Can rent-a-center press criminal charges against me if I fail to pay and I cannot return the merchandise?

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Can rent-a-center press criminal charges against me if I fail to pay and I cannot return the merchandise?

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are three possible criminal charges that they can file depending on your circumstances.  The first is making a false statement to obtain credit if you misrepresented your ability to pay the installments of the credit agreement.  The second is theft by deception, under a similar theory if they can show that you did not intend to make the payments when you took possession of the property.  The property is usually listed as the collateral for the rent agreement.  If you do not return the property, you could be charged with a third offense called "hindering a secured creditor"-- which means you are hiding the property which secured the loan. 


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