Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Georgia

Title Pawn Investigator called to tell me they are going to issue a warrant for hiding a vehicle..I left state to take care of sick mother here is the reference they used(b) A person who has signed a security agreement creating a security interest in property or a mortgage or deed of trust creating a lien on property commits an offense if, with intent to hinder enforcement of that interest or lien, he destroys, removes, conceals, encumbers, or otherwise harms or reduces the value of the property. Can a consumer warrent be issued for my arrest? I am one month late.

Asked on 9/18/13, 8:27 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

It is a crime to conceal property that is the subject of a security agreement, like a pawn title. The secured creditor is allowed to engage in self-help by repossessing the vehicle if you do not pay. Whether they will pursue criminal charges and the success of those charges would depend on the evidence. Being out of state caring for an ailing parent is not the same as deliberately hiding or destroying secured property, but that does not stop them from taking out a warrant if they have a mind to do so.

You had better figure out what you are going to do and quick. If you can get caught up, well and good. Unless your car is worth substantially more than what you borrowed, chances are that the title pawn place wants money, not your car. If you cannot pay then you have got to tell them where the car is at or you will irritate them into taking out a warrant.

And while being out of state caring for your mother is laudable, it doesn't excuse you from not paying your bills. While these car title pawn places are horrible, the same result would follow if you had a regular car loan and stopped paying. Even if you are one day late, the lender has a right to repo your car if they want. So your choices are limited - either find a way to get current quick, file bankruptcy or give them the car.

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Answered on 9/18/13, 11:37 pm

Robert Gardner Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP

I agree with Ms. Hunter. You don't see them take warrants out often, as they use this mostly as a scare tactic. However, it does not mean that they can't try, and dealing with criminal charges can be a serious headache, even though most are eventually dismissed. Get in touch with them and see if you can make arrangements to pay. If you cant', you may wan to consider a bankruptcy to pay it off that way and avoid the high interest and criminal charges.

The answer to this questions is informational only, and it is not intended to be legal advise. Only an attorney who has met with you and gone over all of the specific facts of your case can give you legal advice upon which you should rely. Follow up questions are welcome via the email below, and our firm offers free consultations via phone or in person. We have convenient offices in Winder, Jefferson, and Gainesville Georgia, and you should feel free to contact our office at (770) 307-4899, via email at, or through our website:

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Answered on 9/19/13, 8:15 am

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