This testimony was written and presented by Margot Freeman Saunders on behalf of NCLC’s low income clients and Consumer Federation of America Consumers Union U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
On behalf of the millions of low and moderate income consumers that these groups collectively represent, we urge you to unequivocally reject H.R. 1588. The bill will not help consumers, it will only hurt them. Consumers need protections from the exorbitant prices charged to purchase items through rent to own dealers; they need protections from high fees; and they need assurances that they can reinstate their contracts with reasonable fees and under reasonable conditions after they have spent considerable sums trying to purchase the items. While we believe that even the most precise disclosures would not adequately protect consumers in these transactions, the disclosures required by H.R. 1588 provide misleading and deceptive information.