In a win for the industry after years of advocacy from ACA International and partner the Ohio Receivables Management Association, the Ohio Senate and House have approved a favorable statute of limitations bill.
Ohio’s House of Representatives voted 94-0 to advance the statute of limitations bill Feb. 25 and it now heads to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk.
ACA International and the Ohio Receivables Management Association (ORMA) worked with legislative leaders in the state to ensure favorable language for the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry in the bill and it is a victory to see this bill move forward.
The bipartisan statute of limitations bill (S.B. 13 and H.B. 251), sponsored by State Sen. George Lang, R-West Chester, and State Rep. Brett Hillyer, R-Uhrichsville, among several other legislators, will reduce the statute of limitations on written and oral contracts to six and four years, respectively, and define consumer transactions and assign them a six-year statute of limitations, ACA previously reported.
“It can take a significant amount of time for many people to fulfill their financial obligations for reasons previously mentioned. Our industry’s primary goal is to work with people to help them satisfy those obligations, but that can take a long time for some,” said Lora Miller, executive director of ORMA, in testimony before the House Civil Justice Committee Feb. 23. “A six-year statute of limitations on consumer transactions takes into consideration the best interests of consumers. Members of our industry routinely collect on accounts that are four, five and six years from the date of the original debt. A six-year statute of limitations will provide consumers with adequate time to resolve their debts and repair their credit reports—an important quality of life issue.”
The bill, as originally introduced in 2019, aimed to reduce the statute of limitations on all contracts to three years. Even after two years of negotiations and committee votes, the legislation was amended several times in the final hectic days of the 2020 legislative session. These last-minute efforts to amend the legislation saw industry-supported language both stripped out of the legislation and reinserted before time ran out for a final vote. The industry-preferred language was included in the 2021 reintroduced bill.
ACA and ORMA provided testimony and launched grassroot campaigns resulting in more than 1,000 strategic touches throughout the two-year legislative process leading to its passage.
ACA continues to monitor approximately 500 state bills that would impact the ARM industry if enacted.
Gov. DeWine is expected to sign the statute of limitations bill.