Falling behind on rent-to-own payments can be stressful, especially if you’re worried about the store pressing criminal charges. As a Texas resident, you may be wondering: can Rent-A-Center prosecute me over late or missed payments in this state? Read on for a detailed look at Rent-A-Center’s policies, Texas laws, and what actions they can and cannot take against delinquent accounts.

Rent-A-Center’s Stance on Pressing Charges for Non-Payment

Rent-A-Center’s Company Policy

Rent-A-Center is a company that provides rental services for various items such as furniture, appliances, electronics, and more. When it comes to non-payment by their customers, Rent-A-Center has a specific company policy in place.

According to their policy, if a customer fails to make their required payments, Rent-A-Center will take steps to collect the outstanding balance.

In most cases, Rent-A-Center will first attempt to work out a payment arrangement with the customer. They understand that financial difficulties can arise, and they are willing to offer flexible options to help their customers meet their obligations.

This can include adjusting payment dates or extending the rental period to allow more time for payment.

If, despite these efforts, the customer continues to miss payments or fails to cooperate, Rent-A-Center may consider taking legal action to recover the unpaid balance. However, it is important to note that Rent-A-Center’s primary goal is to resolve the issue and collect the outstanding debt rather than pressing criminal charges.

When Rent-A-Center Will Get Authorities Involved

Rent-A-Center typically involves the authorities, such as the police, when there are clear indications of theft or fraud. This can include cases where the customer intentionally provides false information, uses stolen identification, or commits other fraudulent activities to obtain rental items without the intention of making payments.

In such situations, Rent-A-Center may file a police report and cooperate with law enforcement in pursuing criminal charges. However, it is important to note that Rent-A-Center’s decision to involve the authorities in these cases may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the laws of the state in which the incident occurred.

If you are facing difficulties in making payments to Rent-A-Center, it is always best to communicate with them and discuss your situation. They may be able to offer solutions or work out a payment plan that suits your needs.

Remember, Rent-A-Center’s primary objective is to resolve the issue and collect the outstanding debt, rather than resorting to criminal charges.

For more information, you can visit Rent-A-Center’s official website to learn about their policies and procedures regarding non-payment.

Applicable Laws in Texas Regarding Failure to Pay

When it comes to failure to pay, Texas has specific laws in place to protect both consumers and businesses. One important law to consider is the Texas Theft Liability Act, which defines theft as unlawfully appropriating property with intent to deprive the owner of said property.

Texas Theft Liability Act

The Texas Theft Liability Act is the main law that Rent-A-Center could potentially use to press charges if a customer fails to pay for rented items. According to this act, a person can be charged with theft if they intentionally and unlawfully take or exercise control over the property of another person without consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of said property.

However, it’s important to note that Rent-A-Center would need to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to successfully press charges.

How Rent-A-Center Could Try to Claim Theft

Rent-A-Center could potentially argue that by failing to pay for rented items, the customer is unlawfully appropriating the property with the intent to deprive the owner. They may claim that the customer had the intention of never returning the item or paying for it, therefore constituting theft under the Texas Theft Liability Act.

However, it’s important to remember that Rent-A-Center would need to provide evidence to support these claims.

Challenges With Proving Intent to Deprive

Proving intent to deprive can be a challenging task for Rent-A-Center. They would need to demonstrate that the customer had a deliberate plan to never return the rented item or pay for it. This can be difficult to prove, as there may be various reasons why a customer fails to make payments, such as financial hardship or forgetfulness.

To successfully press charges, Rent-A-Center would need to provide strong evidence that supports their claim of intent to deprive.

What Legal Actions Rent-A-Center Can Take in Texas

Rent-A-Center is a well-known rental company that offers various items for lease, including furniture, electronics, and appliances. If a customer fails to make payments or violates the terms of the rental agreement, Rent-A-Center may take legal actions to protect its interests.

In the state of Texas, Rent-A-Center has several options available to them when dealing with delinquent customers.

File a Civil Lawsuit

If a customer fails to make payments or returns the rented items in a damaged condition, Rent-A-Center has the right to file a civil lawsuit against them. In Texas, Rent-A-Center can take legal action to recover the outstanding balance and any damages caused to the rented items.

It’s important for customers to understand that ignoring a lawsuit can have serious consequences, such as wage garnishment or property liens.

Send to Collections Agency

Another option available to Rent-A-Center in Texas is to send the delinquent account to a collections agency. Once the account is handed over to a collections agency, they will attempt to recover the outstanding debt on behalf of Rent-A-Center.

Customers should be aware that having an account sent to collections can negatively impact their credit score and make it more difficult to obtain credit in the future.

Report to Credit Bureaus

Rent-A-Center also has the authority to report delinquent accounts to credit bureaus in Texas. When an account is reported as delinquent, it can stay on a person’s credit report for up to seven years. This can have a significant impact on their credit score and make it challenging to secure loans, credit cards, or even housing in the future.

It’s important for customers to fulfill their obligations outlined in the rental agreement with Rent-A-Center to avoid these legal actions. If you find yourself in a difficult financial situation, it’s best to communicate with Rent-A-Center and try to work out a solution.

For more information about Rent-A-Center’s legal actions in Texas, you can visit their official website here.

Tips to Avoid Prosecution from Rent-A-Center

Renting furniture and appliances can be an affordable and convenient option for many individuals. However, if you fail to meet your payment obligations, Rent-A-Center may take legal action to recoup their losses.

It is important to understand the consequences of not fulfilling your rental agreement and take steps to avoid prosecution. Here are some tips to help you navigate this situation:

Communicate Openly

One of the most important tips to avoid prosecution from Rent-A-Center is to maintain open communication with them. If you are facing financial difficulties, don’t ignore the situation. Instead, reach out to Rent-A-Center and explain your circumstances.

They may be willing to work out a payment plan or find a solution that benefits both parties. Keeping the lines of communication open shows your willingness to meet your obligations and can help prevent legal action.

Make Partial Payments If Possible

If you are unable to make the full payment, consider making partial payments to Rent-A-Center. While this may not completely resolve the issue, it demonstrates your commitment to fulfilling your rental agreement.

Making partial payments also shows Rent-A-Center that you are making an effort to rectify the situation, which may deter them from pursuing legal action.

Get Legal Advice If Threatened

If Rent-A-Center threatens you with prosecution, it is crucial to seek legal advice. Contacting a lawyer who specializes in consumer protection laws can help you understand your rights and options. They can provide guidance on how to handle the situation and represent your interests if necessary.

It is important to remember that Rent-A-Center must follow specific legal procedures, and a lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

Remember, Rent-A-Center’s primary goal is to recover their property or receive payment for their services. By communicating openly, making partial payments if possible, and seeking legal advice when necessary, you can take proactive steps to avoid prosecution.

It’s always best to address the situation head-on rather than ignoring it, as this can lead to more serious consequences.


In summary, while Rent-A-Center has the option to pursue criminal charges in Texas, they rarely do so. Communicating openly with the store, making good faith efforts to pay, and seeking legal counsel if threatened can help you avoid prosecution. If Rent-A-Center does file a police report, make sure to consult a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights under the law.

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