NJ pawn shops see spike in business amid crisis

With the financial crisis churning on, some New Jersey residents are selling their personal belongings to pawn shops in order to make ends meet.

Pawn shop owner Rus Milov, of Passaic, says he had heard many stories of desperation in recent months. He says that sometimes mothers come to his store to sell their belongings so they could buy pampers and formula.

"Unemployment is high, so more and more people need money just to survive," Milov says.

Trinity McGriff can relate. She sold off family heirlooms weeks ago to support herself and her 3-year-old daughter, but she still doesn't have enough money to buy them out.

"It hurts your pride if you're a working person and you got to come into a place like this," she says. "But you got to do what you got to do to support your family."

According to Milov, people will pawn almost anything, from lawn mowers to wedding bands they have never taken off, to raise much needed money.

Milov says the economic crisis has put him into an emotional situation he had never dealt with before.

"I have to be part psychologist just to absorb everything and say we can only do what we can do and it will get better soon," he says.

Most pawn shops will give their customers a portion of an item?s worth in cash. They hold onto the item for about 90 days, until the clients pays them back with interest. Milov, however, says he often finds himself bending the rules these days to help out his customers.

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