Oscar RomanParticipantMarch 23, 2017 at 10:01 amPost count: 1
How would you handle collecting on police tows in which vehicles are abandoned at storage lot due to lack of insurance or just being dumped. Currently we store the vehicles and follow proper procedure for disposing but barely able to recover the cost of the tow. Storage is pretty much washed. Is there a way to go after the registered owner via collections and at a minimal costNick PortoModeratorMarch 23, 2017 at 10:59 amPost count: 9
Oscar: you can always pursue the owner of the vehicle in a small claims action, which would involve minimal costs. Small claims actions are often an efficient ways to bring a tortfeasor into court. The other alternative would be, of course, selling the vehicles through your state’s abandoned vehicle laws. I realize that this will not always completely cover your expense but hopefully it helps.
Thanks for joining and for posting and let us know if we can help further,
NickBruce EagleParticipantApril 25, 2017 at 9:25 pmPost count: 1
I have a stack of these. If we went to small claims court would the judge rule in our favor if this were a police ordered tow which in most cases are non consent tows? If so, collecting on a judgement can be challenging. I have heard of collection firms that may purchase judgements. I have never known anyone to go this route. Would you have any insight on this process?Michael McGovernModeratorApril 26, 2017 at 6:23 amPost count: 4
If the tow was properly authorized under state law, the vehicle owner is responsible for the charges even if the tow was a non-consent police ordered tow. Most courts have held that a vehicle owner impliedly consents to the tow of his/her vehicle in the event it requires removal from the roadway due to an accident or violation of traffic laws. That would include consent to pay reasonable towing/storage fees. You can obtain a judgment, usually by default (meaning the owner does not show up for court).
Collecting is the tricky part. I would recommend that you turn your judgments over to a collection agency or factoring company. Some states have enacted laws that prevent vehicle owners from registering another vehicle if they have outstanding unpaid towing fees. Check your state law. If you have not already done so, download the towing laws for your state from the TowLawyer library.
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