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PARD hosts Attorney General

October 7, 2008

The Pennsylvania Association of Rental Dealers (PARD) held their annual state association meeting in Harrisburg October 7 that featured honored guest and speaker, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett.

 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett with PARD President Sandi Frye.

The state association meeting sponsored by TRIB began with an introduction from TRIB representative,Dennis Shields, then followed with a seminar from Roger Whitacre on the growing civil and criminal liabilities for RTO dealers regarding identity theft.

 

APRO Public Affairs Director Richard May followed with an update on rent-to-own’s congressional campaign and the recent media and Wall Street attention the industry is receiving through the economic credit crisis. Afterwards, Pennsylvania RTO state lobbyist John O’Connell briefed the group on the volatile state political climate that involves a high-profile investigation of state elected officials regarding ethical violations. The state official investigation is being led by Pennsylvania Attorney GeneralTom Corbett who addressed the group thereafter.

 

Corbett is significant to the rent-to-own industry as the Attorney General who did not oppose the state legislature from passing a state law that defined the rent-to-own transaction as a lease. Prior to Corbett’s term, Pennsylvania state law defined the rent-to-own transaction as a credit sale virtually eliminating the rent-to-own industry from the state.

 

Any reconsideration to change the RTO transaction definition from that of a credit sale was blocked by the former attorney general. Corbett held an open mind regarding rent-to-own that ended up with Pennsylvania passing a rent-to-own regulatory bill that balances consumer protections with small business competition. Since the Pennsylvania bill was amended in 1997, Pennsylvania rent-to-own has thrived with competitive small business and corporate rent-to-own hosting the headquarters of rent-to-own’s second largest chain, Rent Way, that has since been sold to Rent-A-Center.

 

The meeting concluded with a seminar on how attitude determines altitude by Colortyme’s Bob Bloom. The meeting also held lively discussions moderated and prompted by PARD President Sandi Fryeregarding PARD’s sponsoring their members attendance to APRO’s 2009 legislative conference, PARD’s consideration of an organized charitable sponsorship and the tentative scheduling of their 2009 PARD meeting in Harrisburg next October. The PARD members filled the meeting room with 40 attendees representing rent-to-own corporate members, small business rent-to-own and several of rent-to-own’s supportive vendors.

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