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Credit Services Organization Act

Ohio’s Credit Services Organization Act, starting at Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 4712.01, mandates registration and bonding for organizations that offer credit repair, debt counseling and related services.

What is a credit services organization?

A credit services organization means any person that advertises, sells, provides or performs one or more of the following services:

  • Improving a buyer’s credit record, history, or rating;
  • Obtaining an extension of credit by others for a buyer;
  • Providing advice or assistance to a buyer about improving or obtaining credit;
  • Removing negative but accurate information from the buyer’s credit record;
  • Altering the buyer’s identification to prevent the display of the buyer’s credit record, history, or rating.

What organizations are exempt from the law?

Certain organizations or individuals are not considered credit services organizations. These include: a person who makes or collects loans who are properly licensed/registered if applicable; licensed mortgage brokers; banks; credit unions; 501(c)(3) nonprofits offering budget and debt counseling services; and government agencies. For additional exemptions, see ORC 4712.01.

How long do consumers have to cancel a contract with a credit services organization?

The law gives consumers a three-day right to cancel contracts with credit services organizations. Credit services organizations must provide consumers with written contracts and written notification of their right to cancel.