Rabb highlights legislation protecting against predatory rent-to-own companies

HARRISBURG, March 30 – State Rep. Chris Rabb has introduced legislation that would provide protections for consumers against predatory rent-to-own companies.

“These predatory companies often use the taxpayer-subsidized criminal court system as a de facto collection agency to take money they claim is owed to them for household and other items, which they leased to people who could not afford to purchase the items in full at point of sale,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “And often even despite the fact that the company has recovered the cost of the property, they will seek criminal charges and use threats of jail time to collect money in excess of the value of the leased property.

“It is just another way that companies use institutional violence to squeeze as much as they can out of our most vulnerable populations,” Rabb said.

The legislation (H.B. 2359) would ensure that these predatory practices would be prohibited by giving the courts the ability to cap the demand at $50 if the lease of property has exceeded the retail value.