Individuals and Families
Individuals and Families > Consumers > Laws Protecting Consumers

Laws Protecting Consumers

Ohio Consumer Protection Laws

The Ohio Attorney General has enforcement authority over more than 25 consumer protection laws, which are listed below with a brief overview of key protections that consumers have under the laws. Please note that the following information is for educational purposes only, and additional laws may apply. The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) are available at

Federal Consumer Protection Laws

Please note that this is not meant to be a comprehensive list.

Selected Federal Consumer Protection Laws

  • Anti-Spam Act
  • Consumer Product Safety Act
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
  • Fair Credit Billing Act
  • Fair Credit  Reporting Act
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Federal Trade Commission Act
  • Food and Drug Administration Act (labeling and disclosures)
  • Junk Fax Act
  • Magnuson Moss Warranty Act
  • Truth in Leasing Act
  • Truth in Lending Act

Selected Federal Trade Commission Rules

  • Used Car Rule
  • Negative Option Rule
  • Telephone Sales Rule

Anti-Pyramid Sales Act (1974)
ORC 1333.91

  • Makes it illegal to participate in pyramid sales schemes.
Pyramid sales operate like giant chain letters.  Participants pay to join, then recruit others in order to profit from the new recruits' fees. Although there may be some profit for the handful of people who join at the beginning, the remaining investors inevitably lose all their money.

Business Opportunity Purchaser's Protection Act (1979)
ORC 1334.01

  • Gives consumers five days to cancel business opportunity agreements.
  • Requires sellers to give consumers written notice of their right to cancel.
  • Requires all oral promises to be included in the written contract.
  • Prohibits sellers from making misrepresentations about the business opportunity.

In a business opportunity agreement, a buyer pays a seller for the right to offer, sell or distribute goods or services. Some business opportunity ventures are scams that promise quick profits but require large initial down payments. Often, they promote products or services that have no real value or do not exist. This is especially true for Internet-based and "work-at-home" ventures.  

Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Act (2001)
ORC 4505.181

  • Gives consumers the unconditional right to cancel their vehicle purchase if dealers do not deliver their titles within 40 days of the purchase.  

Condominium Sales Act (2004)
ORC 5311.25

  • Protects the rights of condominium unit owners.
  • Mandates disclosures during construction.
Consumer Sales Practices Act (1972)
ORC 1345.01
  • Protects consumers from unfair, deceptive or unconscionable acts or practices in connection with the purchase or solicitation for a purchase that would be used for the home or personal use.
  • Makes it illegal for sellers to misrepresent the nature of their business, products or services, the price of their goods or the terms of a transaction.
  • Prohibits sellers from taking advantage of a consumer’s illiteracy, mental or physical disability, or inability to understand the terms of a sale.
  • Prohibits sellers from selling a product or service to a consumer they know cannot afford or substantially benefit from the purchase.
  • Requires sellers to honor guarantees, warranties and rain checks.
  • Protects consumers from deceptive advertising and other types of fraud.

Consumer Sales Practices Act - Substantive Rules (1973)
OAC 109:4-3-01

  • 109:4-3-01 - Severability; Definitions
  • 109:4-3-02 - Exclusion
  • 109:4-3-03 - Bait Advertising
  • 109:4-3-04 - Use of Word "free"
  • 109:4-3-05 - Repairs or Services
  • 109:4-3-06 - Prizes
  • 109:4-3-07 - Deposit
  • 109:4-3-08 - New for Used
  • 109:4-3-09 - Failure to Deliver
  • 109:4-3-10 - Substantiation of Claims
  • 109:4-3-11 - Direct Solicitations
  • 109:4-3-12 - Price Comparison
  • 109:4-3-13 - Motor Vehicle Repairs
  • 109:4-3-14 - Insulation
  • 109:4-3-15 - Motor Vehicle Rust
  • 109:4-3-16 - Motor Vehicle Sales
  • 109:4-3-17 - Distress Sales
  • 109:4-3-18 - Sale of Gasoline
  • 109:4-3-19 - Determining a consumer’s ability to repay a residential mortgage loan
  • 109:4-3-20 - Refinancing a low rate mortgage
  • 109:4-3-21 - Instructing consumer to ignore information
  • 109:4-3-22 - Recommending default
  • 109:4-3-23 - Required disclosure at closing
  • 109:4-3-24 - Improperly influencing appraiser
  • 109:4-3-25 - Debt collection agreements
  • 109:4-3-26 - Reasonable, tangible net benefit
  • 109:4-3-27 - No reasonable probability of payment
  • 109:4-3-28 - Unconscionable terms in home mortgage loans
  • 109:4-3-29 - Distribution and receipt of home mortgage loan informational document
  • 109:4-3-30 - Limitation on advance payments

Credit Card Recording Act (1993)
ORC 1349.17

  • Prohibits sellers from giving out consumers’ social security numbers, credit card account numbers, expiration dates, and other personal financial information.

Credit Card Truncation Act (2004)
ORC 1349.18

  • Prohibits sellers from printing credit card expiration dates or more than five digits of consumers’ credit card numbers on receipts.

Credit Freeze Act (2008)
ORC 1349.52

  • Requires credit reporting agencies to allow consumers to place a “freeze” on each of their credit reports to prevent opening new credit accounts in the consumers' names.
  • The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in consumers’ names without their consent.

Credit Services Organization Act (2004)
ORC 4712.01

  • Mandates registration and bonding for organizations that offer credit repair, debt counseling or related services.
  • Gives consumers a three-day right to cancel contracts with credit service organizations.

Debt Adjusters Act (2004)
ORC 4710.01

  • Set rules and regulations for nonprofits and other businesses that offer credit repair services, debt counseling, budget management and related services to consumers facing financial difficulties.   
  • Requires debt adjusters to file annual financial statement with the Attorney General's Office.
  • Requires debt adjusters to submit funds to creditors within 30 days of receipt, maintain separate trust accounts for these funds, and maintain $100,000 insurance coverage.
  • Prohibits debt adjusters from accepting more than $75 for initial consultation, accepting more than $100 annually for consultation fees or contributions or charging more than 8.5 percent of amount paid by debtor each month or $30, whichever is greater.

Defective Assistive Devices Act (1996)
ORC 1345.90

  • Requires one-year warranties covering the full cost of repair or replacement for products designed for disabled consumers.  
  • Applies to products such as hearing aids, wheelchairs, motorized scooters, talking software, etc.

Gift Card Act (2006)
ORC 1349.61

  • Makes it illegal for most gift cards to expire in less than two years from their issue date.
  • States that gift cards with no expiration dates are valid until redeemed or replaced.  

Hearing Aid Returns Act (1996)
ORC 1345.30

  • Gives consumers 30 days to return hearing aids.
  • Requires hearing aid receipts to list a consumer’s right to return.

Homebuyer's Protection Act (Predatory Lending Law) (2007)
ORC 1322.01

  • Protects consumers from abusive lending practices committed on or after January 1, 2007 by non-bank lenders, loan officers and mortgage brokers.
  • Amends several statutes.

Home Solicitation Sales Act (1973)
ORC 1345.21, 1345.22, 1345.23, 1345.24, 1345.25, 1345.26, 1345.27, 1345.28

  • Gives consumers three days to cancel any transaction of $25 or more that occurs at a location outside the seller’s regular place of business, such as the consumer’s home, a fair booth or a hotel meeting room.
  • Requires sellers to give consumers written notice of their right to cancel.  
  • Prohibits sellers from beginning any service or selling any loan agreement during the three-day “cooling off” period.
  • Requires sellers to refund consumers within 10 days if they cancel the contract.

Lemon Law (Nonconforming New Motor Vehicle Law) (1987)
ORC 1345.71

  • Requires auto manufacturers to repair or replace lemon* vehicles within a reasonable period of time.  
  • Requires manufacturers to notify buyers of their right to compensation if a vehicle is defective.  
  • Establishes a consumer’s right to be refunded if the vehicle is not repaired or replaced within a reasonable period.  

*A lemon is a new motor vehicle that has a problem or problems, covered by the warranty, that substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle.  The lemon law covers problems that occur within the first year of purchase or the first 18,000 miles of the vehicle, whichever comes first.  

Motor Vehicle Collision Repair Operators Act (2001)
ORC 4775.02

  • Requires registration and insurance for people who repair vehicles that have been damaged in collisions.

Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act (1977)
ORC 4549.41

  • Makes it illegal to alter or conceal the mileage reading of a vehicle.
  • Establishes a $1000 penalty for tampering with the odometer.
  • Requires written notice of odometer repair.

Prepaid Entertainment Contracts Act (1976)
ORC 1345.41

  • Protects consumers who pay in advance for the services of health spas, dance studios, diet centers, dating agencies or martial arts schools.  
  • Gives consumers three days after their first services are available to cancel their contracts.
  • Sets a three-year limit for the length of these contracts.  

Public Utilities Commission Act (2000)
ORC 4905.72

  • Requires public utilities to get consumers' permission to change their natural gas or public telecommunications providers (prohibits “slamming” for natural gas or telephone providers).

Retail Installment Sales Layaway Arrangements Act (1992)
ORC 1317.01

  • Requires merchants to notify consumers who are about to default on their layaway agreements.
  • Grants consumers the right to cancel their layaway agreements and be refunded at any time.    

Security Breach Notification Act (2006)
ORC 1349.19

  • Requires sellers to notify consumers if a security breach puts their personal information at risk for identity theft or other fraud.  

Short-Term Lender Law (2008) (Payday Lending Law)
ORC 1321.35

  • Limits payday loans to 28% annual percentage rate, prohibits unfair debt collection and requires Internet lenders to have an Ohio location.

Telemarketing Act (2004)
ORC 109.87

  • Allows the Ohio Attorney General  to enforce federal telemarketing laws.

Telephone Solicitation Sales Act (1996)
ORC 4719.01  

  • Requires certain telemarketing businesses operating inside and outside Ohio to register with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.  
  • Says that no contract made through a telemarketing call is valid until the telemarketer receives a signed, written confirmation from the consumer.
  • Requires telemarketers to state their real name, their company’s name and their purpose for calling within the first 60 seconds of a call.
  • Establishes criminal and civil penalties for violations of the law.  

Title Defect Rescission Act (1996)
ORC 1345.52

  • Allows dealers that participate in the Title Defect Rescission Fund (TDR) to sell vehicles before acquiring titles for them.
  • Gives buyers the unconditional right to cancel if a TDR member dealer does not deliver the title to the buyer within 40 days of purchase.
  • Allows the Ohio Attorney General's Office to reimburse a consumer who purchased a vehicle from a dealer who does not deliver the title on time.

Title Insurance Act (2007)
ORC 3953.35

  • Prohibits title insurance agents from pressuring or misleading consumers regarding loans of seventy-five thousand dollars or less.