Activists arrested during Rent-A-Center protest

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT - Two activists were arrested for blocking traffic in Bed-Stuy during a protest against Rent-A-Center on behalf of low-income families Friday.

A group of protesters is accusing the company of preying on low-income residents by offering them confusing contracts with low weekly rent-to-own rates that end up costing them what they?d pay in a store.

Bishop Eric Figueroa, of the New Life Tabernacle, says his church became a victim when it wanted to rent a television for a few days. Members, however, signed a contract for 30 days, because they did not understand the contract, Figueroa says.

Rent-A-Center released a statement saying it does not do anything illegal. ?We strongly urge anyone considering a rental to look at the cost disclosures closely and decide for themselves,? the company says. It goes on to say, ?We also disclose how to determine the early purchase option amount as required by New York law.?

A bill that would create pricing guidelines for such rent-to-own companies is being proposed. The bill also calls for companies to create comprehensible contracts. Activists are calling for the boycott of Rent-A-Centers citywide.

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