H. B. 2695

(By Delegates Douglas, Manuel, Staton, Faircloth and Trump)

[Introduced February 23, 1995; referred to the Committee

on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend article three, chapter sixty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section fifty-two, relating to the regulation of pawnbrokers.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article three, chapter sixty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section fifty- two, to read as follows:
§61-3-52. General regulations of pawnbrokers.
(a) As used in this section, "pawnbroker" means any person who lends or advances money or other things for profit on the pledge and possession of personal property, or other valuable things, other than securities or written or printed evidences of indebtedness, or who deals in the purchasing of personal property or other valuable things on condition of selling the same back to the seller at a stipulated price.
(b) No pawnbrokers shall sell any pawn or pledge until (i) it has been in his possession for four months, unless a shorter period of not less than thirty days is agreed to in writing by the pawner, and (ii) a sworn statement of ownership acknowledged by a notary republic licensed under chapter twenty-nine-c of this code is obtained from the pawner. The governing body of the locality wherein the pawnbroker conducts his business may determine the contents of the statement of ownership.
(c) Every pawnbroker shall keep at his place of business an accurate and legible record of each loan or transaction in the course of his business. The account shall be recorded at the time of the loan or transaction and shall include:
(1) A description of the make and/or manufacturer, model and/or model number, size and/or shape, serial number, year of manufacture, and a statement of ownership of the goods, article or thing pawned or pledged or received on account of money loaned thereon. In addition to the aforementioned description of pawned or pledged items, firearms shall also include in their description the color, caliber, and size;
(2) The time, date and place of the transaction;
(3) A separate transaction number shall be assigned for each good, article, or thing pledged or pawned in a transaction;
(4) The full name, residence address, work place, and home and work telephone numbers of the person or persons pawning or pledging the goods, article or thing, together with a particular description, including the height, weight, date of birth, social security number, race, gender, hair, and eye color, and any other identifying marks, of such person or persons;
(5) Verification of the identification by the exhibition of a government-issued identification card such as a driver's license, DMV non-driver's license, military identification card or passport. The record shall contain the type of identification exhibited, the issuing agency, and the number thereon;
(6) The superintendent of the division of public safety in the department of military affairs and public safety shall promulgate regulations specifying the nature of the particular description for subdivision four of this article. The superintendent shall also promulgate regulations specifying the nature of identifying credentials of the person pawning or pledging the goods. Such credentials shall be examined by the pawnbroker, and an appropriate record retained thereof.
(d) Every pawnbroker shall prepare a daily report of all goods, articles or things pawned or pledged with him that day and file such report within 72 hours with the chief of police, sheriff, state police detachment responsible for that county, or other law- enforcement officer of the county, city, or town where his business is conducted. The report shall include the name and residence of the pledgor and description of the goods, article or thing pledged and shall be in writing and clearly legible to any person inspecting it.
(e) Every pawnbroker and every employee of the pawnbroker shall admit to the pawnbroker' place of business during regular business hours, the chief law-enforcement officer, or his designee, of the jurisdiction where his business is being conducted, or any law-enforcement official of the state or federal government. The pawnbroker or employee shall permit the officer to (i) examine all records required by this chapter and any article listed in a record which is believed by the officer to be missing or stolen and (ii) search for and take into possession any article known to him to be missing, or known or believed by him to have been stolen.
(f) No property received on deposit or pledge by any pawnbroker shall be disfigured or its identity destroyed or affected in any manner so long as it continues in pawn or in the possession of the pawnbroker, nor shall any property be concealed for forty-eight hours after the property is received by the pawnbroker.
(g) Pawnbrokers shall store, or take care to protect from damage during disuse, all blankets, clothing carpets, furs, rugs, dress goods, cloths, mirrors, oil paintings, glass and chinaware, pianos, organs, curtains, beddings and upholstered furniture pawned or pledged with them. Pawnbrokers shall be allowed to charge two percent per month in addition to the regular charges for the first three months, or part thereof, while such goods remain as pledge for money advanced.
(h) A pawnbroker may not acquire a precious metal object, or take any merchandise in a pawn transaction, from an individual who is a minor.
(j) Any licensed pawnbroker who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than ten thousand dollars, or confined in a county or regional jail, not less than one day nor more than one year or both fined and imprisoned.

NOTE: This bill creates a law regulating pawnbrokers in this state.

Section 52 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.