Appellant asks this court to decide whether the MLA permits single-installment, interest-bearing loans and, if so, whether the STLA prohibits MLA registrants from making single-installment loans of short duration. Carefully bearing in mind that we must apply statutory language as enacted by the General Assembly and that we are prohibited from acting in a legislative capacity, we answer the first question in the affirmative and the second question in the negative.
The new MLA it allows each other “interest-bearing” and you can “precomputed” finance, susceptible to some other conditions because established in the Roentgen
C. . C. (D)(1) requires that precomputed loans are payable in “monthly installments of principal and interest combined,” signifying the necessity of multiple installments. (Emphasis added.) R.C. (C) does not similarly require that an interest-bearing loan be repayable in multiple installments. Nevertheless, the appellate-court majority found that an interest-bearing loan, by definition, cannot include a single-installment loan. Thus, central to our resolution of this question is the statutory definition of “interest-bearing loan” as “a loan in which the debt is expressed as the principal amount and interest is computed, charged, and collected on unpaid principal balances outstanding from time to time.” R.C. (F).
Our paramount concern in construing a statute is legislative intent. State ex rel. Steele v. Morrissey, 103 Ohio St.3d 355, 2004–Ohio–4960, 815 N.E.2d 1107, ¶ 21. To discern legislative intent, we first consider the statutory language, reading all words and phrases in context and in accordance with rules of grammar and common usage. Id.; R.C. 1.42. We read and understand statutes “ ‘ “according to the natural and most obvious import of the language, without resorting to subtle and forced constructions.” ‘ ” Lancaster v. Fairfield Cty. Budget Comm., 83 Ohio St.3d 242, 244, 699 N.E.2d 473 (1998), quoting Slingluff v. Weaver, 66 Ohio St. 621, 627, 64 N.E. 574 (1902), quoting McCluskey v. Cromwell, 11 N.Y. 593, 1854 WL 6033, at *5 (1854).
When statutory language is unambiguous, we will apply it as written, without resort to additional rules of statutory interpretation or considerations of public policy. Zumwalde v. Madeira & Indian Hill Joint Fire Dist., 128 Ohio St.3d 492, 2011–Ohio–1603, 946 N.E.2d 748, ¶ 23–24, 26. We biguous language only when a definitive meaning proves elusive, despite a thorough and objective examination of the statutory language. State v. Porterfield, 106 Ohio St.3d 5, 2005–Ohio–3095, 829 N.E.2d 690, ¶ 11. “Otherwise, allegations of ambiguity become self-fulfilling.” Id.
The appellate-court majority found the statutory definition of “interest-bearing loan”-and specifically the requirement that “interest is computed, charged, and collected on unpaid principal balances outstanding from time to time”-ambiguous:
Considering [appellant], “periodically” modifies “outstanding principal balances an excellent[,]” and, therefore, that loan will be appeal-bearing regardless of if it actually was gathered in a single installment. not, “sometimes” you may exactly as conveniently modify “calculated, recharged, and you may amassed [,]” which would need interest to be collected during the multiple installments. Look for Roentgen.C. (F). This means, the brand new law was unclear.
In determining whether a statute is ambiguous, we objectively and thoroughly examine the statute, consider each provision in context, and apply ordinary rules of grammar. Porterfield at ¶ 11, 829 N.E.2d 690, citing Westfield Ins. Co. v. Galatis, 100 Ohio St.3d 216, 2003–Ohio–5849, 797 N.E.2d 1256, ¶ 11; Hedges v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 109 Ohio St.3d 70, 2006–Ohio–1926, 846 N.E.2d 16, ¶ 24. When we do that here, we discern no ambiguity in R https://pdqtitleloans.com/payday-loans-al/.C. (F).
Appellant does not participate that MLA authorizes unmarried-cost precomputed fund; R
It is an accepted rule of construction that in the absence of an expressed contrary intention, referential and qualifying words and phrases refer solely to the last antecedent. Hedges at ¶ 24. Applying that rule, the phrase “from time to time” is an adverbial phrase that modifies the antecedent adjective “outstanding,” which in turn modifies “unpaid principal balances.” The appellate-court majority states that the phrase “from time to time” may also be read as modifying the earlier verbs “computed, charged, and collected,” and, therefore requires that a lender collect interest at different times and thus in multiple installments. That reading, however, not only imposes a forced construction on the statute, but also ignores this accepted rule of construction. Had the General Assembly intended to require multiple installments for interest-bearing loans, it could have rearranged the statutory language in R.C. (F) to provide that “interest is computed, charged, and collected from time to time on unpaid principal balances outstanding,” but that is not how the enacted language is organized, and we may not rewrite the statute in that manner. The General Assembly could also have included a separate provision in the MLA that specifically requires that interest-bearing loans be repayable in multiple installments, just as it did with precomputed loans by requiring monthly installments. See R.C. (D)(1). Again, it did not do so. Reading the statute according to the natural and most obvious import of the statutory language, we conclude that R.C. (F) is not ambiguous, that “from time to time” modifies “outstanding,” and that an “interest-bearing loan” need not require multiple installments.