OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

Save My Pawn Shop

April 12, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Here’s a new campaign against a bill in Congress that would cap interest rates on all loans at 36 percent —

The bill they are fighting is called the Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit Rates Act. According to a press release from Sen. Dubrin (D-IL), the bill’s sponsor, it would apply a 36% cap to all open-end and closed-end consumer credit transactions, including mortgages, car loans, credit cards, overdraft loans, car title loans, refund anticipation loans, and payday loans. The high-interest, short-term loans that pawnbrokers give out, backed by undervalued jewelry, camera, instruments and the like, would be covered under the bill.

Here is pawn shop owner John Hoying defending the industry, via WHSV in Virginia:

“You close a pawn shop, people won’t be able to go out and buy their medications, won’t be able to pay their copay for the doctors that they have to pay for their children who are sick,” says Hoying. “I’ve had people pawn items so that they could get diapers and baby formula.”

Obviously, the pawn shops face a big challenge in mounting a defense of their business model as a reasonable solution to poverty and lapses in healthcare coverage. But before you discredit their ability to defend high-interest loans to low-income individuals, read my post below on how the payday loan industry, which is generally regarded with even more disdain than pawn shops, has gotten members of Congress to back the idea of a 390% APR. That’s not a typo — Rep. Luis GutiĆ©rrez [D, IL-4] is actually pushing a bill that would levy a three hundred and ninety percent APR on typical payday loan borrowers.

(h/t Senatus)

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.


  • jtimberman 04/13/2009 6:37am

    People need to stop buying crap they can’t afford, then reselling it to pawn shops at rip off rates. The problem isn’t pawn shops, it’s stupidity. No amount of legislation is going to prevent stupidity, and it’s a waste of time and money to continue to fight “for the little man”, since the “little man” is such a raving idiot.

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 05/20/2009 6:34pm

    so if your not rich your an idiot? society isnt the entire problem its also people that think like you

  • Comm_reply
    kenrustay 06/13/2009 6:40am

    This comment above is from a no brain person.

    and has never went to a pawn shop take a look before you think you know it all.

    200 loan is 20.00 in the first 90 days pal

    and you are the idiot takes a big man like you to sit behind a screen and judge people

    pack up your man and move to china russia or cuba




  • Anonymous 04/13/2009 6:44am

    They aren’t saints, but when we choose to come after all pawn shop owners and pay-day loan providers, we have to remember the people who frequent these establishments would seek loans elsewhere if they could.

  • Moderated Comment

  • Moderated Comment

  • Moderated Comment

  • Moderated Comment

  • Moderated Comment

  • Anonymous 04/29/2009 5:06am

    With the economy the way it is today,stop and think about it for a minute, look at all the break-ins and robberies that has happened not counting the ones that are being planned right now. When people have bad credit like lots of americans do, they have no other place to go to borrow some money than a pawn shop. So if it get passed about pawn shops only charging 36% interest a year all of the pawn shops will close. You think break-ins and robberies are bad now, let people not have any money to buy food….ENUFF SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous 05/12/2009 5:23am

    It’s estimated that up to 40 million people use pawn shops in one way or another. Are the banks prepared to make $50-$100-$200 loans that millions of people need from time to time to meet small obligations ?
    It would be impossiable for a pawn shop to keep it’s doors open on 3% loans !

  • Anonymous 05/13/2009 11:09am

    has anyone thought about the fact that pawn shops are the only way someone who just lost a job due to all of these cut backs are getting money to feed the family also has anyone also thought about the fact that money is also being used to pay for gas to find to a job.

  • Anonymous 05/19/2009 1:02pm

    I have been in the pawn business my entire life. I see this stuff every single day. I am so disgusted at ignorant people who stereotype our business. Stop sitting in front of the tv and watching the pawn shop being portrayed as predator’s in silly movie’s. This business is no different then any other. You have good client’s and bad client’s. It is so easy to notice just the negativity. When your children are hungry and the job you have been at for 15 year’s lays you off, come see us.

  • ronabner56 04/17/2013 10:02am

    I worked for a ball screw repair business for years. Many of these people are ignorant or they believe that our only task is to make money. No one is asking about how difficult to sustain a business is or about your efforts to pay the fees on time.

  • lenbrannon 04/23/2013 10:32am

    You may sell Duracell Alkaline Batteries for your entire life and you still wouldn’t know how to make a business. We’re too used to buying stuff that we don’t need. I know that the capitalism means consumerism, more or less, but I’m up for a better prospect, that can protect us from the little-man’s excesses.

  • Chanelle 06/17/2013 7:10pm

    Yes, I’ve also seen women being forced to sell their prom gowns to be able to buy their kids baby formulas, it was really depressing to see them give up their dream, somehow growing from those little girls to the mothers they were in a minute. It’s not a pretty view.

  • Kumara 06/20/2013 3:53pm

    Women shouldn’t be put through this. The only thing they should receive when they have children is gifts from the Jephry Florist shop, not sorrow and struggling for existence. Life should be simpler, just like we see in those commercials we choose to believe.

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.