Did you know that Queen Isabella of Spain pawned many of her jewels in the 1400s in order to fund the Spanish Inquisition and the campaign against the Moors?
Pawning has been around for hundreds of years. Even though people pawn electronics and a variety of items, jewelry remains the most popular item to this day.
There are over 12,000 pawn shops in the United States, many of which have been around for quite some time. But when it comes to offers, they can vary by a lot, which is why it’s essential that you choose one with a reputation.
Pawn shop rules and regulations are a good thing to know and understand, especially if you use the services of a pawn shop yourself. But what are they?
Keep reading to uncover the pawn shop rules and regulations of Florida.
Pawn Shops Must Have a License
Florida pawn shops have to obtain a license from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Furthermore, they have to renew their licenses annually.
There are several laws that Florida pawn shops must follow, such as the Truth in Lending Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits credit discrimination based on characteristics like race or national origin.
The Truth Lending Act requires that key terms of the lending arrangement be disclosed, including the arrangement and the cost of the loan.
Pawn Shop Owners Must Have Good Moral Character
If a person wants to apply to be a pawnbroker in Florida, they must demonstrate a good moral character. The Florida Pawnbroking Act defines good moral character as not having been convicted of a felony in the past 10 years. Furthermore, they may not have acted as a beneficial owner for someone convicted as a felony within the past 10 years.
If two people or a group of people are trying to open a pawn shop together, then anyone with at least 10 percent interest in the company must meet the same requirements.
There Is a Required Net Worth
Anyone who is applying to be a pawnbroker in Florida must have a net worth of $50,000. This net worth must be proven through a submitted financial statement that was prepared by an in-state public accountant. Or the individual may submit an affidavit stating their net worth and must provide evidence to back up their affidavit.
There Are Other Federal Laws
In addition to the Equal Opportunity Act and the Truth Lending Act, there is also the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Safeguard and Privacy Rules. This holds the pawnbroker accountable for protecting your personal information such as your name, phone number, address, and bank and credit card account numbers.
There are also federal firearm laws which require pawnbrokers to include record-keeping and background checks for buyers and sellers.
For transactions over $9,000, the Internal Revenue Service requires all pawnbrokers to report them.
They Must Keep Records
There are specific records that Florida pawn shops are required to keep for at least a year. At the time of every transaction, a “secondhand dealer transaction form” must be completed.
That form must contain certain information such as a description of the item that has been bought or sold. It must contain details like name, size, model number, color, gemstone description, and precious metal type. It must also list any identifying or unique marks that are on the item.
There must also be a description of the seller that includes name, address, physical description, and a right thumbprint. All of these records MUST be kept by the pawnshop owner for at least a year.
They Are Subject to Inspections
Any Florida law enforcement officer that has jurisdiction over a particular pawnshop may inspect pawn shop records, sales, and inventory documents at any time. Pawn shop owners are required to keep all of those records on site so that they are available for inspection during regular business hours.
In addition, law enforcement may search the shop at any time to determine whether or not those proper documents are kept on the premises and to see if registered inventory is also kept on the premises.
Other Business Requirements and Rights
While a pawn shop holds an item for a customer, they are allowed to collect interest each month, up to 25%. If for some reason a particular item becomes lost or stolen, the pawn shop must offer a replacement for the customer of equal value.
A pawn shop owner in Florida must give their customers 60 days to return for their merchandise before they sell it. After that, it’s up to the pawnshop owner as to whether or not they will agree to an extension.
Charges of noncompliance for pawn shops in Florida can result in a $5,000 fine.
In order to make sure you’re taking your valuable item to the right place, look for an established business that has a great reputation.
Pawn Shop Rules and Regulations Are There to Protect You
Pawn shop rules and regulations have been put in place to protect the customer. Almost everyone runs into financial difficulty at some point or another in their lives, and having to temporarily let go of an item that has sentimental value can be a hard decision to make.
Even though you might be desperate, you want to get the best deal possible for your merchandise. You also want to make sure that your transaction is done according to the law, so that you aren’t left with any unknowns or the inability to get back your item.
Contact us or come in to see what we might be able to do for you. Appointments aren’t necessary. Come at your own convenience and get a no obligation cash offer today.