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NPA Weekly NewsBrief
July 14, 2009  
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Banks' 'Courtesy' Loans at Soaring Rates Irk Consumers
from USA Today
Even as regulators crack down on abusive mortgage and credit card practices, another type of lending threatens to mire consumers in a credit trap. It's called "courtesy overdraft" and has long been used by banks to automatically pay transactions that account holders don't have the money to cover — and then charge them a steep fee. More

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Pawnbrokers See Increase in Loan Business
from The Star-Ledger
Of the stores, businesses and restaurants lining Asbury Park's Cookman Avenue in New Jersey, at least one is benefiting from the recession as it attracts new and more frequent customers: the local pawnshop. The growth in business comes as customers, hit by hard times and unable to meet daily or weekly expenses, pawn items in return for three- to six-month cash loans. Pawnshop owners said they've also noticed changes in the types of customers relying on their services. More

Dollar Financial Buys Two Scottish Pawnshops
from The Philadelphia Inquirer
Dollar Financial Corp. said that it had acquired two 179-year-old pawnshops in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland. The two shops were established in 1830 and primarily deal in loans secured by gold jewelry and expensive watches, the Berwyn-based payday lender said. More

Precious Metals Law Passed in Orange County
from Shawangunk Journal
The Orange County legislature passed the new legislation this month, which says in part, anyone who has a business that buys secondhand jewelry — gemstones and precious metals — would have to have a license from the county and undergo a background check. In addition, two crucial rules apply. To sell jewelry to a store, you have to be over the age of 18 and you have to have photo ID for the store owner to see and if they want, to record. Then, the store must hold the items for 15 days before selling them. More

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Pawnshops Boom Despite Economic Downturn
from Northland's NewsCenter
Many businesses continue to go under during these uncharted economic times, but one type of business in particular has experienced an increase in sales. Pawnshops across the nation have reported seeing their customer base expand dramatically. From the time the economy began to go down, business at many pawnshops started to go up. More

Study: Many Payday Borrowers Need Additional Loan
from the Washington Post
A majority of borrowers who take out payday loans have to seek a new loan shortly after paying back the original debt because repayment left them with inadequate funds for other needs, a new study by the Center for Responsible Lending has found. Payday loans require borrowers to sign over their next paycheck in exchange for a cash advance of a few hundred dollars with an interest rate as high as 400 percent. More

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Gold, Guitars and Cameras, a New Generation Turns to Pawn
from The Times
Before the Second World War, Britain had more pawnbrokers than it had pubs — a startling statistic that shows how "Uncle" was once woven into the weft and warp of everyday life. What changed was the welfare state, but John Nichols, chief executive of H&T Group, which owns Britain's biggest chain of pawnshops, argues that pawnbroking remains part of many people’s lives today. "Generations have always used us and wouldn't go anywhere else," he said. One branch, in Edinburgh, has been open for 150 years. More

When Times Are Bad, Pawn Business is Good
from Albany Times Union
Keven Gottlieb is friendly with customers, but not overly friendly because he understands some of them are, well, embarrassed to be customers. Some of them drive into his parking lot in cars with tinted windows and wait for other customers to exit Capital City Cash in Troy, N.Y., before they enter. "Some customers like their privacy," Gottlieb said. "Some customers still feel embarrassed or ashamed that they have to come in and sell their stuff." More

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U.S. Demand for Handguns Driving 28 Percent Jump this Decade in Small Arms Trade, Survey Says
from The Associated Press via The Los Angeles Times
American demand for handguns has fueled a 28 percent jump this decade in world exports of pistols, rifles, shotguns and other small arms, a global report said. The 2009 Small Arms Survey reported that the Untied States alone was responsible for about half of the worldwide increase in legal international gun sales between 2000 and 2006. The U.S. now accounts for over half of the world's imports of pistols and revolvers and 45 percent of shotguns, it said. More


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