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Pawnshops / Title Pawn

The Department of Banking and Finance DOES NOT license or have any jurisdiction over pawnbrokers or pawn transactions.  The following information is for informational purposes only to direct consumers to the appropriate agency for resolving their issue or complaint.

JURISDICTION:

As provided for in Georgia law, municipal authorities may license pawnbrokers, define their powers and privileges by ordinance, impose taxes upon them, revoke their licenses, and exercise such general supervision as will ensure fair dealing between the pawnbroker and his customers.  In most cases, the municipal authority responsible for licensing and monitoring pawnshops will be the local police department or sheriff’s office.

DEFINITIONS:

As defined in Georgia law, a "pawnbroker" means any person engaged in whole or in part in the business of lending money on the security of pledged goods, or in the business of purchasing tangible personal property on the condition that it may be redeemed or repurchased by the seller for a fixed price within a fixed period of time, or in the business of purchasing tangible personal property from persons or sources other than manufacturers or licensed dealers as a part of or in conjunction with the business activities described in this paragraph. 

A "pawn transaction" means any loan on the security of pledged goods or any purchase of pledged goods on the condition that the pledged goods may be redeemed or repurchased by the pledgor or seller for a fixed price within a fixed period of time.

LIMITATIONS ON CHARGES:

Licensed pawnbrokers, as defined in Georgia law (Code Section 44-12-130), are limited in the amount of interest they may charge only by the limitations set forth in Code Section 44-12-131. 

During the first 90 days of any pawn transaction or extension or continuation of the pawn transaction, a pawnbroker may charge for each 30 day period interest and pawnshop charges which together equal no more than 25 percent of the principal amount advanced, with a minimum charge of up to $10.00 per 30 day period.

If the pawn transaction is continued or extended beyond 90 days, a pawnbroker may charge for each 30 day period interest and pawnshop charges which together equal no more than 12.5 percent of the principal amount advanced, with a minimum charge of up to $5.00 per 30 day period. 

In addition to the charges noted above, in a pawn transaction or in any extension or continuation of a pawn transaction involving a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle certificate of title, a pawnbroker may charge additional fees.  Failure to make payments as agreed upon in the pawn transaction may result in repossession of your motor vehicle, in the case of a title loan.

CONSUMER DISCLOSURE(S):

The consumer should be provided with a written disclosure ticket or statement in every pawn transaction that includes the following:

  • "This is a pawn transaction.  Failure to make your payments as described in this document can result in the loss of the pawned item.  The pawnbroker can sell or keep the item if you have not made all payments by the specified maturity date.";
  • If the pawned item is a motor vehicle or motor vehicle certificate of title, a statement as follows: "Failure to make your payment as described in this document can result in the loss of your motor vehicle.  The pawnbroker can also charge you certain fees if he or she actually repossesses the motor vehicle.";
  • A statement that the length of the pawn transaction is 30 days and that it can only be renewed with the agreement of both parties and only for 30 day incremental periods;
  • The annual percentage rate, computed in accordance with the federal Truth in Lending Act and regulations under the federal Truth in Lending Act, for the first 30 days of the transaction, computed as if all interest and pawnshop charges were considered to be interest; 
  • The annual percentage rate, for each 30 day period in which the pawn transaction might be continued or extended, computed as if all interest and pawnshop charges were considered to be interest. For purposes of identifying the annual percentage rate after the second continuation or extension, a single statement which identifies an annual percentage rate for each possible 30 day period thereafter is permissible;
  • A statement in dollar amounts of how much it will cost the seller or pledgor to redeem the merchandise in the first 30 day period of the transaction;
  • A statement in dollar amounts of how much it will cost the seller or pledgor to redeem the merchandise in any 30 day period after the first 30 day period of the pawn transaction, provided that all fees and charges have been kept current; 
  • A statement of the specific maturity date of the pawn transaction;
  • A statement of how long, the grace period, the pledged goods may be redeemed after the specific maturity date and the dollar amount which will be required to redeem the pledged goods after the specific maturity date; 
  • A statement that after the grace period the pledged goods become the property of the pawnbroker; 
  • If the pawn transaction involves a motor vehicle or motor vehicle certificate of title, a statement that the pawnbroker may not charge a storage fee for the motor vehicle unless the pawnbroker repossesses the motor vehicle pursuant to a default; 
  • If the pawn transaction involves a motor vehicle or motor vehicle certificate of title, a statement that the pawnbroker may charge a storage fee for a repossessed motor vehicle not to exceed $5.00 per day, but only if the pawnbroker actually repossesses and actually must store the motor vehicle; 
  • If the pawn transaction involves a motor vehicle or motor vehicle certificate of title, a statement that the pawnbroker may charge a repossession fee, not to exceed $50.00, but only if the pawnbroker actually repossesses the motor vehicle; 
  • If the pawn transaction involves a motor vehicle or motor vehicle certificate of title, a statement that the pawnbroker may charge a fee to register a lien upon the motor vehicle certificate of title, not to exceed any fee actually charged by the appropriate state to register a lien upon a motor vehicle certificate of title, but only if the pawnbroker actually places such a lien upon the motor vehicle certificate of title; 
  • A statement that any costs to ship the pledged items to the pledgor or seller can be charged to the pledgor or seller, along with a handling fee to equal no more than 50 percent of the actual costs to ship the pledged items; and
  • A statement that a fee of up to $2.00 can be charged for each lost or destroyed pawn ticket. 

 

See also the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection’s article on Title Pawns and Cash Advances