Coalition warns against possible budget provision it says could limit transparency about rent-to-own products

MADISON -- A coalition of faith leaders, low-income advocates and consumer groups is warning against a possible budget provision that could limit transparency about rent-to-own products.

Peter Skopec, director of the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, said Monday, June 29th that he anticipated exemptions would be added to the state budget for companies that offer rent-to-own goods. Rent-to-own companies offer products like televisions and electronics that people can buy in rental payment installments. Skopec said many companies charge substantial interest.

Skopec says he hasn't yet seen a provision that would exempt the companies from publishing their interest rates, but believes one is imminent.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says changes to rent-to-own provisions are under consideration.

The budget-writing committee has not met since May 29