Renting Property or Buying Trouble?
Rent-to-own…sounds good. You have probably heard the radio commercials hawking furniture, electronics, and other merchandise at a cheap weekly or monthly rate. Offered by your friends at Aaron’s, Buddy’s Home Furnishings, Rent-a-Center, and others. Sign some documents and get the stuff delivered to your home and you are good to go….or are you?
First consider if rent-to-own makes sense for you from a financial perspective. Then consider that across the country there have been numerous complaints about excessive charges, ungodly interest rates, harassing collection tactics, and other misdeeds by rent-to-own companies. I have received calls from consumers who had their rent-to-own merchandise repossessed and later been accused of having never returned it to the store…..WHAT THE WHAT?
I realize that rent-to-own companies make household furnishings and other products available to persons who may not otherwise be able to obtain them. And not every company is beating up consumers or breaking the law. The key is that every consumer must conduct his or her due diligence before deciding to enter into any rent-to-own or other business transaction.
In North Carolina, consumers are often prosecuted for the criminal offense for failure to return rental property. A conviction or guilty to plea to this offense constitutes a misdemeanor which, depending on the consumer’s criminal record, could lead to jail, fines, fees, community service, and other conditions. In some cases you may have defenses to the criminal charges PLUS civil claims against the rent-to-own company. If you have been charged with the criminal offense of failure to return rental property in Guilford, Forsyth, or Randolph Counties consult an attorney to discuss your case and determine your best approach.