In times of a severe economic crisis, when shops and small businesses in Greece are struggling to survive pawnbrokers can not complain of lack of work.
More and more common citizens and businessmen dare to enter in an attempt to get some cash to pay expired bills, outstanding checks, insurance payments and monthly installments on their loans.
According to the owners of pawnbrokers’ the number of people from all social layers who seek the help of companies providing cash over a day is constantly increasing.
What do they pawn? Anything from gold jewelry, bracelets and watches to expensive luxury cars and even, yachts which they are not able to maintain anymore. The amounts they receive in return always depend on the condition of the pawned object, and also on the assessment of specialists.
At the huge parking lot of the company Autocredit are parked a few very expensive and elite models of world famous brands such as Ferrari, Mercedes C63 and the Porsche Cayenne and a few months next to them was also parked a Lamborghini.
In addition to the car at the parking lot are set yachts with a length of 7 to 13 meters, whose value amounts to € 140,000.
The specific pawns, however, continue to belong to the people who have agreed upon them. They can not be moved and are insured.
"What we offer is a quick solution for the financial impasse to our customers as in a time of crisis, banks do not grant credits so easily. We provide cash money within the day", says the owner of the company.
Accordin to him in recent months the number of customers has increased by 20 per cent. "There is an increase because many businessmen are unable to pay VAT or insurance installments. Thus they are forced to leave their personal car or truck to receive cash money after a few hours".
"We serve individuals, businessmen, property developers. We accept car models from the year 2000 onwards, as well as yachts. Of course, in order for the person to receive a good amount of money, his pawn must be in good condition", he said further.
The procedure for granting the loan is as follows. After inspection and assessment of the car is agreed upon an amount of money that can not be less than three thousand euros, but can reach up to half of its original price. Monthly interest rate, which the client receives is 0.75% of the amount received in cash. The contract is signed for a period of three months, but if the client has difficulty it may be extended for another two months.
"If the client is unable to pay the amount we can sell the car or boat on his behalf. Once we deduct the capital that has been granted to him in cash, he receives the rest", explained the owner of the pawnshop.
Recently a building contractor who had to pay VAT in order to sign a contract for the sale of one apartment, left his car as collateral for three months. With the money he received he paid the VAT and his insurance installments.
The situation is similar also in the traditional pawnshops, which have been located for many years around Omonia Square in central Athens. Their owners say that in the last year they have registered an increase in revenue because many citizens are forced to sell old jewelry, coins and expensive watches, in order to get money using which to pay their debts.
"We buy your gold jewelry, whether they are old or broken or only one of the pair at lower prices. The special experts of our company will make the best possible assessment and within 24 hours we will send you your money".
With these alluring words greets the potential eventual clients on its website the company "Gold for Euros". The manager of the company whose head office is located in Spain claims that there are many people who sell old jewelry like earrings and chains to get cash money within one day.
Before being giving the objects the customer signs a contract. With it, the buying company is obliged to pay the price that was determined by the experts for the objects sent by the vendor-client.
After signing the contract the client submits the jewelry to a courier company. Their estimation of their value is carried out in the official assessment center and the customer gets the approved amount up to 24 hours later.
According to the company manager many people are concerned about sending their jewelry from home, but "we inform them that can be confident because the objects are insured," she said further.