13-1813. Unlawful failure to return a motor vehicle subject to a security interest; notice; classification

A. A person commits unlawful failure to return a motor vehicle subject to a security interest if all of the following apply:

1. The person fails to make a payment on the lien for more than ninety days.

2. The secured creditor notifies the owner in writing, by certified mail return receipt requested, that the owner is ninety days late in making a payment and is in default. The notice shall include the following:

(a) A statement stating:

"You are now in default on loan agreement #______________. If you fail to return the _____________________ (year of vehicle, make, model) within thirty days you will be subject to criminal prosecution."

(b) The business address and hours of operation for return of the vehicle.

(c) The maximum penalties for unlawful failure to return a motor vehicle subject to a security interest.

3. The owner fails to cure the default within thirty days.

4. With the intent to hinder or prevent the enforcement of the secured creditor's security interest, the owner knowingly fails to do either of the following:

(a) Return the motor vehicle to the secured creditor.

(b) Allow the secured creditor to take possession of the motor vehicle.

B. The original contract creating the security interest in the motor vehicle shall contain the following information:

1. A statement that it is unlawful to fail to return a motor vehicle subject to a security interest within thirty days after receiving notice of default.

2. A statement that notice of default will be mailed to the address on the loan agreement and that it is the responsibility of the owner to keep the listed address current.

3. The maximum penalty for unlawful failure to return a motor vehicle subject to a security interest.

C. It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

1. The owner was physically incapacitated and unable to request or obtain permission of the secured creditor to retain the motor vehicle.

2. The motor vehicle itself was in a condition, through no intentional fault of the defendant, that it could not be returned to the secured creditor within the specified time.

3. The owner has a security interest pursuant to section 47-2711, subsection C.

D. If a law enforcement agency seizes the vehicle, the secured creditor shall be responsible for all towing, storage and related fees or charges.

E. A vehicle that is not returned pursuant to this section is a stolen vehicle for purposes of section 28-4845.

F. Unlawful failure to return a motor vehicle subject to a property interest is a class 6 felony.