There are many consumer laws put in place to protect borrowers at pawn shops, but most people are unaware of them.
These consumer protection laws were designed to protect borrowers from exorbitant fees, high interest rates, predatory lending and discrimination.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to take advantage of a law if you don’t know about it. Here are a few of the most popular consumer laws to ensure pawn brokers don’t take advantage of you.
Truth in Lending Act
Under the Truth in Lending Act, consumers are entitled to full disclosure of the terms and conditions from their loans. The law protects consumers against inaccurate and unfair credit billing and credit card practices.
It requires lenders to provide consumers with the cost for the loan, including fees. The Truth in Lending Act gives consumers an opportunity to compare the cost for loans against each other.
The Act also allows consumers to research the best loans without the stress of high pressure sales tactics.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act protects consumers from discrimination due to age, gender, race, national origin, ethnicity, religious preference, or marital status.
Your physical appearance or financial situation should not be the basis for a decision under the law.
Protection Against Fraud
The Patriot Act requires borrowers to present identification and acknowledge they own the product that will be pawned.
The law also protects consumers who may get their jewelry or other items stolen. If you discover your property is stolen and pawned, the law gives you opportunities to reclaim ownership of it.
Cap on Interest Rates
Under New York State law, a pawnshop is allowed to charge a maximum interest rate of 4 percent per month. Several investigative reporters have uncovered situations where lenders exceeded this rate.
Provident Loan Society – The Trusted Source for Consumer Reporters
Channel 11 in New York City published a TV segment in February 2018 that took a closer look at the rates that pay day lenders charge. The TV reporter turned to Provident Loan Society of New York as the expert source on how to find the best rates. You can watch that TV segment below.
If you have any questions about receiving a loan at a safe and trusted place, visit the FAQ page for Provident Loan Society, or stop in at one of their five locations.
About the Author
Christina Iemma is a New York native studying Communication Arts at St. John’s University.