2007 ORS 82.010¹
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)

Bank could aggregate outstanding loans, advanced to debtor pursuant to line of credit for accounts receivable financing, so as to exceed $50,000 (beyond which bank's 14% interest charge could not be deemed usury.) Mohr, Inc. v. Bank of California, 443 F Supp 370 (1978)

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)


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), Sup Ct review allowed

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), Sup Ct review allowed

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)

Law Review Cita­tions

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

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 82—Interest; Repayment Restrictions, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­082.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 82, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­082ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.