Law Office of Kimberly N. Shanklin, PLLC.
Serving Denton County Since 2002
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Hindering Secured Creditors

Hindering Secured Creditors

Chapter 32 of the Texas Penal Code defines offenses relating to fraud.

“Hindering Secured Creditors”, as per § 32.33 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when 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, 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.

A person is presumed to have intended to hinder enforcement of the security interest or lien if, when any part of the debt secured by the security interest or lien was due, he failed:

  • to pay the part then due; and

  • if the secured party had made demand, to deliver possession of the secured property to the secured party.

An offense under this section is a:

  • Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property destroyed, removed, concealed, encumbered, or otherwise harmed or reduced in value is less than $100;

  • Class B misdemeanor if the value of the property destroyed, removed, concealed, encumbered, or otherwise harmed or reduced in value is $100 or more but less than $750;

  • Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property destroyed, removed, concealed, encumbered, or otherwise harmed or reduced in value is $750 or more but less than $2,500;

  • state jail felony if the value of the property destroyed, removed, concealed, encumbered, or otherwise harmed or reduced in value is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000;

  • felony of the third degree if the value of the property destroyed, removed, concealed, encumbered, or otherwise harmed or reduced in value is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000;

  • felony of the second degree if the value of the property destroyed, removed, concealed, encumbered, or otherwise harmed or reduced in value is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000; or

  • felony of the first degree if the value of the property destroyed, removed, concealed, encumbered, or otherwise harmed or reduced in value is $300,000 or more.

A person who is a debtor under a security agreement, and who does not have a right to sell or dispose of the secured property or is required to account to the secured party for the proceeds of a permitted sale or disposition, commits an offense if the person sells or otherwise disposes of the secured property, or does not account to the secured party for the proceeds of a sale or other disposition as required, with intent to appropriate (as defined in Chapter 31) the proceeds or value of the secured property.  A person is presumed to have intended to appropriate proceeds if the person does not deliver the proceeds to the secured party or account to the secured party for the proceeds before the 11th day after the day that the secured party makes a lawful demand for the proceeds or account.

An offense under this subsection is:

  • a Class C misdemeanor if the proceeds obtained from the sale or other disposition are money or goods having a value of less than $100;

  • a Class B misdemeanor if the proceeds obtained from the sale or other disposition are money or goods having a value of $100 or more but less than $750;

  • a Class A misdemeanor if the proceeds obtained from the sale or other disposition are money or goods having a value of $750 or more but less than $2,500;

  • a state jail felony if the proceeds obtained from the sale or other disposition are money or goods having a value of $2,500 or more but less than $30,000;

  • a felony of the third degree if the proceeds obtained from the sale or other disposition are money or goods having a value of $30,000 or more but less than $150,000;

  • a felony of the second degree if the proceeds obtained from the sale or other disposition are money or goods having a value of $150,000 or more but less than $300,000; or

  • a felony of the first degree if the proceeds obtained from the sale or other disposition are money or goods having a value of $300,000 or more.

Severity of Crime

Misdemeanor c

  • Fine not to exceed $500

Misdemeanor B

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days

  • Fine not to exceed $2,000

  • Both such fine and confinement

Misdemeanor A

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year

  • Fine not to exceed $4,000

  • Both such fine and confinement

State Jail Felony

  • Confinement in a state jail for not more than two years and not less than 180 days

  • In addition to confinement, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

Third Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 10 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

Second Degree FelonY

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 20 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

First Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for life, or

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 99 years or less than five years with the exception of aggravated sexual assault, which adds a 25-year minimum punishment if the victim is younger than 6, or younger than 14 and the offense contained threats of serious bodily injury or death, or use of a deadly weapon

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000