MADISON, Wis. -

Dane County sheriff’s deputies warn customers of rent-to-own stores that failing to follow the store’s contract by making payments can result in legal action and sometimes criminal charges.

According to a release, rent-to-own stores are a way for people to get new furniture, appliances and electronics even if they don’t have the money to pay for it up front.

Dane County deputies arrested Scott R. Okray, 49, of Stoughton, on felony charges of transfer of encumbered property Monday when he failed to make payments to a local rent-to-own store, according to the release.

Deputies said Okray entered into an agreement with Get It Now for a 55-inch TV, and when he failed to make the payments the store obtained an order from the court to repossess the TV.

In situations like this, deputies attempt to make contact with the person to take possession of the property, have the customer return the property, or arrange to have the person get caught up on payments to avoid further legal action, according to the release. If the person cooperates, the cases can be resolved quickly.

Okray told deputies he sold the TV, and when he did not return the TV or make payments to the store he was arrested, police said. Because the value of the TV was more than $500, he was charged with a felony.

Dane County sheriff’s deputies urge consumers to be careful when entering into contracts with rent-to-own stores, and know that legal action may be taken if they do not comply with the contract terms.