4727.03 Experience and fitness - disciplinary actions.

(A) As used in this section, "experience and fitness in the capacity involved" means that the applicant for a pawnbroker's license demonstrates sufficient financial responsibility, reputation, and experience in the pawnbroker business, or in a related business, to act as a pawnbroker in compliance with this chapter. "Experience and fitness in the capacity involved" shall be determined by:

(1) Prior or current ownership or management of, or employment in, a pawnshop;

(2) Demonstration to the satisfaction of the superintendent of financial institutions of a thorough working knowledge of all pawnbroker laws and rules as they relate to the actual operation of a pawnshop. A demonstration shall include a demonstration of an ability to properly complete forms, knowledge of how to properly calculate interest and storage charges, and knowledge of legal notice and forfeiture procedures. The final determination of whether an applicant's demonstration is adequate rests with the superintendent .

(3) A submission by the applicant and any stockholders, owners, managers, directors, or officers of the pawnshop, and employees of the applicant to a police record check; and

(4) Liquid assets in a minimum amount of one hundred thousand dollars at the time of applying for initial licensure and demonstration of the ability to maintain the liquid assets at a minimum amount of fifty thousand dollars for the duration of holding a valid pawnbroker's license.

(B) The superintendent may grant a license to act as a pawnbroker to any person of good character and having experience and fitness in the capacity involved to engage in the business of pawnbroking upon the payment to the superintendent of a license fee determined by the superintendent pursuant to section 1321.20 of the Revised Code. A license is not transferable or assignable.

(C) The superintendent may consider an application withdrawn and may retain the investigation fee required under division (D) of this section if both of the following are true:

(1) An application for a license does not contain all of the information required under division (B) of this section.

(2) The information is not submitted to the superintendent within ninety days after the superintendent requests the information from the applicant in writing.

(D) The superintendent shall require an applicant for a pawnbroker's license to pay to the superintendent a nonrefundable initial investigation fee of two hundred dollars, which is for the exclusive use of the state.

(E)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (E)(2) of this section, a pawnbroker's license issued by the superintendent expires on the thirtieth day of June next following the date of its issuance, and may be renewed annually by the thirtieth day of June in accordance with the standard renewal procedure set forth in Chapter 4745. of the Revised Code. Fifty per cent of the annual license fee shall be for the use of the state, and fifty per cent shall be paid by the state to the municipal corporation, or if outside the limits of any municipal corporation, to the county, in which the office of the licensee is located. All such fees payable to municipal corporations or counties shall be paid annually.

(2) A pawnbroker's license issued or renewed by the superintendent on or after January 1, 2006, expires on the thirtieth day of June in the even-numbered year next following the date of its issuance or renewal, as applicable, and may be renewed biennially by the thirtieth day of June in accordance with the standard renewal procedure set forth in Chapter 4745. of the Revised Code. Fifty per cent of the biennial license fee shall be for the use of the state, and fifty per cent shall be paid by the state to the municipal corporation, or if outside the limits of any municipal corporation, to the county, in which the office of the licensee is located. All such fees payable to municipal corporations or counties shall be paid biennially.

(F) The fee for renewal of a license shall be equivalent to the fee for an initial license established by the superintendent pursuant to section 1321.20 of the Revised Code. Any licensee who wishes to renew the pawnbroker's license but who fails to do so on or before the date the license expires shall reapply for licensure in the same manner and pursuant to the same requirements as for initial licensure, unless the licensee pays to the superintendent on or before the thirty-first day of August of the year the license expires, a late renewal penalty of one hundred dollars in addition to the regular renewal fee. Any licensee who fails to renew the license on or before the date the license expires is prohibited from acting as a pawnbroker until the license is renewed or a new license is issued under this section. Any licensee who renews a license between the first day of July and the thirty-first day of August of the year the license expires is not relieved from complying with this division. The superintendent may refuse to issue to or renew the license of any licensee who violates this division.

(G) No license shall be granted to any person not a resident of or the principal office of which is not located in the municipal corporation or county designated in such license unless that applicant, in writing and in due form approved by and filed with the superintendent, first appoints an agent, a resident of the state, and city or county where the office is to be located, upon whom all judicial and other process, or legal notice, directed to the applicant may be served. In case of the death, removal from the state, or any legal disability or any disqualification of any such agent, service of such process or notice may be made upon the superintendent. The superintendent may, upon notice to the licensee and reasonable opportunity to be heard, suspend or revoke any license or assess a penalty against the licensee if the licensee, or the licensee's officers, agents, or employees, has violated this chapter. Any penalty shall be appropriate to the violation but in no case shall the penalty be less than two hundred nor more than two thousand dollars. Whenever, for any cause, a license is suspended or revoked, the superintendent shall not issue another license to the licensee nor to the legal spouse of the licensee, nor to any business entity of which the licensee is an officer or member or partner, nor to any person employed by the licensee, until the expiration of at least two years from the date of revocation or suspension of the license. The superintendent shall deposit all penalties allocated pursuant to this section into the state treasury to the credit of the consumer finance fund. Any proceedings for the revocation or suspension of a license or to assess a penalty against a licensee are subject to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(H) If a licensee surrenders or chooses not to renew the pawnbroker's license, the licensee shall notify the superintendent thirty days prior to the date on which the licensee intends to close the licensee's business as a pawnbroker. Prior to the date, the licensee shall do either of the following with respect to all active loans:

(1) Dispose of an active loan by selling the loan to another person holding a valid pawnbroker's license issued under this section;

(2) Reduce the rate of interest on pledged articles held as security for a loan to eight per cent per annum or less effective on the date that the pawnbroker's license is no longer valid.

Effective Date: 04-05-2001; 05-06-2005