COLUMBUS—State Representative Jeff Rezabek (R-Clayton) today 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, sponsored by Rep. Rezabek, makes several reforms to regulate the solicitation of real property deeds.
House Bill 52 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.
“I want to thank Speaker Rosenberger for bringing this bill to the floor for a vote and helping it move through the legislative process quickly,” said Rep. Rezabek. “House Bill 52 is about protecting our seniors and other vulnerable Ohioans that could fall victim to predatory companies. I am hopeful this bill will move quickly through the Senate.”
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 Ohio’s vulnerable populations and strengthen families and communities. The bill now awaits consideration in the Ohio Senate.