The Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed that using a "cognovit note" (i.e. a promissory note that essentially gives the lender the right to get an automatic judgment without a trial) is illegal when the deal involved a "consumer transaction." A consumer transaction includes the sale of a residential home. See Agarwal v. Matthews. Be careful what type of promissory note you might be signing. A cognovit note forfeits many of the rights you would have under a regular promissory note.