Hindering Secured Creditors in TN

If you have been charged with hindering secured creditors in Tennessee, the attorneys at the law offices of Baker Associates will employ powerful defense tactics on your behalf.

Our experience can help you understand the complex legal issues that arise when you have been charged with hindering secured creditors. By investigating the issues involved we can often find weaknesses and inconsistencies in the government's case that help protect your legal rights. As a former prosecutor, Joseph A. Baker has the knowledge and experience necessary to properly defend you if you have been accused of hindering secured creditors.

What is the Crime of "Hindering Secured Creditors"?

A security interest in personal property secures payment or performance of an obligation. For example, when a person purchases a car, he or she typically grants a security interest in the car to a bank in exchange for a bank loan to be paid to the dealer. Though you own the car, the bank has a security interest in that car to protect itself in the event that you default on the loan. Upon default, the bank has a right to possess the car and sell it so as to recoup any amount remaining on the loan.

A mortgage works the same way as a lien on personal property. A mortgage typically is the transfer of an interest in land to a bank (or lender) as security for money it loaned to you to pay the purchase price on the land.

Essentially, the crime of hindering a secured creditor is any act committed that hinders the creditor's ability to enforce its security interest in the property you possess.

Under T.C.A. 39-14-116, it is a Class E felony to destroy, remove, or otherwise harm the value of any of your property with the intent to hinder enforcement of any security interest held by another on that property. If convicted, you could serve up to six years but not less than one. Fines may include an amount up to $3,000.

What the State Must Prove.

For you to be found guilty of the offense of hindering secured creditors, the state must have proven beyond a reasonable doubt the existence all of the following essential elements:

  1. That you claimed ownership or interest in real or personal property that is subject to a security interest, lien, or mortgage. If the interest has not yet been "perfected" at the time the interference is claimed, then the state's proof fails. Perfection is an act recognized by statute taken by a lien holder that puts everyone on notice that it has a security interest in the property.
  2. That you removed, concealed, transferred, or otherwise reduced the value of the property.
  3. That you removed, concealed, transferred, or otherwise reduced the value of the property with the intent to hinder enforcement of the secured party's (e.g., the bank's) security interest or lien.

"Intent" means that a person acts intentionally with respect to the nature of the conduct or to a result of the conduct when it is the person's conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result. For example, in cases involving removal of personal property secured by a lien, defendants have successfully defeated the intent element on the basis that the removal of the property was only temporary or casual.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

In order to strengthen your position as one of our clients, attorney Joseph A. Baker and his associates have received the most up-to-date training available. By attending numerous seminars and colleges, including the prestigious National Criminal Defense College, each attorney at the law offices of Baker Associates will fight to see that your rights are protected in court.

If you have been accused of hindering a security interest in Tennessee, contact attorney Joseph A Baker and his associates at (866) 853-2888 to discuss your case.

To schedule a complimentary evaluation with a criminal defense lawyer at our office serving Pigeon Forge, Knoxville, and Sevierville, complete the form below.

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a Tennessee criminal lawyer or criminal defense attorney at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.

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