ORS 82.010
Legal rate of interest; effect of violation


(1)

The rate of interest for the following transactions, if the parties have not otherwise agreed to a rate of interest, is nine percent per annum and is payable on:

(a)

All moneys after they become due; but open accounts bear interest from the date of the last item thereof.

(b)

Money received to the use of another and retained beyond a reasonable time without the owner’s express or implied consent.

(c)

Money due or to become due where there is a contract to pay interest and no rate specified.

(2)

Except as provided in this subsection, the rate of interest on judgments for the payment of money is nine percent per annum. The following apply as described:

(a)

Interest on a judgment under this subsection accrues from the date of the entry of the judgment unless the judgment specifies another date.

(b)

Interest on a judgment under this subsection is simple interest, unless otherwise provided by contract.

(c)

Interest accruing from the date of the entry of a judgment shall also accrue on interest that accrued before the date of entry of a judgment.

(d)

Interest under this subsection shall also accrue on attorney fees and costs entered as part of the judgment.

(e)

A judgment on a contract bearing more than nine percent interest shall bear interest at the same rate provided in the contract as of the date of entry of the judgment.

(f)

The rate of interest on a judgment rendered in favor of a plaintiff in a civil action to recover damages for injuries resulting from the professional negligence of a person licensed by the Oregon Medical Board under ORS chapter 677 or the Oregon State Board of Nursing under ORS 678.010 (Definitions for ORS 678.010 to 678.410) to 678.410 (Fees) is the lesser of five percent per annum or three percent in excess of the discount rate in effect at the Federal Reserve Bank in the Federal Reserve district where the injuries occurred.

(3)

Except as provided in ORS 82.025 (Exemptions from application of ORS 82.010 (3) and (4) and 82.020), no person shall:

(a)

Make a business or agricultural loan of $50,000 or less at an annual rate of interest exceeding the greater of 12 percent, or five percent in excess of the discount rate, including any surcharge on the discount rate, on 90-day commercial paper in effect at the Federal Reserve Bank in the Federal Reserve district where the person making the loan is located, on the date the loan or the initial advance of funds under the loan is made; or

(b)

Make a loan of $50,000 or less, except a loan made under paragraph (a) of this subsection, at an annual rate of interest exceeding the greater of 12 percent, or five percent in excess of the discount rate on 90-day commercial paper in effect at the Federal Reserve Bank in the Federal Reserve district where the person making the loan is located, on the date the loan or the initial advance of funds under the loan is made.

(4)

Any person who violates subsection (3) of this section shall forfeit the right to collect or receive any interest upon any loan for which a greater rate of interest or consideration than is permitted by subsection (3) of this section has been charged, contracted for or received. The borrower upon such loan shall be required to repay only the principal amount borrowed. [Amended by 1959 c.365 §a; 1973 c.198 §1; 1975 c.61 §1; 1977 c.791 §1; 1979 c.655 §1; 1979 c.794 §1; 1981 c.412 §1; 1987 c.215 §18; 1987 c.873 §26; 2003 c.774 §1]

Notes of Decisions

In General

Computing interest on loans on basis of year of 360 days so as to obtain more interest than would be produced by applying maximum legal rate to calendar year of 365 days violates this section. American Tbr. & Trading Co. v. First Nat. Bank of Ore., 511 F2d 980 (1974), cert. denied, 95 S Ct 1588

Where the parties rearranged their legal status to create a principal and agency relationship rather than a loan, the usury laws did not apply, even though the rearranging was done for the purpose of circumventing the usury laws. B. C. Ziegler and Co. v. Portland Sanitarium and Benevolent Assn., 272 Or 17, 534 P2d 980 (1975)

Separate loans aggregating over $50,000, made by members of same family to corporation, were considered to be one loan, and thus 100% interest did not constitute usury. Peterson v. Harville, 445 F Supp 16 (1977)

Where parties’ contract contained no formula for calculating damages, amount of damages was not “ascertainable” and prejudgment interest was not allowed. Erickson Hardwood Co. v. North Pacific Lumber, 70 Or App 557, 690 P2d 1071 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Section providing that interest is payable on “all moneys after they become due” is not applicable to compensation payable under Workers’ Compensation Law. Haret v. SAIF, 72 Or App 668, 697 P2d 201 (1985), Sup Ct review denied

Where plaintiff negotiated series of three notes with borrower in 1977, 1984 and 1985 and second and third notes were labeled extensions of first note and bore rates of interest excessive under this section, second and third notes were loans subject to this section and plaintiff thus forfeited right to collect more than principal due on loans. Heuberger v. Rounsefell, 97 Or App 579, 776 P2d 596 (1989)

This section does not authorize prejudgment interest. Harrington v. Board of Trustees, 100 Or App 733, 788 P2d 1019 (1990), Sup Ct review denied

Even if contract interest rate applies to pre- and post-judgment interest on principal amount, it cannot apply to post-judgment interest on costs and attorney fees. P & C Construction Co. v. American Diversified, 101 Or App 51, 789 P2d 688 (1990)

Loan with interest rate exceeding legal rate is subject to interest forfeiture penalty whether or not issued with intent to exceed legal rate. Skaggs v. Hendgen, 127 Or App 659, 874 P2d 93 (1994)

Business or agricultural loans under $50,000 made on different dates are subject to different maximum rates and therefore cannot be aggregated. Magee v. Dyrdahl, 144 Or App 270, 926 P2d 319 (1996)

“Injuries” resulting from professional negligence of person licensed by Oregon Medical Board refers to all violations of legal rights. Hughes v. PeaceHealth, 344 Or 142, 178 P3d 225 (2008)

Interest

Where the mortgage provided that the defendant would pay on demand, the plaintiff is entitled to receive interest at the legal rate of six percent from the date of demand. Mayer v. Bassett, 263 Or 334, 501 P2d 782 (1972)

Money is “due” under an installment contract at the time each installment was “due” under the contract and not at the accrual of the cause of action for anticipatory breach. Kotan v. Sch. Dist. 110C, 13 Or App 139, 509 P2d 452 (1973)

Interest on amounts due in quantum meruit accrues from date service is rendered. City of Portland v. Hoffman Construction, 286 Or 789, 596 P2d 1305 (1979)

Award of prejudgment interest on “...all monies after they become due...” is limited to breach of contract claims where exact amount of damages is ascertained or ascertainable and time from which interest runs is easily ascertained. SDS Lumber Co. v. Allendale Mut. Ins. Co., 563 F Supp 608 (1983)

Interest on estate debts not paid immediately accrues from date personal representative is permitted by statute to make payment of claimed debts. Thomas v. Senior and Disabled Services Division, 319 Or 520, 878 P2d 1081 (1994)

Absent express waiver of sovereign immunity, general provision for payment of interest on obligations does not apply to state or subdivisions of state. Newport Church of the Nazarene v. Hensley, 335 Or 1, 56 P3d 386 (2002)

Interest rate for judgment rendered in action to recover damages for injuries resulting from medical malpractice applies to judgment rendered in wrongful death action. Hughes v. PeaceHealth, 204 Or App 614, 131 P3d 798 (2006), aff’d 344 Or 142, 178 P3d 225 (2008)

Special interest rate applies to judgment rendered in action to recover damages for injuries resulting from medical malpractice regardless of whether defendant is medical professional. Hughes v. PeaceHealth, 204 Or App 614, 131 P3d 798 (2006), aff’d 344 Or 142, 178 P3d 225 (2008)

This statute does not authorize charging interest on delayed payment of post-judgment interest. Young v. State of Oregon, 246 Or App 115, 265 P3d 32 (2011), Sup Ct review denied

Judgments, Decrees and Verdicts

Where plaintiff’s money award for personal injuries is modified on appeal and only action necessary in trial court is compliance with mandate of appellate court, interest on award, as modified, is not disturbed by modification and is allowable from date of entry of original judgment on that portion of judgment not disturbed on appeal; overruling Compton v. Hammond Lbr. Co., 154 Or 650, 61 P2d 1257 (1936). Pearson v. Schmitt, 260 Or 607, 492 P2d 629 (1971)

Provision for accrual of interest on judgment for payment of money does not require court to impose interest on property division awarded on dissolution of marriage. Husari v. Husari, 9 Or App 126, 496 P2d 22 (1972)

Where divorce decree ordered spouse to pay lump sum alimony award within 10 years of entry of decree, statutory interest would not begin to accrue until the decade had expired. Meyer v. Meyer, 10 Or App 371, 499 P2d 823 (1972), Sup Ct review denied; Eubanks and Eubanks, 126 Or App 685, 870 P2d 248 (1994)

Post-judgment interest on the prejudgment interest was properly allowed. Highway Comm. v. DeLong Corp., 275 Or 351, 551 P2d 102 (1976)

In action for rental due under written lease, it was unnecessary for plaintiff to pray for interest on judgment in order to be entitled thereto, plaintiff’s prayer for 6 percent interest was surplusage and he was entitled to post-judgment interest at statutory rate (9 percent) as matter of law. Warrington v. Nichols, 57 Or App 828, 646 P2d 638 (1982)

It was error for trial court to deny award of prejudgment interest where damages were ascertainable at the time of plaintiff’s demand notwithstanding fact that plaintiff demanded an amount greater than that to which it was entitled. Walter E. Heller Western, Inc. v. Bohemia, Inc., 61 Or App 57, 655 P2d 1073 (1982)

Where statutory rate of prejudgment interest was changed between date of demand and entry of judgment, rate of interest on judgment should reflect that change. Illingworth v. Bushong, 61 Or App 152, 656 P2d 370 (1982), aff’d on other grounds, 297 Or 675, 688 P2d 379 (1984)

Statutory rate of interest for judgments applies to dissolution of marriage decrees. Nickerson and Nickerson, 296 Or 516, 678 P2d 730 (1984)

Promissory note ordered in dissolution case should accrue interest at statutory rate of nine percent, rather than at five percent ordered by trial court. Williams and Williams, 98 Or App 360, 779 P2d 199 (1989)

Statutory interest rate is nine percent unless parties contract for higher rate. Nelson and Nelson, 100 Or App 43, 784 P2d 129 (1989)

Judgment for amount of accrued support arrearage and interest is independent judgment from underlying obligation, therefore accrual of interest on judgment does not constitute award of compound interest. Ramberg and Ramberg, 123 Or App 281, 859 P2d 571 (1993); Mannix and Mannix, 146 Or App 36, 932 P2d 70 (1997), Sup Ct review denied

Where appellate court modifies original judgment to increase award amount, interest on additional amount runs from date of entry for original judgment. Lakin v. Senco Products, Inc., 329 Or 369, 987 P2d 476 (1999)

Judgments for payment of money include condemnation judgments. City of Bend v. Juniper Utility Company, 242 Or App 9, 252 P3d 341 (2011)

Child support installments are judgment obligations and accrue post-judgment interest under subsection (2)(b) of this section as penalty to obligor for failure to make due payment, but do not accrue prejudgment interest that serves to compensate creditor for loss of use of funds. Chase and Chase, 354 Or 776, 323 P3d 266 (2014)

Law Review Citations

52 OLR 462 (1973); 39 WLR 779 (2003)


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Last accessed
May. 15, 2020