A rent-to-company threatened to file criminal charges against Austin resident Melinda Sandlin after she stopped making payments. Sandlin looks through her rental purchase agreement and other related documents at her Austin home on August 30, 2017. (Charlie Pearce/The Texas Tribune)
Criminalizing Debt

How Renting Furniture In Texas Can Land You In Jail

While other businesses have to use civil remedies when customers don’t pay their debts, the rent-to-own industry has a special tool in Texas law that lets them file criminal charges.