill now awaits consideration in the Ohio Senate.