I pawned a piece of jewellery to a pawnshop. What are my rights as a pawner?
Pawnbroking refers to a transaction in which a pawnbroker lends a sum of money to the pawner in exchange for accepting an article deposited by the pawner for security. Pawnbroking in Singapore is regulated by the Pawnbrokers Act (“PA”). However, the PA does not cover any loan of money exceeding $100 and secured by a pawn, if the rate of interest does not exceed 10% per annum and if no further or other profit or advantage is taken or agreed for on the loan.
Under the PA:
- The pawnbroker must be licensed by a Registrar;
- The pawnbroker is required to issue a pawn ticket containing information prescribed by the PA;
- The pawnbroker is required to make a record of the description of the article pawned;
- According to the Second Schedule of the PA, the pawnbroker can only charge a maximum of 1.5% interest per month on the loan. He must also display a sign or inform the pawner of the rate he charges;
- The article pawned is to be redeemable for a period of at least 6 months. A longer period of redemption can be negotiated. However, even after the redeemable period specified, the article is still redeemable, provided its value exceeds $50, until the article has been sold by an auction;
- There is no prescribed sum of money that can be loaned for an article. It is the pawnbroker’s discretion and the pawner’s prerogative to reject the offer;
- A pawner must produce the pawn ticket to redeem the article. If he has lost the ticket, he must obtain a Declaration Form from the pawnbroker and perform the necessary procedures to redeem the article;
- The pawnbroker cannot accept a transaction if the pawner appears to be intoxicated or below the age of 16, amongst other circumstances; and
- Obviously, it is also unlawful to pawn a piece of article belonging to another person without his permission. Such an act is punishable under the PA.
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- I pawned a piece of jewellery to a pawnshop. What are my rights as a pawner?