<¶>C. to , Am.H.B. No. 313, 146 Ohio Laws, Part II, 3786–3795, which authorized check-cashing businesses, regulated under R.C. Chapter 1315, to obtain a separate license entitling them to make small loans, including payday loans. Am.H.B. No. 313, 146 Ohio Laws, Part II, 3786. , but that limit was subsequently increased to $800, Sub.H.B. No. 401, 150 Ohio Laws, Part IV, 6318. The law allowed check-cashing lenders to charge a loan-origination fee, former R.C. (A), 146 Ohio Laws, Part II, at 3790, and interest of 5 percent per month or fraction of a month on the unpaid principal balance, former R.C. (B), id. The presence of payday lenders in Ohio expanded rapidly under the Check–Cashing Lender Law; by 2008, the division of financial institutions had issued over 1,500 check-cashing loan licenses. Payday Lending at 2. The General Assembly repealed the Check–Cashing Lender Law in 2008 and enacted, in its place, the STLA. 2008 Sub.H.B. No. 545 (“H.B. 545”).
<¶>The STLA reenacted the bulk of the repealed Check–Cashing Lender Law, but with a number of substantive changes addressing perceived dangers associated with payday lending. Ohio Legislative Service Commission, Bill Analysis, Sub.H.B. 545, & ACT=AsEnrolled & hf=analyses–hb545–127.htm (accessed ount to $500, imposed a minimum loan term of 31 days, and drastically reduced the interest a lender may charge. R.C. (A) and (B); R.C. (A). R.C. (A) and (D). Section 4(A) of H.B. 545 provided that all current licenses under the Check–Cashing Lender Act would remain in effect, unless suspended or revoked, until the license would have been subject to renewal under the Check–Cashing Lender Law and that those licensees would be recognized as licensees under the STLA.
<¶>A referendum challenging the repeal of the Check–Cashing Lender Law was on the ballot as Issue 5 in Ohio’s general election. Issue 5 asked, “Shall Section 3 of H.B. 545 [repealing the Check–Cashing Lender Law] be approved?” Ohio Secretary of State, Ohio Issues Report: State Issue Ballot Information for the General Election, at 17, http:// sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/publications/election/Issues_08.pdf (accessed ). Although the explanation of the referendum informed voters that approval of Section 3 would subject all short-term lenders, including check-cashing lenders, to the requirements of the STLA, Issue 5 concerned only https://paydayloanadvance.net/payday-loans-fl/bonita-springs/ the repeal of the Check–Cashing Lender Law and not the enactment of the STLA. Id. at 17. Amici in support of appellee, Rodney Scott, maintain that the payday-lending industry vigorously opposed the repeal and encouraged voters to reject Issue 5. Appellant, Ohio Neighborhood Finance, Inc., d.b.a. Cashland, admits that lenders opposed the repeal because they stood to lose significant revenue if it took effect. Nevertheless, despite efforts to defeat Issue 5, a majority of the electorate approved Issue 5 and the repeal of the Check–Cashing Lender Law. Appellant states that 43 Cashland lending locations in Ohio were closed as a direct result of the repeal.
<¶>Despite the repeal of the Check–Cashing Lender Law and the enactment of the STLA, there are no lenders currently registered under the STLA. Rather, lenders making payday loans in Ohio are primarily registered under either the MLA or under the Small Loan Act. Payday Lending at 3.
<¶>Appellant was previously a licensed lender under the Check–Cashing Lender Law. Appellant registered as a lender under the MLA in , after the passage of H.B. 545. Appellant is not registered under the STLA. Appellant admits that the loan product it offers now, purportedly under the MLA, is similar to the loan product it previously offered under the Check–Cashing Lender Law, but it contends that the fees it is able to collect on the MLA product are less than those it collected under the Check–Cashing Lender Law.