State Representative Jarrod B. Martin (R- Beavercreek), today responded to the passage of House Bill 3 from the Ohio House of Representatives.
House Bill 3 passed along a vote of 54-43. The measure establishes a six-month foreclosure moratorium in Ohio and requires lenders to pay a $750 filing fee to the Department of Commerce, on top of existing court filing fees.
“Today was a frightening day for the citizens of the State of Ohio. The House Democrats took action through the passage of House Bill 3 to insert big brother government into private contracts and the intimate relationship of attorney-client privilege”, Martin said.
Republican concerns include the constitutionality of several provisions, including the establishment of an additional filing fee, which creates a barrier to the courts. The moratorium also remains a concern as Republicans have argued it sets a dangerous precedent for the expansion of such practices in the future, and will create a backlog in the courts once the mandate is lifted.
Martin said, “I’m not a lawyer and I’m not a judge, but I’m pretty sure that Article II Section 28 of the Ohio Constitution says ‘the General Assembly shall have no power to pass retroactive laws, or laws impairing the obligations of contracts…'”
On several occasions during the more than three hour debate the House Republicans offered alternative legislation that would address the intention of helping those facing foreclosure, however, with the exception of one amendment requiring contact information for the Department of Job and Family Services be provided on foreclosure notices to borrowers, their offers to work in a bi-partisan manner along with the remainder of their amendments were tabled by House Democrats.
Martin stated, “I found it very offensive when my Democrat colleagues stated that they would prefer to work any further changes to the bill through the Senate rather than working with House Republicans in a bi-partisan manner.”
Most House Republicans believe the market response to the legislation will lead to increased cost and risk to borrowers and lenders; causing higher fees, higher down payments, and a rise in interest rates.
“I believe this bill will inevitably pass the burden onto other Ohioans and will result in further market declines”, Martin said.
The bill will now head to the Senate. It is likely that the Senate will not immediately address the bill with any further deliberation as they continue to work through Ohio’s budget shortfalls.
Representative Jarrod Martin serves the 70 House District in western Greene County including the cities of Fairborn, Beavercreek, and Xenia.