A pawnshop operates as a collateral lender on personal property. Many people have the misconception that "pawning" is selling an item. While pawnbrokers sometimes make outright purchases of goods, "pawning" is actually borrowing and being able to get an item back. In the state of Ohio, pawnshops offer loans on gold jewelry, diamonds, firearms, watches, coins, electronics, computers, musical instruments, cameras and a whole host of other valuable items. A person in need of money, who owns an item of value, can use that item to garner a temporary loan without having to sell their valuable. They can bring it to a pawnbroker, who will evaluate the item, and then decide if they can offer a loan on it. If an offer of a loan is made, and accepted by the owner of the property, a loan contract is then drafted. The pledgor (owner) must produce a state issued picture identification. The pledgor must have his or her identification to pawn an item and to redeem a loan. All of the information contained in the ID, along with a complete description of the item or items being pawned, is incorporated into that contract (as well as the loan terms). The pawnbroker is required to collect this information and record it, even if the pawnbroker is purchasing the item outright as opposed to loaning money on the item. All of this collected information is forwarded on a daily basis to the local police department to allow the police to compare these records versus reports of stolen items.
The State of Ohio, Division of Financial Institutions, inspects, regulates, and licenses Ohio Pawnbrokers. The terms are set by the state. Loans are held for a minimum of three months (two months plus a thirty day notice) and the maximum rates are 5% interest per month on a loan and $4.00 a month storage. Other fees, such as mailing fees, may apply. The pledgor therefore has that amount of time to either redeem the loan and pick up their item by repaying the principal amount borrowed plus the accrued monthly interest and storage fees, or may make a payment of the interest and storage fees to extend the life of the loan. If the pledgor fails to make a payment or to payoff their loan by the end of the loan period, the item forfeits, becomes the property of the pawnbroker, and is sold. These unredeemed items become the bargains of pawnshop shoppers.
Ted's Pawn offers longer loan terms than the state minimum. As of August 4th, 2007, all non-jewelry loans are 4 month loans. Jewelry loans less than $40.00 are 4 month loans as well. Jewelry loans $40 or higher are 7 month loans.
Thirty days before a loan expires, a notice (as required by the state) is mailed proof of mailing to the last provided address of the pledgor notifying them of the upcoming expiration of their pawn. If mailed, this adds a $2.00 fee to the renewal or redemption of the pawn.
The Better Business Bureau, Cincinnati, OH chapter
The National Pawnbrokers Association
The Ohio Pawnbrokers Association