Highland County Recorder Chad E. McConnaughey said Thursday that legislation to help protect Ohio’s seniors and other unsuspecting populations against deceptive marketing practices has unanimously passed both the Ohio House and Senate chambers. Amended House Bill 52, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Rezabek (R-43), makes several reforms to regulate the solicitation of real property deeds.
Amended House Bill 52 comes in response to deed solicitation scams plaguing many Ohioans, including elderly and first time homeowners, whereby companies outside of Ohio will send official looking notifications to homeowners informing them that they need a copy of their property deed for a charge of $80-$90. Typically unbeknownst to the homeowner, they can obtain a copy of their deed from the county recorder’s office for a minimal fee.
“I want to thank Representative Rezabek for his work on this issue and his efforts in guiding such a commonsense bill through the legislative process in a timely manner,” said McConnaughey.
The provisions under Amended House Bill 52 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. The bill also prohibits charging a fee of more than four times the cost to obtain a copy of a deed from the county recorder. A violation of these requirements fall under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and may result in a fine.
The bill was sent to Gov. John Kasich for his signature and was signed into law Feb. 8, effective 90 days from the signed date.
For more information, contact the Highland County Recorder’s office at 937-393-9954.