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Delaney Introduces Bill to Expand Protections for Rent-to-Own Customers

July 26th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) has filed legislation to expand protections for rent-to-own customers. Often targeted towards low-income and military populations, rent-to-own contracts can feature excessively high fees, predatory interest rates and aggressive collection practices, with customers paying two to three times more, often even as much as five times more, for the same products than if they purchased them from a traditional retailer.

Congressman Delaney’s Expanding Rent-to-Own Protections Act requires that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) act on behalf of rent-to-own customers, including: improving disclosure, limiting excessive fees, providing customers with reinstatement rights and adequately enforcing existing consumer protection laws. Congressman Delaney’s legislation is supported by the National Consumer Law Center.

“Too many Americans are getting taken advantage of by rent-to-own retailers and we need clear federal legislation that empowers the CFPB to act,” said Congressman Delaney. “Rent-to-own users are disproportionally lower-income and military families and they should be afforded the same basic consumer protections that other Americans enjoy. When hard-working people are paying exorbitant prices for basic products, I believe we have a responsibility to act.”

“On behalf of the low income people we represent and advocate for, the National Consumer Law Center strongly supports Congressman Delaney’s Expanding Rent-to-Own Protections Act,” said Margot Saunders of the National Consumer Law Center. “Passage of this bill would significantly benefit the vulnerable populations that all too often are targeted and abused by rent-to-own retailers.”

The Expanding Rent-to-Own Protections Act is part of Congressman Delaney’s Consumer Protection and Community Investment Agenda, which also includes legislation to provide access to banking for low-income Americans, credit rating protections for veterans and legislation to encourage small business growth in underserved communities.  

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