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Understanding The Retail Installment Sales Act

Ohio’s Retail Installment Sales Act (RISA) (starting at R.C. §1317.01 et seq) applies to transactions in which a consumer purchases goods from a seller of certain goods and sales on credit: for example, health clubs, home repair services, motor vehicles, electronic goods and pest control. Another example would be when a consumer purchases a swimming pool and it is installed, and the homeowner promises to repay the dealer in installments over a period of time. Ohio law regulates and imposes fairly stringent regulations and prohibitions on charges and mandates disclosure with respect to certain aspects of the contract. Most importantly from a collection standpoint, RISA contains various restrictions on the rights. A RISA contract must be in writing, and a signed copy provided to the buyer. The contract must:

  • Include the price of the goods sold
  • Identify if a down payment was made and the remaining balance of the cash price
  • Include the price of insurance with confirmation the buyer has agreed to purchase it and the amount
  • Include the principal balance and the finance charges; and the total amount owed, indicating the installment payments required and amount and date of each payment

It is important to know if your collection matter is governed by applicable RISA law before contemplating a collection matter. Discuss your case with an experienced attorney.

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