Why Wisconsin should not exempt rent-to-own



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.”

Walker's mythical surplus

I have been meaning to write a post about Scott Walker's sudden surplus, but what with Netroots Wisconsin and FightingBobFestNorth coming up at the end of the week, and work, time has been short. Fortunately our good friend Capper has done a better job of pointing out what a house of cards Walker has built, so I'll refer you over to him for the details. I personally find it interesting that our Governor has "balanced" the budget by doing all of the things he accused Doyle of, and then some.  Shifting funds, not using GAAP accounting, and the ever-famous "kicking the can down the road" that Republicans so abhor unless they're doing it.

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