With 2012 underway, I am experiencing a bit of disbelief in realizing that my first full year in the legislature is behind me. Balancing time between Tipp City and Columbus can often be challenging, but the past year has exceeded my expectations in a multitude of ways. Whether it is working alongside my colleagues at the Statehouse or spending time with the hard-working residents of Ohio's 5th Senate District, my desire to serve the people of our state is renewed each and every day. In January of last year, the 129th General Assembly came to order with a very important charge: recovery. Bringing real recovery to residents and businesses throughout Ohio remains the cornerstone of our legislative agenda. Though times continue to be hard for so many in our community, I am confident that our work is already having a positive impact throughout Ohio. Still, it is an unfortunate truth that families across the state are struggling each day to combat the negative affects of job loss, bankruptcy, and foreclosure. In light of increasing consumer debt levels and recent changes to the federal bankruptcy statutes, I have introduced legislation aimed at regulating debt settlement companies. Currently, there are no regulations regarding the operation of these companies in Ohio. While many companies exist with the best interests of consumers in mind, this lack oversight has given birth to a number of unscrupulous operators who take advantage of our state's residents. Senate Bill 251 is a bipartisan effort to provide greater protection to Ohio consumers and muchneeded oversight to the debt settlement industry. Joint-sponsored by Senator Tom Sawyer (D - Akron) and supported by the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), the bill allows for companies to negotiate unsecured debt only and prohibits them from negotiating mortgages, auto loans, and similar agreements. All debt settlement companies would be required to be licensed and bonded through the Ohio Department of Commerce. Additionally, the Department of Commerce would have the authority to penalize companies in lieu of reported improprieties. Under the plan, the manner by which fees are calculated would be conducted in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission and consumer remedies set forth by the Consumer Sales Practice Act will also be provided. Thus far, 14 states have introduced legislation similar to Senate Bill 251 and 2011 saw the passage of such measures in Maryland, Texas, Colorado, and Missouri. The recession of recent years has dramatically altered the day-to-day lives of too many Ohioans. From the Dayton region through Columbus and into Northeast Ohio, the past several years have been marked by families having to bear added financial strain. Senate Bill 251 is an honest attempt at evening the playing field for our state's residents and fostering greater financial stability. I look forward to working with Senator Sawyer and colleagues from both sides of the aisle in seeing that this legislation ultimately becomes law and that long-needed protections are afforded to Ohioans. -30Senator Bill Beagle serves the people of Ohio's 5th Senate District, which includes Miami County and portions of Montgomery and Darke Counties.
Senator Bill Beagle serves the people of Ohio's 5th Senate District, which includes Miami County and portions of Montgomery and Darke Counties.
Featured Posts

Beagle Announces $2.6 Billion State Capital Budget, Highlighting Local Investments


COLUMBUS - State Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) this week announced the introduction of the state's Capital Budget, a $2.62 billion investment in Ohio's infrastructure and local community projects. 


Beagle Announces Senate Passage Of Bill To Modernize Ohio's Child Support Guidelines


COLUMBUS - State Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) today announced the Senate passage of his legislation which provides needed reforms and consistency to Ohio's outdated child support guidelines.


Beagle Urges Residents To Nominate Community Leaders To The Ohio Veterans Hall Of Fame


COLUMBUS - State Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) is calling on residents to take a moment to recognize the lifelong achievements of veterans in our community by submitting nominations for the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.


Beagle Announces Approval Of $9.65 Million Investment In Sinclair Community College


"Serving more than 300,000 students across the state, it is important to continue to invest in community colleges that play a key role in Ohio's workforce development," said Beagle.