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Top Stories: Federal Agency To Investigate Plano-Based Rent-A-Center


The top local stories this morning from KERA News: A federal agency is opening an investigation into Plano-based Rent-A-Center and the $8 billion rent-to-own industry.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent Rent-A-Center a civil investigative demand, requesting details about customer accounts it had sold to a debt buyer and other information about its business practices.

This comes after the Texas Tribune and the consumer finance website NerdWallet found rent-to-own companies used a little-known Texas law to press criminal charges against customers who fall behind in their payments. Customers nationwide have also complained their credit had been harmed and they were badgered by bill collectors over accounts they had paid off.

The CFPB declined to comment on its investigation.

Other stories this morning:

  • The Dallas Police Chief has temporarily dismantled the department's vice unit after discovering what she called "serious issues."
  • In our Friday Conversation, Pete Blair of ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) talks about how his program trains law enforcement and civilians to respond to active shooters.
  • Beginning tomorrow, U.S. 75 will be closed in both directions in parts of Richardson and Plano.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.