Should Pawn Shops Be Regulated?


From a Press Release:

“Councilmember Bowser introduces bills to open government meetings and to regulate pawnshop operations

The “Predatory Pawnbroker Regulation Act” establishes that the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking will regulate pawn shops like payday lenders and check cashing operations. The bill would cap at 24 percent the interest rate that a pawn shop may charge.

Councilmember Bowser said, “In many cases, people who sell items to pawn shops are down on their luck. These people need protection from unscrupulous practices, so pawn shops should be subjected to the usury law, just like other lenders in the District.”

The “Predatory Pawnbroker Regulation Act” has been referred to Councilmember Bowser’s Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs.”

10 Comment

  • It would be unfortunate if via a typo the bills ended up regulating government meetings and opening pawnshop operations.

  • Why not regulate them out of existence?

  • Then people would just have to travel to MD to NoVa for their pawm business. Or the field could just open up to loan sharks who will break your legs instead.

    • That’s fine. I don’t mind. It’s not like the pawn industry is known for their civics and tax compliance. Even if they were tax compliant, they give criminals an easy way to fence the crap that they steal. They also run down a neighborhood or commercial strip pretty quickly. “Pawn Stars” aside, it’s not a business model that survives by being on the up and up.

      We already have loan sharks. They’re called “Pay Day Loans” or “Cash for Title”.

  • I just found a low priced bike a pawn shop, retail about 700.00 pawn shop price 69.99 plus tax. I will say that was a great deal. I currently 6 bikes and rent them out by the month no credit check required.

  • translation: I just bought a stolen bike for $69. stay classy Free Market!

  • Eric,
    I am also looking at a ring for my soon to be wife, so don’t hate appreciate my capitalistic approach. Pawn shops are better than WalMart.

  • Here in NY we have pawn shops that just have DVDs and Video Games. I never understand how that can be a sustainable business model. It just doesn’t seem like it would generate enough cash for anyone. And yet? There it is.

  • The pawnshop in the picture has been in business since the 1930’s. They are a piece of DC’s history, family owned and operated for 4 generations and offer extremely low rates. 4 to 5 times lower than MD or VA. There are a few questionable pawnshops in DC but they have only been around for a handful of years. The point is there are good and bad teachers, politicians, doctors, restaurants and not all should be put out of business. Have some discretion. Being a Pawnbroker is an art of careful expertise, organization, and compassion. Customers include white color workers and people of every walk of life. All pawnshops are different! DC council members need to actually step foot in these establishments and do some studies on the stores they will effect by their ruling. There is really no need for emergency ruling. The rates have not changed in DC in over 25 years. There are also strong regulations in place.

  • Don’t regulate! the govt will take over everything!

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