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Heavy Traffic on Boulevard of Broken Dreams : Battered Middle Class Flocks to Pawnshops
Black Mom\'s taxi key chain, Pam Wright pushed the Super Nintendo console to the counter and left her fingerprints on the contract. The 37-year-
An old unemployed mother with three children later charged $35.
As Wright slipped away, a woman with two daughters offered two Nintendo game boxes telling the man behind the counter that she needed $30 to send her son to the camp.
He smiled and said yes.
At the same time, a Middle
The old man sold a leather jacket that no longer fit, a woman filled with precious stones --
The inlaid ring carefully checked the jewelry box for a gold watch, and a nurse\'s assistant paid 100 for three gold chains and a ring she borrowed after being fired earlier this year.
\"Cash is quick and convenient.
\"They took almost anything,\" Wright said . \" She visited the pawnshop in Anaheim this week, the third time since she was fired six months ago.
\"This is the last thing to do,\" she said, adding to her $35 income from making dinner for her children for three nights.
\"I am not satisfied with this, but I am very satisfied.
\"Pawnshops say they have recently seen hundreds of new customers like Wright as people borrow their property to wait for the recession.
Dennis Hook, chairman of the California Pawnshop Association, said that there are more than 600 pawnshops in the state, about 30 in Orange County, and their image and customers are changing.
Once considered a vulgar place for vulgar customers, pawnshops take advantage of the sluggish economy by offering bargains and convenient instant cash sources.
\"We are in the middle now.
\"The people at the end of the rope are top notch,\" said Blossom Torres, owner of Buch jewellery loan, in plesencia.
\"I have to explain how the pieces work and we are hitting these people.
Pawnshop said: \"pawnshop is basically a loan for goods, no problem, the most common thing in Orange County is jewelry, guns, tools and electronic equipment.
They usually provide about 10% of the value of the item and charge more than 10% of the interest to keep the item for four months.
All loan terms are stipulated by the state. each transaction must be reported to the police. The police will check the stolen items.
When the customer is due, they can roll over the loan, but if they default, the items will become the property of the pawnshop.
They are then sold at two or three times the amount of the loan and are still significantly lower than the retail price for most of the time.
Although interest rates are high, pawnshops are attractive because as long as customers are over 18 years old and have a photo logo, they can quickly process small loans without taking into account the previous credit history.
\"When we first started, we only served blue food.
White-collar workers who can\'t get their next salary, \"Paul said (Doc)
Kilgore, a retired dentist, handed it over to a doctor seven years ago.
Now, the store serves \"anyone from stockbrokers to car dealers to construction workers,\" said Rex Kilgore, son and partner of Doc.
The owner of the store.
Several pawnshops said that customers included some small
Business owners who borrow guns, TV sets or computer equipment to pay wages.
They have fixed clients in construction workers, and whenever they are out of work, they put the tools in the warehouse.
Between the two, there are elderly citizens, single parents and young people who have just started working, and when the bill expires, they find themselves short of money.
\"I think this place is a local bank ---
Liz Young said he opened a pawnshop 18 months ago at the corner of New Harbor Avenue and Bay Street in Costa Mesa.
\"They only need a loan for a few days.
It\'s not a big loan, and you can get Pampers, milk or cigarettes for $20 to $25 ---
Or pay rent.
\"Gino Ali Yala, manager of Newport Beach pawnshops, said he saw people from\" all walks of life \"in his store, about two years ago when the recession began, it started. \"I get the big-
Buck man, and then I got the one who was really hurt, \"recalls Ariola.
The owner of a Rolex watch recently drove a car in Lincoln town and took his golf club off.
\"A lot of people came in with sunglasses and they were embarrassed.
They don\'t say a word.
\"For Dr. Kilgore, the recession has brought about expansion.
Loans have increased by about third and sales have remained stable, he said.
In addition, the default rate fell from about 15% in the previous few years to 8% in 1992, a change from Kilgore to his new middle class. Class customers.
But Torres says both lending and default rates have risen sharply at Buch jewellery loans.
She says only about half of the goods are now being claimed on time compared to 90% before the recession. \"It\'s a two-way street.
We suffer with them, \"said Hook, chairman of the Pawnshop Association.
\"If that person is out of work and will never pick it up, the pawnshop will have to eat.
\"Pawnshops in Orange County say they are proud to help people at a critical juncture.
They say that even though many of their customers are depressed and financially desperate, those who find a job and come back to exchange goods, maybe buy something else, are worth it.
Ali Yala stood in his well and said, \"you must be humanitarian to people.
Organized shop with poster title \"Broken Dream Avenue\" overlooking inventory of rifles, premium jewelry, mobile phones and wet suits.
\"I go home every night and I think, \'Yeah, I helped a lot of people.