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I pawned my firearms and the pawnshop had their FFL suspended. They own two stores and, when I went to pay on my pawn, I was told about the suspension, that all firearms had been transfered to their other location, and that I would have to travel almost 40 miles to redeem. Then I discovered that, when they were transfered, not only had the date changed on when payments/redemption was due, but, they were now charging me more than what I originally borrowed. Originally, I was to payback $122 on the $100 I borrowed plus $10 for the background check. Now, my payback was just over $200. So it’s principal on money I didn’t borrow. They’re refusing to adjust the amount. They swear they mailed out letters, however I, nor any other customer I’ve talked to, received one. I’m sure the charging for money I didn’t borrow is illegal, however, it’s the transfer of the weapons without consent that I am most curious about. I am working on gathering others together and seeking a lawyer to find out what our options are. I would just like to inform other customers of what laws were broken before we do so.

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A financial institution (including a pawnbroker) cannot unilaterally change the terms of an agreement and obeying the law. This section in particular limits the interest rate to 2% per month. It would be illegal and a misdemeanor to raise the interest rate above the statutory limit. They also cannot change (shorten or lengthen) the maturity date of the loan, nor can they obligate you to wait until the maturity date to pay off the loan.

They are in a bit of a bind if they lost their FFL. There is nothing illegal about transferring inventory to another store. They cannot compel you to redeem the item immediately, and you cannot compel them to violate the law and keep the item without the required license.

In case what happened is that you went past the original maturity date because there is no viable public transportation to the new location and you've gone over the 30 day "grace" period (hence the extra charges), you might successfully argue in (small claims) court that the shop is responsible for your tardiness. The fact that the item is located 40 miles away is not per se an unconscionable burden on you, but if it is impossible or very expensive for you to get there because of the new location, they could have some responsibility to mitigate the situation (e.g. give you a ride to and from).

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  • Thank you for your response. I am working on gathering other customers who are experiencing the same issues. A few lost their firearms because of the maturity date changing. I did see a copy of the letter they sent out. It stated that the firearms could be picked up at their other store, which still has an FFL under one of the partner’s names. It said if the firearms pawned were not picked up, they would be transferred. It did not, however, state they would be changing the maturity date or the payback amount. Again, thank you for your helpful response. – VHardin Feb 19 '19 at 15:05

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