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The Real Story About the Pawn Industry

npareporterWhy should I shine a spotlight on the Pawn Industry?

America is witnessing one of the most challenging economic times in years and pawnbrokers should be allowed to continue providing a crucial financial lifeline for its citizens.

Licensed, regulated pawnbrokers offer consumer credit secured by possessory security interests in personal goods and provide safety-net loans to approximately 30 million Americans. Pawn loans are an advance of funds based on a collateral security and do not trap consumers in a debt cycle.

Each day, pawnbrokers help families through challenging economic times by providing non-recourse, short-term loans that have no impact on a consumer’s credit history.

Pawn customers appreciate this unique form of credit and tend to borrow only what they need, as evidenced by the relatively low national average loan amount of $150. Furthermore, pawn customers repay their loans and redeem their collateral at a correspondingly high average national redemption rate of 80 percent. These parameters appear to be holding constant, despite the current downturn in the economy.

The pawn industry is a heavily regulated provider of consumer financial services. In addition to state licensure requirements and laws concerning the terms and conditions of pawn loans, pawnbrokers are subject to 14 federal laws. These federal, state, and, in some instances, local laws govern every aspect of pawn transactions including interest rates, loan duration, redemption methods, record-keeping and transaction reporting requirements.

Almost every state strictly controls the fees pawnbrokers can charge their pawn loan customers. As a result, pawnbrokers cannot increase their fees for pawn loans to cover increased federal compliance costs. Accordingly, increased compliance costs will be borne not only by my business but by my employees. They will diminish our ability to make the smaller loans we make to consumers who need them to survive in this economy.

It is quite evident that no other financial services would be able to fill the void left by the disappearance of the pawn industry. Pawn loans typically range from 30-90 days and involve substantial operational expense in terms of appraisal of collateral values, storage, insurance, and security infrastructure.

Pawn Shops Today does not support predatory lending or extraordinarily high interest rates that put consumers into debt and destroy their credit. However, people do need options for small short-term loans when they have no where else to turn.

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Licensed, regulated pawnbrokers offer consumer credit secured by possessory security interests in personal goods and provide safety-net loans to approximately 30 million Americans. Each day, pawnbrokers help families through challenging economic times by providing non-recourse, short term loans that have no impact on a consumer’s credit history.

Pawn customers appreciate this unique form of credit and tend to borrow only what they need, as evidenced by the relatively low national average loan amount of $150. Furthermore, pawn customers repay their loans and redeem their collateral at a correspondingly high average national redemption rate of 80 percent. These parameters appear to be holding constant, despite the current downturn in the economy.

The pawn industry is a heavily regulated provider of consumer financial services. In addition to state licensure requirements and laws concerning the terms and conditions of pawn loans, pawnbrokers are subject to 14 federal laws. These federal, state, and, in some instances, local laws govern every aspect of pawn transactions including interest rates, loan duration, redemption methods, record-keeping and transaction reporting requirements.

Almost every state strictly controls the fees pawnbrokers can charge their pawn loan customers. As a result, pawnbrokers cannot increase their fees for pawn loans to cover increased federal compliance costs. Accordingly, increased compliance costs will be borne not only by my business but by my employees. They will diminish our ability to make the smaller loans we make to consumers who need them to survive in this economy.

It is quite evident that no other financial services would be able to fill the void left by the disappearance of the pawn industry. Pawn loans typically range from 30-90 days and involve substantial operational expense in terms of appraisal of collateral values, storage, insurance, and security infrastructure.