Alan K. Chen


This article takes the position that distant forum abuse is a practice which should be and can be halted by the employment of state consumer protection statutes. The article first lays out a history of distant forum abuse and its role as a tool for debt collection harassment. Next, it examines legal developments in this area at both the federal and state levels, and explains the need for a more wide-reaching remedy in most jurisdictions. The third section briefly addresses important aspects of procedural waivers under contract law which must be taken into account by policy-makers when fashioning new remedies for distant forum abuse. Finally, there will be a discussion of the use of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act as a remedy for distant forum abuse in Ohio. Ohio is a good example on which to focus because it is a jurisdiction where the issue is still being litigated, and the question of statutory coverage in Ohio is indicative of common problems in statutory interpretation which confront consumers in other states who wish to invoke consumer protection statutes against distant forum debt collectors.