For Immediate Release: Contact:
May 13, 2013 Bruce Speight, (608) 658-3517
Survey Finds Astronomical Rent-to-Own Prices, Interest Rates
Predatory Industry Seeks Special Interest Exemption from Wisconsin Consumer Law
Madison – A report released today found that five rent-to-own stores in Rockford, IL on average charged an annual percentage rate of 221% and displayed outright cash purchase prices as much as two to seven times the cost of the same or similar products at other major retailers. The legislature is currently debating a controversial proposal in the executive budget proposal to provide a special exemption from the Wisconsin Consumer Act for the rent to own industry and which would eliminate the requirement to disclose an APR for Rent-to-Own products sold in Wisconsin.
“Rent-to-own is a rip-off,” said Bruce Speight, WISPIRG Director. “The industry preys on low-income and military families, deceptively markets its products, and seeks special treatment from state legislatures in order to make its business model work. State leaders should not be carving out a special interest exemption for a predatory industry that traps consumers in a cycle of high-cost, perpetual debt.”