Archbishop Listecki joins politicians in fight to keep rent-to-own stores regulated

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by Chris Patterson

MILWAUKEE -- It's not abortion or gay marriage that has Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki speaking out, but rent to own stores. State lawmakers from both political parties joined Listecki in asking Governor Walker to remove a provision in his new budget that would loosen restrictions on the stores.

Governor Scott Walker is proposing to exempt rent to own stores from the Wisconsin Consumer Protection Act. Republican Senator Glenn Grothman says that rent to own businesses prey on the poor, and that a policy issue like this has no place in a state budget. "It's just horrible to set up a business practice in which you are solely trying to take advantage of somebody," said Grothman.

Rent to own businesses offer furniture and appliances, and lock customers into long-term contracts at high interest rates. One of the requirement that may be eliminated is that interest rates be posted somewhere customers can see them before signing any contract.

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