Endangering security interest is a misdemeanor charge that is becoming more frequent within the daily arrest reports for Polk County, Georgia. This informational article profiles that charge and is meant to help you understand how a person could be arrested and charged with this crime.
Endangering security interest falls under Georgia Code Title 16, Section 16-9-51 and deals with property that is subject to a lien and used as collateral on a loan.
The charges stem from either:
- a person’s attempt to destroy, remove, conceal, encumber, transfer, or otherwise deal with property subject to a security interest with the intent to hinder enforcement of that security interest.
- A person while attempting to conceal or hinder causes damage to such property in an amount greater than $500.00 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
Under Georgia Code, the crime will be considered as having been committed in any county where any act in furtherance of the criminal scheme was done or caused to be done. Unlike the felony provision of Georgia Code 16-9-53 that deals with damaging, destroying, or secreting property to defraud another, the misdemeanor charge of endangering security interest requires no proof of “intent to defraud”. The only proof required is that the person has dealt with the security interest with “intent to hinder”.
This law helps to protect creditors and gives them an outlet to recover property that was promised as collateral for loans.
One way to protect yourself from being arrested on these charges is to surrender any property that is subject to a security interest once you have defaulted on your loan or written agreement. The creditor usually will allow you a certain amount of time in order to bring the loan back to a current status and reclaim your collateral. It is always best to try to work with your creditors rather than to try and avoid them.
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