Judgments and Enforcement:
A judgment issued by the Courts in Ohio is enforceable for a period of five years. It becomes dormant and may not operate as a lien on the estate of a judgment debtor unless it is executed within that period, or revived. A creditor may revive a dormant judgment by filing an action with
the court within twenty-one (21) years from the time it became dormant. Once revived, the judgment may be enforced in the same manner as other current judgments.
Ohio permits the entry of a judgment by confession. A debtor may appear in a court of competent jurisdiction and confess judgment. (O.R.C. 2323.12.) An attorney may confess judgment by producing to the Court a warrant of attorney which contains specific warnings and notice to the debtor in the instrument evidencing the indebtedness. The warnings must appear on the
instrument clearly and conspicuously and must conform to the requirements under the Ohio statutes. (O.R.C. 2323.13.) However, a warrant of attorney to confess judgment in an instrument arising out of a consumer loan or consumer transaction is invalid, and the Court generally does not have jurisdiction to render a judgment based on such a warrant.
A judgment creditor generally may execute a judgment against the real or personal property, or both, of the judgment debtor. Such property may include lands and tenements, and goods and chattels which are not exempt by law. A wage garnishment may also be permitted, but only upon full compliance with specific requirements set forth in Chapter 2716 of the Ohio Revised Code.
The requirements include service of a prescribed written demand upon the judgment debtor at least fifteen days and not more than forty-five days before the wage garnishment order is sought (O.R.C. 2716.02), filing of an affidavit with the Court, service of the wage garnishment order and notice upon the employer, and service of a notice and request for hearing upon the judgment debtor. (O.R.C. 2716, et seq.)
Judgments issued by Courts in the United States generally are entitled to full faith and credit in the State of Ohio. A foreign judgment may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment issued by the Courts in Ohio provided proper procedures are followed. Such procedures include the filing with the Court of Common Pleas an authenticated copy of the foreign judgment, an affidavit setting forth the name and last known address of the judgment debtor and of the judgment creditor, and the mailing of a notice of filing of the foreign judgment to the judgment debtor. The foreign judgment may be enforced after thirty (30) days of its filing with the Ohio Court. (O.R.C.
2329.01 et seq.)
Legal Rate: The legal interest rate is ten (10) percent per annum when no other rate is agreed upon between the parties to a bill, bond, note, book account, or other instrument in writing and on judgment, decree, or order issued by the Ohio Courts . (O.R.C. 1343.03.(A).)
Contract Rate: If the parties to a contract agreed to a rate different than the legal rate, the creditor is entitled to the agreed rate. (O.R.C. 1343.03(A).)
A debtor generally may claim exemption of certain real or personal property from execution of a judgment against him or in a bankruptcy proceeding. In a case where the judgment was for money
owed for health care services or supplies, the debtor or his family may claim exemption of one parcel or item of real or personal property that he or his family uses as a residence. (O.R.C. 2329.66(A)(1)(a).)
In all other judgments, a debtor may claim exemption of his interest, up to
five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) in one parcel or item of real or personal property that he or his family uses as a residence, one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) in one automobile, four hundred dollars ($400.00) in cash, and certain amounts in other personal or trade items as provided in O.R.C. 2329.66.
These exemptions may also be claimed by a debtor in a bankruptcy action. While some states permit its residents to elect exemptions provided under federal law, the Statutes of Ohio specifically do not authorize such election even though the federal exemptions may be more beneficial to the debtor. (O.R.C. 2329.662.)
Statutes Of Limitations:
Civil actions generally can be commenced only within certain prescribed period of time. Some of the time limitations which may be of importance to creditors are:
Written contract 15 years O.R.C. 2305.06
Oral contract 6 years O.R.C. 2305.07
Contract for sale of personal Property 4 years
Recovery of title and
Possession of real property 21 years
Trespass upon real property
Recovery of personal property 4 years O.R.C. 2305.09
Fraud 4 years O.R.C. 2305.09
Personal Injury 2 years O.R.C. 2305.10