GBQ’s Credit Union Services team has recently become aware of a section of the Ohio Revised Code (§4112.021 Unlawful discriminatory practice of creditor) which in part, prohibits creditors from discriminating against any applicant for credit in the granting, withholding, extending, or renewing of credit, or in the fixing of the rates, terms, or conditions of any form of credit, on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, military status, marital status, national origin, disability, or ancestry, (except that this division shall not apply with respect to age in any real estate transaction between a financial institution, a dealer in intangibles, or an insurance company as defined in section 5725.01 of the Revised Code and its customers).

Part G of this rule requires creditors to include the following notice on all credit applications (unless the applications have a multi-state distribution, and the notice is mailed to the applicant with the notice of acceptance or rejection of the application):

“The Ohio laws against discrimination require that all creditors make credit equally available to all creditworthy customers and that credit reporting agencies maintain separate credit histories on each individual upon request. The Ohio civil rights commission administers compliance with this law.”

Part D of this rule indicates “The rights granted by this section may be enforced by aggrieved individuals by filing a civil action in a court of common pleas within one hundred eighty days after the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice occurred. Upon application by the plaintiff and in circumstances that the court considers just, the court in which a civil action under this section is brought may appoint an attorney for the plaintiff and may authorize the commencement of a civil action upon proper showing without the payment of costs. If the court finds that an unlawful discriminatory practice prohibited by this section occurred or is about to occur, the court may grant relief that it considers appropriate, including a permanent or temporary injunction, temporary restraining order, or other order, and may award to the plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages of not less than one hundred dollars, together with attorney’s fees and court costs.”

We suggest reviewing all credit applications currently being used at your credit union to ensure this notice is being provided in compliance with ORC §4112.021. To discuss this rule in more detail, please reach out to a member of our Credit Union Services team.

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