What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Consumer Protection : H.R. 1701. Rent-to-Own Contracts/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Protect Consumers Against the Rent-To-Own Industry.
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H.R. 1701. Rent-to-Own Contracts/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Protect Consumers Against the Rent-To-Own Industry.
house Roll Call 391     Sep 18, 2002
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

The rent-to-own industry generates an estimated $5.3 billion in sales a year renting furniture, appliances, and other goods to consumers. After a consumer has paid a certain amount in rent-which is usually more than the original cost of the merchandise-they then have an option of buying the merchandise outright. Most states classify rent-to-own transactions as leases rather than credit payments. Classifying the transactions as credit payments, however, would provide consumers greater protections. Four states-Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Vermont-do classify those transactions as credit payments because most customers end up purchasing the merchandise. Legislation was drafted by the GOP to impose federal regulations on the rent-to-own industry. The most contentious provision in the bill would classify all rent-to-own transactions as leases (including transactions in those consumer-friendly states where they are considered credit payments). Progressives opposed the lease classification because it would provide consumers with fewer protections; unlike lease payments, credit payments confer a degree of ownership to the consumer. The subject of this vote was a rule governing debate on the rent-to-own bill (rules are drafted by the House Rules Committee, an arm of the majority party leadership). Progressives voted in opposition to the rule based on their opposition to the underlying legislation. The rule was adopted on a 238-178 vote.

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