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Schumer Wants to Regulate Rent-to-Own Industry

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – US Senator Charles Schumer is introducing federal legislation that would regulate the rent-to-own industry. Speaking outside a Rent-A-Center store on Walden Avenue Tuesday, Schumer said rent-to-own stores prey on the most vulnerable by charging them excessive rates on televisions, refrigerators and furniture. He says consumers end up paying $900 to own a $300 TV.

Schumer says his legislation would classify rent-to-own charges as interest. That means stores in New York could charge no more than 30 percent per year over the life of an agreement.

But a representative of the rent-to-own industry tells WBFO News the customer has full control and may return the product without penalty or exercise an early purchase option to avoid the higher costs.

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