July 26, 2011 – University of Houston Law Center Professor Jim Hawkins today testified before a U.S. House subcommittee in favor of a bill that would provide added protections for consumers under rent-to-own agreements. Testifying before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, Hawkins said HR 1588 goes well beyond most state laws. He said the bill clearly defines disclosure requirements so consumers can be better informed, but also protects the industry from capricious judicial decisions or legislation by providing a certain level of certainty. Finally, Hawkins pointed out, while providing a baseline of protection for consumers in every state, the bill also allows states to have laws that further restrict or even ban rental-purchase agreements. Hawkins, who teaches contracts, consumer protection law, and bankruptcy, has conducted extensive research into alternative financial services such as rent-to-own, payday lending, and auto title lending. Read Hawkins’ written statement.