NC Bill Gives Towed Vehicle Owners More Rights

North Carolina's Legislature has passed new rules reining in abusive tow truck operators.

The state Senate voted 45-2 for consumer protection standards for most of the state's major urban areas and Dare, Richmond, and Robeson counties. The measure now goes to Gov. Beverly Perdue for consideration.

The law requires parking lots that tow away unauthorized vehicles to post a 2-by-2 foot sign with the name and phone number of its towing company. Tow-truck operators couldn't haul cars more than 25 miles away.

Car owners could pay to collect their vehicle without giving up the right to contest the charges later and towing companies couldn't force car owners to sign away their right to go to court to get their vehicle.

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  • by Anonymous on Jul 9, 2010 at 02:50 PM
    Pirate Lady: have you ever lived in the Raleigh area. The tow companies use to pull into the apt complexes and just tow everyone even residents, and even if the person had followed all parking laws. It was a huge problem around 2003-2006. So its not always a law abiding problem.
  • by Bud Location: Washington on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:40 PM
    Audra, not to be rude but Lady Di had it right the first time. It is chock. "Chock - noun. A wedge or block of wood, metal, or the like, for filling in a space, holding an object steady, etc." They also do "chalk" the tires in 2 hour parking, but I would think the area Lady Di is talking about is a flat-out no parking zone so "chalking," not to be confused with "chocking," not to be confused with "choking," would be redundant. BTW, are you really posting from California? If so, that's cool that you follow WITN!
  • by The Pirate Lady Location: Grimesland on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:38 PM
    Well, it's good that signs will be posted with the towing company's info...but of course, obeying parking guidelines or paying your carnote prevents a lot of drama later.
  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jul 9, 2010 at 11:31 AM
    EXCUSE ME, "Lady Di".. or rather excuse YOU. Reposession of a vehicle happens when someone is too stupid to know what bills they can & can't handle & bites off more than they can chew. Being a student or anything else is no excuse for being a deadbeat, & not planning & handling financial matters correctly. It's when you don't pay, don't pay, don't pay, & then hide that you lose your car. That's NOT okay. Companies will work with you if you don't try to avoid them. It's because of people that do such things that the cost & interest rates on purchases is so freakin' high anymore, & it's so hard to get approved for financing. If people would just use their brain & not spend money they don't have, it wouldn't happen in the first place. Repo is a job & there is nothing scummy about it. It's also unfortunately a dangerous job because people are idiots. How did this become a discussion about military anyway? By the way.. it's chalk, not chock - that stuff they used on blackboards.. in school.
  • by What an idiot! Location: Greenville on Jul 9, 2010 at 09:16 AM
    To Mountain: The people who repo cars are doing a job. They have that job because people don't pay their bills. They don't deserve to die for doing their job and I think that you're an idiot for having that mentality. Those people have families and lives just like the people they have to repo from. Don't think that all of them enjoy doing it. They don't. But it's work and it pays.
  • by lady di on Jul 9, 2010 at 06:02 AM
    There's a big parking garage in downtown Wilmington on the waterfront that tows cars or puts a chock on the front wheel so they can cheat people out of their money. I know several Marines who have unwittingly parked there for the Marine Corps Ball, not knowing it was a tow away lot with obscure signs. They hate the military, obviously, and I hope they go out of business & lose everything, but big businesses who lie in wait for their victims usually are the ones who prosper. (Bank of America) They cheat people & hold their cars hostage for exorbitant tow fees. I know of college students who have fallen prey to them, & they have these high school drop-outs riding around in golf carts seeing who they can cheat next. They think it's funny when they get people, especially Marines, because they're dirtbags who can't be in the military. (Probably lining their own pockets.) I'm sure they get a cut from the tow companies. Mountain's right, repo men & garage attendants are scum.
  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jul 9, 2010 at 01:21 AM
    Ok, I have to say I understand the purpose of this law. I completely appreciate what's being done because there has been some rampant abuse, & it's NOT just about repos. It's also not about someone being completely flippant or careless. Many yrs ago I drove to Chinatown in downtown L.A. w/ my grandmother & we went to have dinner. We came back to find to our horror that the car was gone & we had absolutely no way to know why or what to do. We thought it had been stolen & both of us were having a breakdown over it. In a shop we'd just been in, we were told that it was a tow zone at 5pm & they regularly hooked up cars & took them away. We got help w/ where by calling the PD. It was a huge hassle including a long walk in the dark in a bad neighborhood w/ a lot of cash in hand from the ATM. Scary. The issue is there was scaffolding obstructing the sign & the sign was damaged. It couldn't be seen from where you park & walk from your car. That abuse of the system cost us a lot of money.
  • by Truth Location: Reality on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:31 AM
    To Chris and Scott: I agree with most of what you say about repos--it isn't YOURS until it is fully paid for. To Chris, Scott, and Mountain: Methinks this law is not about repos, but about unfair parking lot towing practices found in many areas. I agree that if you park illegally, you are liable for the consequences. But, I also believe that you shouldn't be left wondering where your car went or who to call to retrieve it. I also believe that you should in no way lose your right to contest the charges. In many instances (but certainly not all), there could be a justifiable reason for the vehicle being there and people ARE currently forced to sign away their rights to appeal the charges. Also, *some* tow operators will take the vehicle far away just to increase possible storage fees due to a delay in retrieving the vehicle AND so that they can *justify* higher towing fees.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 8, 2010 at 09:05 PM
    Had my car towed in Gville back around 1985. The scum bag was preying on college kids. I was a little wiser and did not pay and stole my car back. Guess what...the scum did not press charges for me entering his lot and taking my car back.
  • by What? Location: MHC on Jul 8, 2010 at 08:53 PM
    Because Heaven forbid someone has to be accountable for parking their car illegally. I can't believe paper will be wasted writing this into law.
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