Originally called The Pawnbrokers Association of the City of New York, was founded by pawnbrokers at the beginning of the 20th century. They formed the association to promote, protect, and educate pawnbrokers and pawnbroker customers.
The name of the pawnbrokers Association was changed in 1998 to Collateral Loan Brokers Association (CLANY), at the time it was thought that the name “Pawnbroker” was not politically acceptable.
At the beginning of the 20th century NYC was a hub for pawnbrokers and collateral loan brokers. Emigrants coming from Europe had used similar businesses and where familiar with them. The pawn industry was flourishing, there were no records kept but some accounts claim at one point there where over 500 such brokers located in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. By the middle of the 20th century pawnbrokers children grew up to become professionals, doctors, and politicians. They had no interest in carrying on their family’s businesses and many closed up. In the 70’s bank interest rates climbed so high that regulated pawnbroker’s rates were lower than what the banks charged. Again pawnbrokers couldn’t stay in business, and the majority that were left closed down. There were less than 20 licensed pawnbrokers left in all of New York State.
The Pawnbrokers Association went to the State and lobbied to get the first of many laws past. In 1980 the New York State changed the interest rate for pawnbrokers. Increasing the interest rate to 3% for the first 6 months and 2% for the 6 months or more. If it wasn’t for this law Pawn broking in New York State probably would have been gone like the dinosaur.
In the years to follow The Pawnbrokers Association and CLANY changed approximately 15 laws in New York State insuring a place for pawnbrokers to continue to serve the community.
Today there are over 300 licensed pawnbrokers in New York State. And CLANY takes a very serious and active role in monitoring the state for bills that are presented for law.