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ATLANTA, GA, May 09, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Does the idea of sending your sentimental or prized possessions through the mail in hopes of the recipient sending you a fair cash trade upon receipt give you the chills? If you are planning to use collateral for an online pawn loan, how can you be sure that the item returned to you after the loan is completed will be the actual item you originally pledged?
New online pawn businesses are popping up all over the country, but anyone considering doing business with these invisible merchants had better think carefully about the possible consequences involved. Prior to the birth of online pawnbrokers, the pawn industry was (for the most part) controlled by laws enforced by the broker's state or local municipality.
Federal rules for the pawn industry have also been set in place. However, state and local authorities have primarily overseen pawn operations to prevent the selling of stolen merchandise (also known as "fencing") and other fraudulent practices. Often times, software is supplied to pawn businesses by their local police department so the information may be transferred immediately.
Regional mandatory pawn laws are not only important to protect the pawnbroker and customers, but as mentioned above, they are also extremely helpful for the community as this procedure aids in preventing fencing, money laundering, violent crimes and even terrorism. These local laws have required Pawnshops to collect information from customers to verify identity, but have also demanded a specific holding period be placed on all purchased or pledged items to provide an adequate amount of time for the police to verify items have not been stolen.
If local law enforcement has been the primary search party for tracking stolen merchandise, who is regulating the online pawnshops? This is a very important question that every United States' attorney general should be asking. Without the involvement of the local police, what authority is monitoring the pawned or pledged merchandise passing through online pawnshops, or crossing state lines?
Without adequate supervision, these online pawn businesses may actually be aiding criminals, or even worse, terrorists. And what about the invaluable diamond jewelry that was stolen out of Aunt Martha's jewelry box? How will the thief ever be caught, or the item be retrieved with absolutely no way to track it?
There are so many loose ends involved in internet pawning. Identity theft is another very real possibility. If consumers are dealing with individuals on the other side of the country (whom they have never seen), how do they know who is receiving their confidential information including identification information? In Most brick and mortar pawn shops they require a fingerprint, a valid Government issued ID, and some go as far as to take a picture of the customer holding the numbered pawn ticket. For obvious reasons These measures have proven to discourage thieves from bringing in stolen goods. How can online pawn lenders do the same in discouraging these thieves?
Mailing a diamond ring that is worth over $5000 or more to someone you have never met in person (or to a place where you have never been) is just about equivalent to going to Las Vegas with your jewelry and throwing it on the craps table. There are numerous concerns with this procedure. If you pay off the loan and expect to have your pledged asset returned to you, how will you know that it is really your original merchandise? For example, what if you mailed a 3 carat diamond ring, but only a 1 carat ring was returned to you? Or even worse, the recipient broker could easily claim, "There was nothing in the box when I received it". How does a person prove otherwise?
When a customer ships over a valuable asset to an unseen pawnbroker, they are giving up almost all of their rights because, more or less, any online pawn company knows that the cost of legal fees would probably amount to more than the value of the collateral asset. Obviously, if the customer had the funds for expensive attorney fees, they would not be pawning an item for cash.
This information is not implying that any of the circumstances described above will happen, but they are all real possibilities for both the pawnbroker and the consumer. Therefore, do your homework and investigate an online pawn dealer prior to sending anything. You should be completely clear on the company's business license, physical address, buying or lending procedures, including any required fees (i.e. shipping and handling), and rules and regulations of the pawn service. Nonetheless, it is probably a better idea to ask friends, family or co-workers to recommend an asset buyer or private lender within driving distance, whom you can meet with in person.
Chapes-JPL provides loans on gold, diamonds, jewelry and other assets in Atlanta, GA since 1980.
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