Vanderbilt Law Review

Article Title

Recent Developments

First Page



Confession of judgment procedures' have seldom received unrestricted legislative approval by the states--the vast majority of jurisdictions have enacted legislation either to eliminate the practice entirely or to limit severely its use. Unrestricted employment of the procedure in consumer transactions is prevalent only in the states of Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio, which account for a preponderance of the confessed judgments in the United States today. Although the constitutional validity of cognovit notes has been questioned on numerous occasions, the Supreme Court had never addressed this issue until its recent decisions upholding the use of these devices in D.H. Overmyer Co. v. Frick Co. and Swarb v. Lennox. An examination of these decisions, together with judicial treatment of other areas presenting similar constitutional considerations, indicates a fundamental inconsistency in delineation of the scope of an individual's due process right to be protected in his person and property.