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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26014
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My son lives with us. He pawned some of my property in return

Resolved Question:

My son lives with us. He pawned some of my property in return for a loan.[not the first time. He is a heroin addict, he is waiting to go into rehab]
If I report this as theft, the police will arrest my son and take my property from the pawnshop eventually returning it to me.
The pawn shop will pursue my son for the repayment of the loan. What is the process they put in place and what should I do to protect my property from the loan company.
My son has no assets.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Pawnbroking contracts are now regulated by the Consumer Credit Act which requires any contract period to be for a minimum period of 6 months.

Joshua :

It further requires that if the customer does not repay the loan during this period and the loan was over £75 that the pawnbroker must send the customer a notice that the property is due to be sold and give them a further statutory period of 14 days to redeem the loan. The customer normally has the option also to renew renew the loan by the payment of interest due thereon and having a fresh agreement. If the customer does not renew the agreement or reply to the notice the pawnbroker may sell the goods.

Joshua :

However of course in these circumstances from what you say the goods belong to you and therefore all you need do as you say is make a complaint to the police and you can seek the return of the goods as your son has no legal right to pawn what is not his and title does not pass to the pawnbroker or any purchaser that the resell the goods to.

Joshua :

Unfortuantely to invoke your rights as you also so would involve the police and likely charges for theft which I appreciate you may wish to avoid. If you do not want to expose your son to the possibility of a criminal prosecution then this limits your options in terms of your protection of your property other than by financial means. If interest payments are kept up on the loan then the property cannot be resold by the pawn broker so one approach may be to ensure that interest payment are kept up until your son is able to repay the loan (if you think this is likely) or of course the loan is paid off entirely then the goods can be returned to you however either approach would leave you to a greater or lesser extent significantly out of pocket though you would have a financial claim against your son which you could pursue int he county court without police involvement subject to your son having funds to repay you at some point.

Joshua :

Do consider that if you are reluctant to involve the police in order to reclaim your property now this may hamper you opporutunity to do so at a later date as the question may arise as to why you did not complain earlier which could in turn raise potential questions as to whether the property in question was yours or that you gifted it to your son. Such questions are not inevitable but they could potentially be raised if you delay any complaint to the police in theory at least.

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Customer:

Thank you.

Customer:

According to the police, if I report the theft my would be arrested but probably only cautioned. I would get my stuff back. However I assume the loan company would pursue my son, and as he lives with me I'm concerned that if bailiffs are used there is a chance they may take my property if I can't prove it's mine. He has his own room but everything

Customer:

in it is mine

Joshua :

Sorry for the delay in reverting to you. If you report the circumstances as a theft then it is likely the police would arrest your son. Whether or not he would just be cautioned would depend upon the value of the goods in question - it is up to the discretion of the custody officer as to whether a caution is appropriate. If the amount in question is low hundreds, and this is his first offence this makes a caution more likely. They higher the value and the presence of previous offences makes a caution less likely. In any event a caution can still cause problems for someone in employment if they require a standard or enhanced DBS (previously CRB check) as it will show up for 6 years. Otherwise it does not need to be declared as it is "spent" immediately.

Joshua :

The pawnbroker would also likely press charges but this should not result in a separate charge to that your own complaint would result in. The pawnbroker would likely still issue civil proceedings in the county court to recover any money is owed from your son

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Joshua and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you