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An item of goods transferred by the owner (the pawnor) to another (the pawnee) as security for a debt. (The word is also used for the transfer itself.) A pawn involves a bailment and the pawnor remains owner of the goods; the pawnee is liable for failure to take reasonable care of them. If the pawnor fails to repay the loan at the agreed time, the pawnee has the right at common law to sell the pawn; he must account to the pawnor for any surplus after discharging his debt. Pawnbrokers are dealers licensed to lend money at a specified rate of interest on the security of a pawn. Pawnbroking is regulated by provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (replacing the Pawnbrokers Acts 1872 and 1960) with regard to such matters as pawn receipts, rates of interest, redemption period and procedure, consequences of failure to redeem, and realization of the pawn. Under the Act, a pawn can be redeemed at any time within six months, or longer if agreed by both parties. At the end of the redemption period ownership of the pawn passes to the pawnbroker if the redemption period is six months and the value of the debt is £25 or less. If it is more than £25 the pawnbroker may sell the pawn after giving the pawnor notice, but the pawnor may still redeem the pawn at any time until it is sold. The pawnbroker must account to the pawnor for any surplus from the proceeds of sale after discharging his debt but he may claim any balance of the debt if the proceeds are insufficient.

From:  pawn  in  A Dictionary of Law »

Subjects: Law.

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