Rent-to-Own: Profiting from the Poor
Report shows that the rent-to-own industry targets low and moderate-income families with prices 2 to 3.5 times what traditional retailers charge and interest rates ranging from 65% to more than 300%. Study calls for caps on prices and interest rates, better disclosures of policies and fees, more time for consumers to reinstate contracts if they miss a payment, and other reforms to protect consumers against the industry's high costs and predatory practices.
You can read the Executive Summary here: Executive Summary
Debt Settlement Policy Brief
Update on new state and federal regulations on debt settlement firms and on work to better regulate the industry in Maryland.
Debt Settlement in Maryland: Compounding Problems, Deepening Debt
Report examines the rise in consumer complaints against the debt settlement industry and the many ways settlement firms abuse vulnerable consumers. It surveys state and federal laws regulating debt settlement firms and recommends new limits on what firms can charge consumers and other regulations to better protect consumers.
Limiting the Cost of Being Poor: An Examination of Financial Products, Services, and Protections that Impact Low-Income Marylanders
Report surveys state laws and practices regarding payday lending, refund anticipation loans, debt management services, check cashing, and bankruptcy and offers recommendations to improve basic consumer protections.
Protecting Homeownership: The Challenge of Preventing Abusive Lending and Foreclosure Practices
Report on the rise of predatory and sub-prime mortgage lending in Maryland and the threats those practices pose to state homeowners. Study urged Maryland to confront the problem before it becomes a critical issues and recommends a strong state law to control predatory lending and comprehensive help for homeowners facing foreclosure.
Graduating into Debt: Credit Card Marketing on Maryland College Campuses
Report examines the rise in credit card marketing to college students and the problems of personal debt and bankruptcies for young Marylanders it helps cause and recommends new limits on credit card marketing and interest rates.