Forget Rodeo Drive. In this economy, the rich and famous have a new destination: the collateral lender, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.
"At the end of the day that's a fancy term for a pawn shop," said Jordan Tabach-Bank, the CEO of Beverly Loan Company, a pawnbroker to the stars.
"The A-listers usually come in to shop, the B-listers come in to loan," he said.
His Beverly Hills shop is filled with fine watches, diamonds, and even a Picasso. One necklace there is worth $350,000.
"It's made up of 60 carats of diamonds, plus emeralds," he said.
Thanks to tight credit at the bank, even the rich are in a crunch and are now offering their jewels as collateral for up to seven-figure loans. Beverly Loan usually charges 4 percent monthly interest. And in 70 years of doing business, they have never loaned so much.
"Never before have we seen so many affluent individuals coming into our shop with the high-ticket items," Tabach-Bank said. "We have lawyers, accountants, doctors, investment bankers."
Nearby, in a Beverly Hills auto garage, business is also in high gear for pawnbroker Yossi Dina.
"You have a Bentley, you have a Ferrari," Dina said.
It's all collateral he's holding for loans as high as $7 million. The money is used by clients to pay the mortgage on mansions, finance movies - or even their plastic surgery.
"You don't see desperation, but you can feel it," he said.
In a town where image is everything, some in the moneyed elite just can't bear the shame of it all. So they're asking to meet out in the alley to get their loans on the sly.
"It's time to do whatever you need to do to survive," said Patois De Sandies. She isn't ashamed. She made her money in real estate and stocks. But when her investments recently took a six-figure dive, she needed a bailout.
"Right now, it's better than nothing," she said.
She brought her jewelry to Beverly Loan in exchange for a $1,000 cash loan.
"I'm not surprised that business is booming at the pawnshop because that's the only place where the cash is flowing," she said.
Keeping those who are down from being out in Beverly Hills.
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