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Hindering a lien holder

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Zoombies

New member
I have a friend who resides in Tennessee. She is currently separated for over a year but not legally divorced. She is a cosigner for the soon to be ex-husband's vehicle and payments are several months behind. The husband left the state with the vehicle and ceased contact with the bank. The bank is now calling his wife stating they are filing charges for hindering a lien holder and she could face a felony charge unless she personally "steals" the vehicle and brings it back to them because it would not be cost effective to contract a repo company two states away.

She has essentially zero contact with the guy and has no clue where the car could be hidden. Does she have any liability despite doing her best to assist the bank in finding the vehicle?
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
I have a friend who resides in Tennessee. She is currently separated for over a year but not legally divorced. She is a cosigner for the soon to be ex-husband's vehicle and payments are several months behind. The husband left the state with the vehicle and ceased contact with the bank. The bank is now calling his wife stating they are filing charges for hindering a lien holder and she could face a felony charge unless she personally "steals" the vehicle and brings it back to them because it would not be cost effective to contract a repo company two states away.

She has essentially zero contact with the guy and has no clue where the car could be hidden. Does she have any liability despite doing her best to assist the bank in finding the vehicle?
Total BS...total and complete BS. They can hound her for the payments because she is equally liable for those payments as a cosigner, they can also sue her and get a judgment against her for the remainder of the loan, but in no way can they have her criminally charged for anything at all, nor can they force her to recover the car for them by threatening a felony charge if she does not.
 

justalayman

Senior Member
Sounds like a bunch of hooey. I suspect they believe she is aware of where the car is ans are threatening action they have no control over in order to get her to talk.


If she honestly doesn’t know where it is, she tells them just that and stops accepting calls from them. Even if it was a crime, since she doesn’t know where the care is, it becomes moot since she couldn’t retrieve it anyway.


I do have a question thiugh

How is the guy a soon to be ex husband? How can she maintain a divorce action unless he is given notice of the action? Stating he is a soon to be ex suggests she is in the process of a divorce and of true, she will have some idea, if not an actual address, of where the guy is.

And a heads up; your friend is just as liable for the debt as the guy in possession of the car. The creditor can sue your friend for payment and if the car is ever recovered, your friend can be sued for any deficiency remaining after the car is auctioned.




Here is the law in question


Tennessee 39-14-116. Hindering secured creditors
The following is Tennessee 39-14-116:

(a) A person who claims ownership of or interest in any property which is the subject of a security interest, security agreement, deed of trust, mortgage, attachment, judgment or other statutory or equitable lien commits an offense who, with intent to hinder enforcement of that interest or lien, destroys, removes, conceals, encumbers, transfers, or otherwise harms or reduces the value of the property.

(b) For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Remove” means transport, without the effective consent of the secured party, from the state or county in which the property was located when the security interest or lien attached; and

(2) “Security interest” means an interest in personal property or fixtures that secures payment or performance of an obligation.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class E felony.

There must be intent to act against the creditors interesf. Refusing to go and pick it up, even if you are aware of where it is, doesn’t fall within the law. If she knows where it is ans refuses to provide that to the credort, then. She would be in violation of the law
 

justalayman

Senior Member
Total BS...total and complete BS. They can hound her for the payments because she is equally liable for those payments as a cosigner, they can also sue her and get a judgment against her for the remainder of the loan, but in no way can they have her criminally charged for anything at all, nor can they force her to recover the car for them by threatening a felony charge if she does not.
Um, IF she acts to aid in inhibiting the creditors right to repo the car, yes, she could be charged with a felony.
 

FlyingRon

Senior Member
Tennessee does indeed have a charge called hindering a lien holder. This is not it however. To be guilty you have to actively hide or prevent a lienholder from getting to the secured property or do something to intentionally devalue the property. You're not obliged to help them recover it.
 

Zoombies

New member
Just to clarify-she has stated she doesn't have the money to proceed further with the divorce filing just yet. Things ended on very bad terms following an order of protection due to being threatened with a knife. The creditor was made aware of this and stated "There doesn't have to be a confrontation just get the car!" She has been in constant contact with the creditor trying to help to the best of her ability.



I figured it was just a scare tactic to recover their asset. I've never heard of a creditor treating a cosigner essentially as a repo agent.
 
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adjusterjack

Senior Member
I suspect that, by now, it's not the bank making those threats, it's a collection agency. Collection agencies are notorious for those kinds of tactics. And if not a collection agency, maybe a Tote-the-Note dealer or shady finance company.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Just to clarify-she has stated she doesn't have the money to proceed further with the divorce filing just yet. Things ended on very bad terms following an order of protection due to being threatened with a knife. The creditor was made aware of this and stated "There doesn't have to be a confrontation just get the car!" She has been in constant contact with the creditor trying to help to the best of her ability.



I figured it was just a scare tactic to recover their asset. I've never heard of a creditor treating a cosigner essentially as a repo agent.
Tell her to stop taking their calls. She doesn't have to help them at all and should stop trying.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
I agree that the hindering charge is BS in this case but let's remember since the OP's TN friend was a cosigner on the note the friend will likely be included in any legal collection action for the debt.
 

justalayman

Senior Member
I agree that the hindering charge is BS in this case but let's remember since the OP's TN friend was a cosigner on the note the friend will likely be included in any legal collection action for the debt.
Ya, that’s already been stated a couple times.

But one better: the friend may be the only one sued. If the creditor can’t find the other debtor, they have all rights to proceed against just the ops friend and could obtain a judgment for the entire amount of the debt against ops friend.

That would give ops friend a right of action against her husband or she could address it in the divorce but that will do nothing to reduce or remove the judgment order against her. She would be 100% liable for the amount of the judgment.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Ya, that’s already been stated a couple times.

But one better: the friend may be the only one sued. If the creditor can’t find the other debtor, they have all rights to proceed against just the ops friend and could obtain a judgment for the entire amount of the debt against ops friend.

That would give ops friend a right of action against her husband or she could address it in the divorce but that will do nothing to reduce or remove the judgment order against her. She would be 100% liable for the amount of the judgment.
That is all true, but none of that will result in a felony conviction.
 

justalayman

Senior Member
That is all true, but none of that will result in a felony conviction.
I didn’t say that specific right of action would.

If the op obstructs the actions of the lien holder, yes, that surely could result in a felony conviction. As an example: if she is aware of where the car is and refuses to divulge that info, that is likely to be construed as hindering a secured creditor.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
I didn’t say that specific right of action would.

If the op obstructs the actions of the lien holder, yes, that surely could result in a felony conviction. As an example: if she is aware of where the car is and refuses to divulge that info, that is likely to be construed as hindering a secured creditor.
BS. The description of what it takes to "hinder a lienholder" has already been described in this thread. Simply refusing to divulge information on the party who has the car does NOT arise to that level.
 

justalayman

Senior Member
BS. The description of what it takes to "hinder a lienholder" has already been described in this thread.
. Ya, I know, I provided the applicable law.


a) A person who claims ownership of or interest in any property which is the subject of a security interest, security agreement, deed of trust, mortgage, attachment, judgment or other statutory or equitable lien commits an offense who, with intent to hinder enforcement of that interest or lien, destroys, removes, conceals, encumbers, transfers, or otherwise harms or reduces the value of the property.
Refusing to provide the location of the car if known would be considered concealment. I know, you think concealment only means to physically conceal the vehicle from the creditor. Failure to provide information if known has only one purpose: to hinder the enforcement of the secured interest rights. . Why else would a person refuse to provide the imfo

Additionally, delaying the creditor from regaining possession would result in a reduction of value to the vehicle. Time is money when a car is aging.

This law is quite similar to an obstruction of justice law. While there is no obligation to seek out the law and inform them of information known, if you knowingly lie to conceal information, that is obstruction of justice. Here we have the creditors have asked for information the op may know. If they do and refuse,to provide it, they are complicit in the concealment of,the car ergo guilty of hindering secured creditors.

You have to remember, the op is not simply joe blow citizen. They are a debtor regarding the car. That puts them in a special place in the situation.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
. Ya, I know, I provided the applicable law.




Refusing to provide the location of the car if known would be considered concealment. I know, you think concealment only means to physically conceal the vehicle from the creditor. Failure to provide information if known has only one purpose: to hinder the enforcement of the secured interest rights. . Why else would a person refuse to provide the imfo

Additionally, delaying the creditor from regaining possession would result in a reduction of value to the vehicle. Time is money when a car is aging.

This law is quite similar to an obstruction of justice law. While there is no obligation to seek out the law and inform them of information known, if you knowingly lie to conceal information, that is obstruction of justice. Here we have the creditors have asked for information the op may know. If they do and refuse,to provide it, they are complicit in the concealment of,the car ergo guilty of hindering secured creditors.

You have to remember, the op is not simply joe blow citizen. They are a debtor regarding the car. That puts them in a special place in the situation.
They are not asking the OP to provide information. They are demanding that the OP repo the car for them, when they know that there is a restraining order against the husband for domestic violence.
 

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