What can rent to own companies do?

United States
January 15, 2008 5:58am CST
I have been renting some furniture from a rent to own company. I am about 2 or 3 payments away from owning it. About a month ago, I also leased a laptop. When I got it home, it did not work, so I immediately took it back to them where they accused me of damaging it and said that I am responsible to pay for it. I refused and left the laptop right there in the store. When my furniture payment was due, I paid it, and they tried to be slick and applied that payment to the laptop instead of the furniture,so now my furniture is late. They told me basically that they combined the 2 contracts together and if I dont pay for BOTH, then they are demanding for me to return the furniture. Ohhh I am soo mad!!! I refused to give the furniture back and now it is about a month past due and if I make a payment on it, they will just apply it to the laptop so I can't pay on it either. I went to the district manager and all he said was "You should have thought about that before you broke the laptop." My question is...what type of action can they take on me for NOT returning the furniture? and can they hold me responsible for the laptop even though it has not been in my possession? I returned it NOT EVEN 24 hours after I got it!!! This makes me so angry!
1 person likes this
4 responses
• United States
17 Nov 08
Depends on the State, but you can go to Jail because they own the furniture until you make the last payment (read your rental contract). I've worked in RTO for over 15 years and a lot of people think that they can stop paying with a few payments left. Well try that with a house or car, it just doesn't work. Another word of caution is that it is a Criminal Offense and NOT Civil in most states. If you do not return a rental item when presented with a demand letter you are committing a felony (in most cases). Most criminal code says you have, usually up to 10 days, to return it after being notified in writing which is regardless to how much money you put into it. Again, depending on the State, some states enforce the code more while others force the rental store to pay for attorney's etc therefore some (usually smaller chains) stores will just write it off if it's not worth going after. Many people therefore think this makes it legal or a civil matter. This is NOT the case and the industry is constantly pressuring courts to enforce Rental Theft Law. Your best bet is to call the Regional/District Manager and or Corporate office and explain your side of it. They will work with you and they'd rather keep you as a customer even if you are at fault because if you keep renting they will eventually make up for the loss by having you rent more. Be nice and 99% of the time they'll come to an agreement you can live with.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Feb 13
you can not go to jail! they can however take you to court and garnish your wages for what you owe.
@twasting (195)
• United States
23 Jan 08
i dont use them too much and when i have only rented one thing at a time. I needed a new computer and i did and dont have the money just to go buy one so yes i rented one Well rent to own. so i will not rent anything until the computer is paid for. just keep track yourself and keep all slips they give you with your payment. Until it is paid for and Last payment on whatever it is write a check and write paid in full on memo line. and what is was for. and if your ( the ) laptop is and was broke when you got it home then they should just take it back. they can take you to court and make you pay what is owed on everything READ contract you had with them. AND if you go anyplace like that again make them bring it to your house. And make sure it works before they leave.
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@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
15 Jan 08
If speaking to the people in the company is not helping, I would contact the attorney general's office. They can help you by telling you what action the store can take and by investigating the situation. Be sure to keep good records of what you paid and when, who you spoke to and what they told you. It sounds like you are dealing with an unethical company.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jan 08
if i were you i would go to their corperate office and talk to them tell them about the treatment that you have received from the local store and the district manager and see what they say you can also go in there and pay on your furniture and make them print you a reciept that shows the money going to the furniture and not the laptop. they also should not be charging you for something that you returned if you said it did not work do they not have some kind of repair program where they fix it if you are still paying on it?
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