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Secrets of the Rent to Own Industry: Debt Collection

Updated on June 2, 2012

When you do business with a Rent to Own store, your first experience will probably be very enjoyable. You have made a purchase and are catered to by a friendly sales rep. What you may not realize is, as friendly as your first visit was, if you fail to make your payments on time, your next experience can be a living Hell.

Debt collection in the RTO industry is very aggressive. From the first day you walk out the store, your account is added to a list of accounts which is designated to a certain account manager. This account manager’s job is to make sure, if your payment is late, that you will be in to make that payment as quickly as possible. This is a standard practice for most Rent to Own stores, but what you may not be aware of, and is really one of the biggest secrets of the Rent to Own industry is the amount of pressure that an Account Manager is subjected to, to collect your debt. Every week an Account Managers job is in jeopardy if he fails to make his collection standard, for this reason many Account Managers become over-zealous and take out their frustration on you the customer.

While there are a number of actions an RTO store can perform when you do not pay your bill and fail to return the merchandise, you have certain rights you should be familiar with. Some of these rights are listed in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which is a federal act that was passed to ensure fair standards in debt collection. Some of the basic rights you have under this act are:

· Debt collectors may not make collection call between the hours of 8am-9pm

· Debt Collectors may not call your house an excessive number of times

· If you or a supervisor has instructed a debt collector to not call your place of employment, that debt collector must not call you at work again.

These are just a few of the rights you are permitted under this act, to get full details of all your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act you should familiarize yourself with it when you are facing a situation with an aggressive debt collector.

Aside from your legal rights guaranteed to you by federal law, many RTO companies have a set of strict standards they set for each of their employees to follow. If you feel you are being treated unfairly by an Account Manager or any other employee of an RTO store, your best option is to call the corporate number of the RTO store you are dealing with and file a complaint with the upper management of the RTO Company. Many times employees on the store level succumb to the high demands placed on them by the corporate office and they take it upon themselves to break the rules to produce results.

As a customer of an RTO company, the best way to avoid collection calls is to make your payment before the due date, but if you run into financial hardship, call your account manager immediately and explain the situation to him. He will then give you a list of options he can perform to help you keep the merchandise, and if none of these works for you, you always have the option to return the merchandise, and stop making payments all together. While this may not seem like a good option, you can always re-rent the item you returned, and many Rent to Own companies will pick you up where you left off on the payments. The Rent to Own transaction should be an easy process, and a lot of times miscommunication can lead to stressful situations between a customer and an RTO store, but if you understand your rights and honor your responsibilities under a rental agreement the RTO purchase really is worry free.


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    • PHILLYDREAMER profile image

      Jose Velasquez 5 years ago from Lodi, New Jersey

      I worked in the industry for over 10 years. It s a great alternative to credit cards, but every cuatomer should know what they are getting into.

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Gei Moore 5 years ago from Pilipinas

      Great information on RTOs. Thanks much! There are not many RTOs in my place but having this neat background information will help me in dealing with them in the future.