SB 239 - Pawnbrokers - relating to title pawn transactions

First Reader Summary

A bill to amend Code Section 7-4-18 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to criminal penalties for excessive interest, so as to exclude title pawn transactions from the exceptions for pawnbrokers; to amend Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to property, so as to change the laws relating to pawnbrokers; to change definitions; to provide for different treatment of title pawn transactions.

Oliver, Mary M (42nd) Boshears, Edward E (6th) Brown, Robert (26th)
Status Summary HC: SC: Judy LA: 02/07/97 S - Read 1st time
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 13/ 14/ 15/ 16
Code Sections - 44-12-130/ 44-12-131/ 44-12-132/ 44-12-133/ 44-12-134/ 44-12-135/ 44-12-136/ 44-12-137/ 44-12-138/ 44-14-403
Senate Action House
2/7/97 Read 1st time

SB 239 97                                          LC 24 0649 
 
      SENATE BILL 239 
 
      By:  Senators Oliver of the 42nd, Boshears of the 6th 
           and Brown of the 26th 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Code Section 7-4-18 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  1- 2  Annotated, relating to criminal penalties for excessive 
  1- 3  interest, so to exclude title pawn transactions from the 
  1- 4  exceptions for pawnbrokers; to amend Title 44 of the 
  1- 5  Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to property, so 
  1- 6  as to change the laws relating to pawnbrokers; to change 
  1- 7  definitions; to provide for different treatment of title 
  1- 8  pawn transactions; to provide for reductions in interest and 
  1- 9  fees for title pawn transactions; to provide for notice; to 
  1-10  provide for criminal and civil penalties; to change 
  1-11  provisions relating to pawnbrokers' liens; to provide for 
  1-12  related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other 
  1-13  purposes. 
 
  1-14       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  1-15                           SECTION 1. 
 
  1-16  Code Section 7-4-18 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  1-17  Annotated, relating to criminal penalties for excessive 
  1-18  interest, is amended by striking subsection (a) and 
  1-19  inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as 
  1-20  follows: 
 
  1-21    "(a) Any person, company, or corporation who shall 
  1-22    reserve, charge, or take for any loan or advance of money, 
  1-23    or forbearance to enforce the collection of any sum of 
  1-24    money, any rate of interest greater than 5 percent per 
  1-25    month, either directly or indirectly, by way of commission 
  1-26    for advances, discount, exchange, or the purchase of 
  1-27    salary or wages; by notarial or other fees; or by any 
  1-28    contract, contrivance, or device whatsoever shall be 
  1-29    guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, however, that regularly 
  1-30    licensed pawnbrokers, where personal property, excluding 
  1-31    motor vehicles or motor vehicle certificates of title, is 
  1-32    taken into their actual physical possession and stored by 
  1-33    them, may charge, in addition to said rate of interest, 
  1-34    not exceeding 25 cents at the time the property is first 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1    taken possession of by them for the storage of said 
  2- 2    property." 
 
  2- 3                           SECTION 2. 
 
  2- 4  Title 44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating 
  2- 5  to property, is amended by striking Part 5 of Article 3, 
  2- 6  relating to bailments and pawnbrokers, and inserting in lieu 
  2- 7  thereof a new Part 5 to read as follows: 
 
 
 
  2- 8    44-12-130. 
 
  2- 9    As used in this part, the term: 
 
  2-10      (1) 'Month' means that period of time from one date in a 
  2-11      calendar month to the corresponding date in the 
  2-12      following calendar month, but if there is no such 
  2-13      corresponding date, then the last day of such following 
  2-14      month. 
 
  2-15      (2) 'Pawnbroker' means any person engaged in whole or in 
  2-16      part in the business of lending money on the security of 
  2-17      pledged goods or motor vehicles or motor vehicle 
  2-18      certificates of title, or in the business of purchasing 
  2-19      tangible personal property on the condition that it may 
  2-20      be redeemed or repurchased by the seller for a fixed 
  2-21      price within a fixed period of time, or in the business 
  2-22      of purchasing tangible personal property from persons or 
  2-23      sources other than manufacturers or licensed dealers as 
  2-24      a part of or in conjunction with the business activities 
  2-25      described in this paragraph. 
 
  2-26      (3) 'Pawn transaction' means any loan on the security of 
  2-27      pledged goods or any purchase of pledged goods on the 
  2-28      condition that the pledged goods may be redeemed or 
  2-29      repurchased by the pledgor or seller for a fixed price 
  2-30      within a fixed period of time, excluding title pawn 
  2-31      transactions as described in paragraph (6) of this Code 
  2-32      section. 
 
  2-33      (4) 'Person' means an individual, partnership, 
  2-34      corporation, joint venture, trust, association, or any 
  2-35      other legal entity however organized. 
 
  2-36      (5) 'Pledged goods' means tangible personal property, 
  2-37      including, without limitation, all types of motor 
  2-38      vehicles or any motor vehicle certificate of title, 
  2-39      which property is purchased by, deposited with, or 
  2-40      otherwise actually delivered into the possession of a 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1      pawnbroker in connection with a pawn transaction. 
  3- 2      However, for purposes of this Code section, possession 
  3- 3      of any motor vehicle certificate of title which has come 
  3- 4      into the possession of a pawnbroker through a pawn 
  3- 5      transaction made in accordance with law shall be 
  3- 6      conclusively deemed to be possession of the motor 
  3- 7      vehicle, and the pawnbroker shall retain physical 
  3- 8      possession of the motor vehicle certificate of title for 
  3- 9      the entire length of the pawn transaction but shall not 
  3-10      be required in any way to retain physical possession of 
  3-11      the motor vehicle at any time. 'Pledged goods' shall not 
  3-12      include choses in action, securities, or printed 
  3-13      evidences of indebtedness. 
 
  3-14      (6) 'Title pawn transaction' means any loan on the 
  3-15      security of a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle 
  3-16      certificate of title. A pawnbroker shall retain physical 
  3-17      possession of the motor vehicle certificate of title for 
  3-18      the entire length of the title pawn transaction but 
  3-19      shall not be required in any way to retain physical 
  3-20      possession of the motor vehicle at any time. 
 
  3-21    44-12-131. 
 
  3-22      (a)(1) All pawn transactions shall be for 30 day periods 
  3-23      but may be extended or continued for additional 30 day 
  3-24      periods.  
 
  3-25      (2) A pawnbroker shall not lease back to the seller or 
  3-26      pledgor any motor vehicle during a pawn transaction or 
  3-27      during any extension or continuation of the pawn 
  3-28      transaction.  
 
  3-29      (3) Unless otherwise agreed, a pawnbroker has upon 
  3-30      default the right to take possession of the motor 
  3-31      vehicle.  In taking possession, the pawnbroker or his 
  3-32      agent may proceed without judicial process if this can 
  3-33      be done without breach of the peace or may proceed by 
  3-34      action. 
 
  3-35        (4)(2)(A) During the first 90 days of any pawn 
  3-36        transaction or extension or continuation of the pawn 
  3-37        transaction, a pawnbroker may charge for each 30 day 
  3-38        period interest and pawnshop charges which together 
  3-39        equal no more than 25 percent of the principal amount 
  3-40        advanced, with a minimum charge of up to $10.00 per 30 
  3-41        day period. 
 
 
 
 
                                 -3- 
 
 
 
  4- 1        (B) On any pawn transaction which is continued or 
  4- 2        extended beyond 90 days, a pawnbroker may charge for 
  4- 3        each 30 day period interest and pawnshop charges which 
  4- 4        together equal no more than 12.5 percent of the 
  4- 5        principal amount advanced, with a minimum charge of up 
  4- 6        to $5.00 per 30 day period.  
 
  4- 7        (C) In addition to the charges provided for in 
  4- 8        subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph, in a pawn 
  4- 9        transaction or in any extension or continuation of a 
  4-10        pawn transaction involving a motor vehicle or a motor 
  4-11        vehicle certificate of title, a pawnbroker may charge 
  4-12        the following:  
 
  4-13          (i) A fee equal to no more than any fee imposed by 
  4-14          the appropriate state to register a lien upon a 
  4-15          motor vehicle title, but only if the pawnbroker 
  4-16          actually registers such a lien;  
 
  4-17          (ii) No more than $5.00 per day in storage fees, but 
  4-18          only if an actual repossession pursuant to a default 
  4-19          takes place on a vehicle which was not already in 
  4-20          the pawnbroker's possession and only for each day 
  4-21          the pawnbroker must actually retain possession of 
  4-22          the motor vehicle; and  
 
  4-23          (iii) A repossession fee of $50.00 within 50 miles 
  4-24          of the office where the pawn originated, $100.00 
  4-25          within 51 to 100 miles, $150.00 within 101 to 300 
  4-26          miles and a fee of $250.00 beyond 300 miles, but 
  4-27          only if an actual repossession pursuant to a default 
  4-28          takes place on a vehicle which was not already in 
  4-29          the pawnbroker's possession. 
 
  4-30        (D)(C) If a pledgor or seller requests that the 
  4-31        pawnbroker mail or ship the pledged item to the 
  4-32        pledgor or seller, a pawnbroker may charge a fee for 
  4-33        the actual shipping and mailing costs, plus a handling 
  4-34        fee equal to not more than 50 percent of the actual 
  4-35        shipping and mailing costs.  
 
  4-36        (E) In the event the pledgor or seller has lost or 
  4-37        destroyed the original pawn ticket, a pawnbroker may, 
  4-38        at the time of redemption, charge a fee equal to not 
  4-39        more than $2.00. 
 
  4-40      (5)(3) No other charge or fee of any kind by whatever 
  4-41      name denominated, including but not limited to any other 
  4-42      storage fee for a motor vehicle, shall be made by a 
 
 
 
                                 -4- 
 
 
 
  5- 1      pawnbroker except as set out in paragraph (4) (2) of 
  5- 2      this subsection. 
 
  5- 3      (6)(4) No fee or charge provided for in this Code 
  5- 4      section may be imposed unless a disclosure regarding 
  5- 5      that fee or charge has been properly made as provided 
  5- 6      for in Code Section 44-12-138. 
 
  5- 7        (7)(5)(A) Any interest, fees, or charges collected 
  5- 8        which are undisclosed, improperly disclosed, or in 
  5- 9        excess of that allowed by this subsection may be 
  5-10        recovered by the pledgor or seller in an action at law 
  5-11        in any superior court of appropriate jurisdiction. 
 
  5-12        (B) In any such action in which the pledgor or seller 
  5-13        prevails, the court shall also award reasonable 
  5-14        attorneys' fees, court costs, and any expenses of 
  5-15        litigation to the pledgor or seller. The court may 
  5-16        award punitive damages to the pledgor or seller if 
  5-17        appropriate. 
 
  5-18        (C) Before filing an action under this Code section, 
  5-19        the pledgor or seller shall provide the pawnbroker 
  5-20        with a written notice by certified mail, return 
  5-21        receipt requested, that such an action is 
  5-22        contemplated, identifying any fees or charges which 
  5-23        the pledgor or seller contends are undisclosed, 
  5-24        improperly disclosed, or in excess of the fees and 
  5-25        charges allowed by this Code section.  If the court 
  5-26        finds that during the 30 days following receipt of 
  5-27        this notice the pawnbroker made a good faith offer to 
  5-28        return any excess, undisclosed, or improperly 
  5-29        disclosed charges, the court shall award reasonable 
  5-30        attorneys' fees, court costs, and expenses of 
  5-31        litigation to the pawnbroker. 
 
  5-32        (D) No action shall be brought under this Code section 
  5-33        more than two years after the pledgor or seller knew 
  5-34        or should have known of the excess, undisclosed, or 
  5-35        improperly disclosed charges or more than two years 
  5-36        after the conclusion of the pawn transaction, 
  5-37        whichever is later. 
 
  5-38    (b) Any interest, charge, or fees contracted for or 
  5-39    received, directly or indirectly, in excess of the amounts 
  5-40    permitted under subsection (a) of this Code section shall 
  5-41    be uncollectible and the pawn transaction shall be void 
  5-42    and the pledgor or seller shall have his or her pledged 
  5-43    goods returned by the pawnbroker. All interest and the 
 
 
                                 -5- 
 
 
 
  6- 1    pawnshop charge allowed under subsection (a) of this Code 
  6- 2    section shall be deemed earned, due, and owing as of the 
  6- 3    date of the pawn transaction and a like sum shall be 
  6- 4    deemed earned, due, and owing on the same day of the 
  6- 5    succeeding month. 
 
  6- 6    44-12-131.1. 
 
  6- 7      (a)(1) All title pawn transactions shall be for 30 day 
  6- 8      periods but may be extended or continued for additional 
  6- 9      30 day periods. 
 
  6-10      (2) A pawnbroker shall not lease back to the pledgor any 
  6-11      motor vehicle during a title pawn transaction or during 
  6-12      any extension or continuation of the title pawn 
  6-13      transaction. 
 
  6-14      (3) A pawnbroker has upon default the right to take 
  6-15      possession of the motor vehicle only upon written notice 
  6-16      delivered via certified mail, return receipt requested, 
  6-17      ten business days prior to the repossession. Such notice 
  6-18      shall state that the pledgor has violated the terms of 
  6-19      the title pawn transaction and that the pawnbroker now 
  6-20      has the right to repossess the motor vehicle. In taking 
  6-21      possession, the pawnbroker or his or her agent may 
  6-22      proceed without judicial process only if such action can 
  6-23      be taken without breach of the peace or may proceed by 
  6-24      civil action. 
 
  6-25        (4)(A) During the initial title pawn transaction or 
  6-26        any extension or continuation of the title pawn 
  6-27        transaction, a pawnbroker shall charge an interest 
  6-28        rate not to exceed that set forth in Code Section 
  6-29        7-4-18, and no additional charges shall under any 
  6-30        circumstances be permissible except as provided in 
  6-31        this paragraph. 
 
  6-32        (B) In addition to the interest provided for in 
  6-33        subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, in a title pawn 
  6-34        transaction or in any extension or continuation of a 
  6-35        title pawn transaction, a pawnbroker may charge the 
  6-36        following: 
 
  6-37          (i) A fee equal to no more than any fee imposed by 
  6-38          the appropriate state to register a lien upon a 
  6-39          motor vehicle title, but only if the pawnbroker 
  6-40          actually registers such a lien; 
 
  6-41          (ii) No more than $5.00 per day in storage fees, but 
  6-42          only if an actual repossession pursuant to a default 
 
 
                                 -6- 
 
 
 
  7- 1          takes place on a vehicle which was not already in 
  7- 2          the pawnbroker's possession and only for each day 
  7- 3          the pawnbroker must actually retain possession of 
  7- 4          the motor vehicle; and 
 
  7- 5          (iii) A repossession fee of $50.00 within 50 miles 
  7- 6          of the office where the pawn originated or a fee of 
  7- 7          $100.00 beyond 50 miles, but only if an actual 
  7- 8          repossession pursuant to a default takes place on a 
  7- 9          vehicle which was not already in the pawnbroker's 
  7-10          possession. 
 
  7-11      (5) No other charge or fee of any kind by whatever name 
  7-12      denominated shall be made by a pawnbroker except as set 
  7-13      out in paragraph (4) of this subsection. 
 
  7-14      (6) No fee or charge provided for in this Code section 
  7-15      may be imposed unless a disclosure regarding that fee or 
  7-16      charge has been properly made as provided for in Code 
  7-17      Section 44-12-138. 
 
  7-18        (7)(A) Any interest, fees, or charges collected which 
  7-19        are undisclosed, improperly disclosed, or in excess of 
  7-20        that allowed by this subsection may be recovered by 
  7-21        the pledgor or seller in an action at law in any 
  7-22        superior court of appropriate jurisdiction. 
 
  7-23        (B) In any such action in which the pledgor or seller 
  7-24        prevails, the court shall also award reasonable 
  7-25        attorneys' fees, court costs, and any expenses of 
  7-26        litigation to the pledgor or seller. The court may 
  7-27        award punitive damages to the pledgor or seller if 
  7-28        appropriate. 
 
  7-29        (C) Before filing an action under this Code section, 
  7-30        the pledgor or seller shall provide the pawnbroker 
  7-31        with a written notice by certified mail, return 
  7-32        receipt requested, that such an action is 
  7-33        contemplated, identifying any fees or charges which 
  7-34        the pledgor or seller contends are undisclosed, 
  7-35        improperly disclosed, or in excess of the fees and 
  7-36        charges allowed by this Code section. 
 
  7-37        (D) No action shall be brought under this Code section 
  7-38        more than two years after the pledgor or seller knew 
  7-39        or should have known of the excess, undisclosed, or 
  7-40        improperly disclosed charges or more than two years 
  7-41        after the conclusion of the pawn transaction, 
  7-42        whichever is later. 
 
 
 
                                 -7- 
 
 
 
  8- 1    (b) Any interest, charge, or fees contracted for or 
  8- 2    received, directly or indirectly, in excess of the amounts 
  8- 3    permitted under subsection (a) of this Code section shall 
  8- 4    be uncollectable and the pawn transaction shall be void. 
  8- 5    All interest and the pawnshop charge allowed under 
  8- 6    subsection (a) of this Code section shall be deemed 
  8- 7    earned, due, and owing as of the date of the pawn 
  8- 8    transaction and a like sum shall be deemed earned, due, 
  8- 9    and owing on the same day of the succeeding month. 
 
  8-10    44-12-132. 
 
  8-11    Every pawnbroker shall maintain a permanent record book in 
  8-12    which shall be entered in legible English at the time of 
  8-13    each loan, purchase, or sale: 
 
  8-14      (1) The date of the transaction; 
 
  8-15      (2) The name of the person conducting the transaction; 
 
  8-16      (3) The name, age, and address of the customer; a 
  8-17      description of the general appearance of the customer; 
  8-18      and the distinctive number from the customer's driver's 
  8-19      license or other similar identification card; 
 
  8-20      (4) An identification and description of the pledged or 
  8-21      purchased goods, including, if reasonably available, the 
  8-22      serial, model, or other number, and all identifying 
  8-23      marks inscribed thereon; 
 
  8-24      (5) The number of the receipt or pawn ticket; 
 
  8-25      (6) The price paid or the amount loaned; 
 
  8-26      (7) If payment is made by check, the number of the check 
  8-27      issued for the purchase price or loan; 
 
  8-28      (8) The maturity date of the transaction; and 
 
  8-29      (9) The signature of the customer; and 
 
  8-30      (10) A statement as to whether the transaction was a 
  8-31      pawn transaction or a title pawn transaction. 
 
  8-32    44-12-133. 
 
  8-33    Entries shall appear in ink and shall be in chronological 
  8-34    order. No blank lines may be left between entries. No 
  8-35    obliterations, alterations, or erasures may be made. 
  8-36    Corrections shall be made by drawing a line of ink through 
  8-37    the entry without destroying its legibility. The book 
  8-38    shall be open to the inspection of any duly authorized law 
  8-39    enforcement officer during the ordinary hours of business 
 
 
                                 -8- 
 
 
 
  9- 1    or at any reasonable time and shall be discoverable in any 
  9- 2    legal proceeding. 
 
  9- 3    44-12-134. 
 
  9- 4    The record of each pawn or purchase transaction provided 
  9- 5    for in Code Sections 44-12-132 and 44-12-133 shall be 
  9- 6    maintained for a period of not less than four years. 
 
  9- 7    44-12-135. 
 
  9- 8    Nothing in this part shall supersede existing local laws 
  9- 9    nor relieve a pawnbroker from the necessity of complying 
  9-10    with them. The requirements of local laws shall be 
  9-11    construed as cumulative to this part. 
 
  9-12    44-12-136. 
 
  9-13    Municipal authorities may license pawnbrokers, define 
  9-14    their powers and privileges by ordinance, impose taxes 
  9-15    upon them, revoke their licenses, and exercise such 
  9-16    general supervision as will ensure fair dealing between 
  9-17    the pawnbroker and his customers. 
 
  9-18    44-12-137. 
 
  9-19    (a) Any pawnbroker and any clerk, agent, or employee of 
  9-20    such pawnbroker who shall: 
 
  9-21      (1) Fail to make an entry of any material matter in his 
  9-22      permanent record book; 
 
  9-23      (2) Make any false entry therein; 
 
  9-24      (3) Falsify, obliterate, destroy, or remove from his 
  9-25      place of business such permanent record book; 
 
  9-26      (4) Refuse to allow any duly authorized law enforcement 
  9-27      officer who is certified by the Georgia Peace Officer 
  9-28      Standards and Training Council or who is a federal 
  9-29      officer to inspect his permanent record book or any 
  9-30      goods in his possession during the ordinary hours of 
  9-31      business or at any reasonable time; 
 
  9-32      (5) Fail to maintain a record of each pawn transaction 
  9-33      for at least four years; 
 
  9-34      (6) Accept a pledge or purchase property from a person 
  9-35      under the age of 18 years or who the pawnbroker knows is 
  9-36      not the true owner of such property; 
 
  9-37      (7) Make any agreement requiring the personal liability 
  9-38      of a pledgor or seller or waiving any of the provisions 
 
 
 
                                 -9- 
 
 
 
 10- 1      of this part or providing for a maturity date less than 
 10- 2      one month after the date of the pawn transaction; or 
 
 10- 3      (8) Fail to return or replace pledged goods to a pledgor 
 10- 4      or seller upon payment of the full amount due the 
 10- 5      pawnbroker unless the pledged goods have been taken into 
 10- 6      custody by a court or a law enforcement officer or 
 10- 7      agency, 
 
 10- 8    shall be guilty of a misdemeanor upon conviction for the 
 10- 9    first offense and of a misdemeanor of a high and 
 10-10    aggravated nature upon conviction for the second and any 
 10-11    subsequent offense. 
 
 10-12    (b) Any person properly identifying himself and presenting 
 10-13    a pawn ticket to the pawnbroker shall be presumed to be 
 10-14    the pledgor or seller and shall be entitled to redeem the 
 10-15    pledged goods described in such ticket.  In the event such 
 10-16    pledged goods are lost or damaged while in the possession 
 10-17    of the pawnbroker, it shall be the responsibility of the 
 10-18    pawnbroker to replace the lost or damaged goods with like 
 10-19    kinds of merchandise and proof of replacement shall be a 
 10-20    defense to prosecution.  For the purposes of this 
 10-21    subsection, 'lost' includes destroyed or having 
 10-22    disappeared because of any cause, whether known or 
 10-23    unknown, that results in the pledged goods being 
 10-24    unavailable for return to the pledgor. 
 
 10-25    44-12-138. 
 
 10-26      (a)(1) Any pawnbroker as defined in paragraph (2) of 
 10-27      Code Section 44-12-130 shall include most prominently in 
 10-28      any and all types of advertisements the word 'pawn' or 
 10-29      the words 'pawn transaction.' and the words 'title 
 10-30      pawn,' if appropriate.  A pawnbroker shall not use the 
 10-31      term 'loan' in any advertisements or in connection with 
 10-32      any advertising of the business of the pawnbroker; 
 10-33      provided, however, that the provisions of this sentence 
 10-34      shall not apply to a pawnbroker in business on March 1, 
 10-35      1992, which uses the term 'loan' in connection with the 
 10-36      name of the business or with advertising of the 
 10-37      business. 
 
 10-38      (2) On any sign advertising a pawnbroker's business, the 
 10-39      words on such sign shall be in at least 24 inch high 
 10-40      letters.  On any other sign on the property where the 
 10-41      pawnbroker's business is located which advertises any 
 10-42      other activities or business engaged in by the person 
 10-43      who is a pawnbroker, the words on such sign shall be in 
 
 
                                 -10- 
 
 
 
 11- 1      12 inch high letters or smaller; provided, however, that 
 11- 2      the provisions of this paragraph shall not  apply to 
 11- 3      signs of pawnbrokers which signs are in existence on 
 11- 4      March 1, 1992. 
 
 11- 5    (b) Every pawnbroker in every pawn transaction or title 
 11- 6    pawn transaction shall present the pledgor or seller with 
 11- 7    a written disclosure ticket or statement in at least 
 11- 8    nine-point type, appropriately completed, with no other 
 11- 9    written or pictorial matter except as provided in 
 11-10    subsection (c) of this Code section, containing the 
 11-11    following information: 
 
 11-12      (1) Information identifying the pawnbroker by name and 
 11-13      address; 
 
 11-14      (2) A statement as follows: 
 
 11-15        'This is a pawn transaction.  Failure to make your 
 11-16        payments as described in this document can result in 
 11-17        the loss of the pawned item.  The pawnbroker can sell 
 11-18        or keep the item if you have not made all payments by 
 11-19        the specified maturity date.'; 
 
 11-20      (3) If the pawned item is a motor vehicle or motor 
 11-21      vehicle certificate of title, a statement as follows: 
 
 11-22        'Failure to make your payment as described in this 
 11-23        document can result in the loss of your motor vehicle. 
 11-24        The pawnbroker can also charge you certain fees if he 
 11-25        or she actually repossesses the motor vehicle.'; 
 
 11-26      (4) A statement that the length of the pawn transaction 
 11-27      or title pawn transaction is 30 days and that it can 
 11-28      only be renewed with the agreement of both parties and 
 11-29      only for 30 day incremental periods; 
 
 11-30      (5) For pawn transactions: 
 
 11-31        (A) The annual percentage rate, computed in accordance 
 11-32        with the federal Truth in Lending Act and regulations 
 11-33        under the federal Truth in Lending Act, for the first 
 11-34        30 days of the transaction, computed as if all 
 11-35        interest and pawnshop charges were considered to be 
 11-36        interest; 
 
 11-37        (6)(B) The annual percentage rate, computed in 
 11-38        accordance with the federal Truth in Lending Act and 
 11-39        regulations under the federal Truth in Lending Act, 
 11-40        for each 30 day period in which the pawn transaction 
 11-41        might be continued or extended, computed as if all 
 
 
                                 -11- 
 
 
 
 12- 1        interest and pawnshop charges were considered to be 
 12- 2        interest.  For purposes of identifying the annual 
 12- 3        percentage rate after the second continuation or 
 12- 4        extension, a single statement which identifies an 
 12- 5        annual percentage rate for each possible 30 day period 
 12- 6        thereafter shall meet the requirements of this Code 
 12- 7        section; 
 
 12- 8      (6) For title pawn transactions, the annual percentage 
 12- 9      rate, computed in accordance with the federal Truth in 
 12-10      Lending Act and regulations under the federal Truth in 
 12-11      Lending Act and the provisions of Code Section 7-4-18 
 12-12      for the first 30 day period and each 30 day period in 
 12-13      which the pawn transaction might be continued or 
 12-14      extended, computed as if all interest and pawnshop 
 12-15      charges were considered to be interest; 
 
 12-16      (7) A statement in dollar amounts of how much it will 
 12-17      cost the seller or pledgor to redeem the merchandise in 
 12-18      the first 30 day period of the transaction; 
 
 12-19      (8) A statement in dollar amounts of how much it will 
 12-20      cost the seller or pledgor to redeem the merchandise in 
 12-21      any 30 day period after the first 30 day period of the 
 12-22      pawn transaction, provided that all fees and charges 
 12-23      have been kept current; 
 
 12-24      (9) A statement of the specific maturity date of the 
 12-25      pawn transaction; 
 
 12-26      (10) A statement of how long, the grace period, the 
 12-27      pledged goods may be redeemed after the specific 
 12-28      maturity date and the dollar amount which will be 
 12-29      required to redeem the pledged goods after the specific 
 12-30      maturity date; 
 
 12-31      (11) A statement that after the grace period the pledged 
 12-32      goods become the property of the pawnbroker; 
 
 12-33      (12) If the pawn transaction involves a motor vehicle or 
 12-34      motor vehicle certificate of title, a statement that the 
 12-35      pawnbroker may not charge a storage fee for the motor 
 12-36      vehicle unless the pawnbroker repossesses the motor 
 12-37      vehicle pursuant to a default; 
 
 12-38      (13) If the pawn transaction involves a motor vehicle or 
 12-39      motor vehicle certificate of title, a statement that the 
 12-40      pawnbroker may charge a storage fee for a repossessed 
 12-41      motor vehicle not to exceed $5.00 per day, but only if 
 
 
 
                                 -12- 
 
 
 
 13- 1      the pawnbroker actually repossesses and actually must 
 13- 2      store the motor vehicle; 
 
 13- 3      (14) If the pawn transaction involves a motor vehicle or 
 13- 4      motor vehicle certificate of title, a statement that the 
 13- 5      pawnbroker may charge a repossession fee, not to exceed 
 13- 6      $50.00, or $100.00 if the vehicle is located more than 
 13- 7      50 miles from the pawnshop, but only if the pawnbroker 
 13- 8      actually repossesses the motor vehicle; 
 
 13- 9      (15) If the pawn transaction involves a motor vehicle or 
 13-10      motor vehicle certificate of title, a statement that the 
 13-11      pawnbroker may charge a fee to register a lien upon the 
 13-12      motor vehicle certificate of title, not to exceed any 
 13-13      fee actually charged by the appropriate state to 
 13-14      register a lien upon a motor vehicle certificate of 
 13-15      title, but only if the pawnbroker actually places such a 
 13-16      lien upon the motor vehicle certificate of title; 
 
 13-17      (16) A statement that any costs to ship the pledged 
 13-18      items to the pledgor or seller can be charged to the 
 13-19      pledgor or seller, along with a handling fee to equal no 
 13-20      more than 50 percent of the actual costs to ship the 
 13-21      pledged items; and 
 
 13-22      (17) Any other information required to be disclosed to 
 13-23      consumers by any other law, rule, or regulation of the 
 13-24      United States or of the State of Georgia A statement 
 13-25      that a fee of up to $2.00 can be charged for each lost 
 13-26      or destroyed pawn ticket. 
 
 13-27    (c) In addition to the information required by subsection 
 13-28    (b) of this Code section, the pawnbroker may, but is not 
 13-29    required to, include the following information on the same 
 13-30    disclosure ticket or statement, provided that such 
 13-31    information is not used to obscure or obfuscate the 
 13-32    information required by subsection (b) of this Code 
 13-33    section: 
 
 13-34      (1) Information identifying the pledgor or seller; 
 
 13-35      (2) Any logo which the pawnbroker may desire to use; 
 
 13-36      (3) Any numbers or characters necessary for the 
 13-37      pawnbroker to identify the merchandise or goods 
 13-38      associated with the pawn transaction;  
 
 13-39      (4) Any other information required to be disclosed to 
 13-40      consumers by any other law, rule, or regulation of the 
 13-41      United States or of the State of Georgia; 
 
 
 
                                 -13- 
 
 
 
 14- 1      (5)(4) Information identifying or describing the pledged 
 14- 2      item; 
 
 14- 3      (6)(5) Information which is only for the internal 
 14- 4      business use of the pawnbroker; 
 
 14- 5      (7)(6) The hours of operation of the pawnbroker; 
 
 14- 6      (8)(7) The time of day of the pawn transaction; and 
 
 14- 7      (9)(8) Any agreement between the pledgor or seller and 
 14- 8      the pawnbroker which does not controvert the provisions 
 14- 9      of this part, of Part 5 of Article 8 of Chapter 14 of 
 14-10      this title, or of Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of 
 14-11      Title 10. 
 
 14-12    (d) The pawnbroker shall have the pledgor or seller sign 
 14-13    the disclosure statement and shall furnish a completed 
 14-14    copy to the pledgor or seller.  The pawnbroker shall 
 14-15    maintain a completed and signed copy of the disclosure 
 14-16    statement on file for two years subsequent to the maturity 
 14-17    date of the pawn transaction.  Failure to maintain such a 
 14-18    copy shall be conclusive proof that the pawnbroker did not 
 14-19    furnish such a statement to the pledgor or seller. 
 
 14-20    (e) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained 
 14-21    elsewhere in this Code section, no municipality or local 
 14-22    government may impose any requirements upon a pawnbroker 
 14-23    regarding the disclosures which must be made to a pledgor 
 14-24    or seller or which must be made in the pawn ticket, other 
 14-25    than those requirements contained in this Code section. 
 
 14-26    44-12-139. 
 
 14-27    Unless specified to the contrary in this part, the failure 
 14-28    of any pawnbroker to do anything required of him or her 
 14-29    under this part or the act of doing anything prohibited 
 14-30    under this part shall cause the pawnbroker, upon a first 
 14-31    conviction, to be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a 
 14-32    fine not to exceed $500.00 or by 12 months' imprisonment, 
 14-33    or both. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the 
 14-34    pawnbroker shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and 
 14-35    aggravated nature." 
 
 14-36                           SECTION 3. 
 
 14-37  Said title is further amended by striking Code Section 
 14-38  44-14-403, relating to liens of pawnbrokers and actions for 
 14-39  interference, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code 
 14-40  Section 44-14-403 to read as follows: 
 
 
 
                                 -14- 
 
 
 
 15- 1    "44-14-403. 
 
 15- 2    (a) A pawnbroker shall have a lien on the pledged goods 
 15- 3    pawned for the money advanced, interest, and pawnshop 
 15- 4    charge owed but not for other debts due to him. He may 
 15- 5    retain possession of the pledged goods until his lien is 
 15- 6    satisfied and may have a right of action against anyone 
 15- 7    interfering therewith. 
 
 15- 8      (b)(1) There shall be a grace period on all pawn 
 15- 9      transactions.  On pawn transactions involving motor 
 15-10      vehicles or motor vehicle certificates of title, the 
 15-11      grace period shall be 30 calendar days; on all other 
 15-12      pawn transactions the grace period shall be ten calendar 
 15-13      days.  In the event that the last day of the grace 
 15-14      period falls on a day in which the pawnbroker is not 
 15-15      open for business, the grace period shall be extended 
 15-16      through the first day following upon which the 
 15-17      pawnbroker is open for business.  The pawnbroker shall 
 15-18      not sell the pledged goods during the grace period. 
 
 15-19      (2) By agreement of the parties, the maturity date of 
 15-20      the pawn transaction or title pawn transaction may be 
 15-21      extended or continued for 30 day periods, provided that 
 15-22      the interest rates and charges as specified in Code 
 15-23      Section 44-12-131 or 44-12-131.1 are not exceeded.  The 
 15-24      grace period shall begin running on the first day 
 15-25      following the maturity date of the pawn transaction or 
 15-26      on the first day following the expiration of any 
 15-27      extension or continuation of the pawn transaction, 
 15-28      whichever occurs later.  All extensions or continuations 
 15-29      of the pawn transaction shall be evidenced in writing. 
 
 15-30      (3) Pledged goods may be redeemed by the pledgor or 
 15-31      seller within the grace period by the payment of any 
 15-32      unpaid accrued fees and charges, the repayment of the 
 15-33      principal, and the payment of an additional interest 
 15-34      charge not to exceed 12.5 percent of the principal. 
 15-35      Pledged goods not redeemed within the grace period shall 
 15-36      be automatically forfeited to the pawnbroker by 
 15-37      operation of this Code section, and any ownership 
 15-38      interest of the pledgor or seller shall automatically be 
 15-39      extinguished as regards the pledged item. 
 
 15-40      (4) Any attempt to circumvent the interest rates and 
 15-41      charges as specified in Code Section 44-12-131 or 
 15-42      44-12-131.1 shall be null and void.  A pawn transaction 
 
 
 
 
                                 -15- 
 
 
 
 16- 1      shall be considered to have been extended or continued 
 16- 2      unless: 
 
 16- 3        (A) All charges, fees, and the principal have actually 
 16- 4        been paid or repaid on the previous pawn transaction; 
 
 16- 5        (B) The pledged goods in the previous transaction, 
 16- 6        including but not limited to a motor vehicle 
 16- 7        certificate of title, have actually been restored to 
 16- 8        the possession of the pledgor or seller; and 
 
 16- 9        (C) The pledged goods in the previous transaction have 
 16-10        been removed from the business premises of the 
 16-11        pawnbroker and, in the case of a motor vehicle 
 16-12        certificate of title, any lien on the motor vehicle 
 16-13        certificate of title has been removed or released." 
 
 16-14                           SECTION 4. 
 
 16-15  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
 16-16  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -16- 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98

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