APRO’s 2018 Dave Egan Legislative Conference will be held February 7–9 in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Court Hotel, located within walking distance of the U.S. Capitol. While there is no federal rent-to-own bill under consideration in this session of Congress, the upcoming conference is no less essential than in the past. With more than 60 new senators and representatives inaugurated earlier this year, it is crucial that they are aware of, and understand, the unique rent-to-own industry and its benefits for the U.S. economy.
It also is important to renew relationships with more seasoned lawmakers and their staffs on Capitol Hill, to let them know that the RTO industry remains vital and continues to monitor legislation that might affect the transaction. Without the positive relationships that APRO members have fostered with members of Congress over the years, the rent-to-own industry would not exist today. Many critical attacks would have crippled our ability to do business. Creating and maintaining such relationships have staved off multiple challenges to the RTO industry while also helping members of Congress and their staffs better understand the benefits of the business.
The continued strength of the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau requires APRO and its members to stay on top of that agency’s activities and address concerns to legislators regarding potential challenges to the rent-to-own transaction. While, technically, rent-to-own is not within the CFPB’s jurisdiction, initiatives under consideration by that bureau sometimes affect our industry’s business model.
Speaking of the CFPB, Representative John Delaney (D–Maryland, District 6) recently became the first Democrat to throw his hat into the ring for the 2020 presidential election. In 2015, Congressman Delaney introduced a bill that would have put rent-to-own under the jurisdiction of the CFPB. While the bill did not get very far, the increased prominence of this legislator has the potential to present a new challenge to the RTO industry should he advance in his bid for the White House. Threats to rent-to-own from other sources loom, as well.
Rent-to-own professionals have a lot for which they should be proud. The industry creates jobs, helps build the economy and provides essential needs to millions of consumers. Members of Congress need to witness your pride in the industry and learn these benefits when considering legislation that could either help or hinder RTO’s future.
Mark your calendars now for APRO’s 2018 Legislative Conference. To register, contact Tulisha Wendele at 800/204-2776, ext. 111, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel reservations for the Washington Court Hotel will open in September.