WISPIRG Blocks Predatory Rent-To-Own Bill

In May 2013, WISPIRG helped defeat a provision that would have given special treatment to the predatory rent-to-own industry, which charges astronomical annual interest rates to rent used or older model products. WISPIRG joined with State Sen. Glenn Grothman, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, and numerous faith and civic leaders to oppose a special interest exemption that would have eliminated the requirement that rent-to-own businesses disclose an APR.

“State leaders shouldn’t be giving special treatment to a predatory industry that locks consumers in a cycle of high-cost, perpetual debt,” said WISPIRG Director Bruce Speight.

In May, WISPIRG released a new report that found that five rent-to-own stores in Rockford, Ill., charged an average annual percentage rate of 221 percent and displayed outright
case purchase prices that were two to seven times the cost of similar products at other major retailers.

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