PJ BLOGGER

Predatory Towing

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2008 at 8:30 am

A friend of the blog wanted to remind readers of a recurrent problem in New Jersey “Predatory Towing” She recently explained that she was out late and parked in the CVS parking lot in 1300 Paterson Plank Road Secaucus, NJ 07094 ,and her car was towed by Atlantic Towing 230 W Forest Ave Englewood, NJ 07631(201) 567-5330 and charged $250 to get the car and when she objected she was told she had to wait till Monday to get the car ,the car was damaged durring towing and articles were missing . The blog has checked and found that there are no “no parking signs” in plain view and the land lord of this strip mall seems to be instigating the towing.

Oct-24-07 Governor Signs Predatory Towing Prevention Act

NEWS RELEASE

Governor Jon S. Corzine
October 24, 2007
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Press Office
609-777-2600

GOVERNOR SIGNS PREDATORY TOWING PREVENTION ACT

FAIRLAWN – In order to create a coordinated and comprehensive framework to establish minimum standards for tow truck operators, Governor Jon S. Corzine today signed the Predatory Towing Prevention Act.

“This legislation will prevent rogue tow truck operators from taking advantage of vulnerable citizens and holding their vehicles hostage for exorbitant fees,” Governor Corzine said. “In addition, legitimate tow truck operators can be confident that their profession will not be sullied by the unscrupulous actions of those who would take advantage of the very clients that they are trying to assist.”

Under the new legislation, if a motor vehicle is to be towed from private property without the vehicle owner’s consent, there must be conspicuous warning signs posted detailing parking rules and towing conditions. Vehicles parked in front of single-family homes or owner occupied multi-unit structures containing six units or less or blocking access to a driveway will be exempt from the bill’s signage requirement. Property owners or their representative will be required to be present and give written authorization as well as confirmation of the violation if the non-consensual towing occurs during normal business hours.

Furthermore, vehicle storage facilities must be secure, well lit from dusk until dawn and open at least fives days per week between 8 am and 6 pm. They must also provide reasonable accommodations for after-hours release of stored vehicles and are prohibited from charging an additional fee for releasing a vehicle after normal business hours.

“Some tow-truck operators had taken a Wild West mentality toward their work, engaging in overly aggressive practices that venture into the realm of price gouging and extortion,” said Assemblyman Robert Gordon (D-Bergen). “More and more, motorists were finding their cars being held hostage, with ransoms totaling hundreds of dollars or more.”

“It’s time rogue towers were held to a uniform, higher level of accountability,” said Assemblywoman Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Camden), chairwoman of the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee. “New Jersey needs tough rules in place so unscrupulous tow truck operators won’t continue to ply their trade as they see fit, to the detriment of motorists everywhere.”

Towing companies will be required to submit an annual application for registration with the Division of Consumer Affairs, listing the address of the towing company’s principal location and the address of any of its storage facilities as well as a list of the type of towing services the company will provide, insurance information, and any information related to the criminal history of individuals owning a substantial interest in the company. In addition, each company will be required to submit a list of prices and fees to the Division of Consumer affairs and will be prohibited from charging fees in excess of 150 percent of the average towing fee in the county of the company’s principal location.

Each tow truck must affix a decal stating that the truck is registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs, that the customer is entitled to a written schedule of the fees charged for towing and storage services before they are provided and a telephone number for the Division of Consumer Affairs that the customer could use to report an attempt to charge fees in excess of the schedule.

Finally, the bill will make it unlawful to give an advantage or preference to any person who provides information about vehicles parked for unauthorized purposes on privately owned property. The bill will require operators to release a vehicle subject to non-consensual towing if the vehicle had not yet been removed from the property. If this occurs, the towing company must charge no more than a “decoupling” fee. The bill also prohibits refusal to accept payment for towing services by debit or credit card, if the towing company regularly accepts these forms of payment.

The legislation (A-4053/S-2759) was sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblypersons Robert M. Gordon (D-Bergen), Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/ Gloucester), Joseph R. Malone (R-Burlington/Mercer/Monmouth/Ocean), Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen), and Louis M. Manzo (D-Hudson). It was sponsored in the Senate by Senators Joseph Coniglio (D-Bergen) and Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex).

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  1. I have mixed feelings about this one. One on hand, it seems only normal that as long as signs clearly indicate that improper parking will result in a tow at the owner’s expense. However, I also know that the people that are involved in the towing business aren’t always your honest and respectful types, which is why we often hear stories of thefts of items and damage to the cars.

    Bottom line. Don’t park where you aren’t supposed to. We all do it. We think that tow sign is all bark and no bite. How would you like it if commuters started parking their cars in your driveway?

  2. 816 I agree but this is a set up and there are no signs …..Atlantic towing is a dirt bag company !!!!!!

  3. What was done was in violation of the Governors PREDATORY TOWING PREVENTION ACT on many counts, see the bold!

    These are the violations:

    1) Under the new legislation, if a motor vehicle is to be towed from private property without the vehicle owner’s consent, there must be conspicuous warning signs posted detailing parking rules and towing conditions. No such signs exist, the signs simply say only 1 1/2 hour parking only and I was not there for that length of time.

    2) The tow truck must affix a decal stating that the truck is registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs, No such decal.

    3) It unlawful to give an advantage or preference to any person who provides information about vehicles parked for unauthorized purposes on privately owned property. The bill will require operators to release a vehicle subject to non-consensual towing if the vehicle had not yet been removed from the property. If this occurs, the towing company must charge no more than a “decoupling” fee. The bill also prohibits refusal to accept payment for towing services by debit or credit card, if the towing company regularly accepts these forms of payment. Landlord uses a spotter! If not the tow company was engaged in “cursing the parking lot looking for pick ups”

    4) They must also provide reasonable accommodations for after-hours release of stored vehicles and are prohibited from charging an additional fee for releasing a vehicle after normal business hours. When I challenged the towing, the tow company help the car till Monday!

    5) The bill also prohibits refusal to accept payment for towing services by debit or credit card, if the towing company regularly accepts these forms of payment. Atlantic wanted cash only exact change!

  4. Boycott businesses that support predatory towing!!!

  5. I agree PJ this person should get you to organise a boycott of that strip mall

  6. ounds like the classic rogue towing scam

  7. When are you morons going to stop parking on private property? duhhh

  8. 628 in all due respect it is a strip mall with a 24 hour CVS

    and … according to cozine …there must be conspicuous warning signs posted detailing parking rules and towing conditions..there are non

    yes i agree classic rogue towing opperation

  9. Where has this been a problem? What strip mall are you referring to?

  10. property owners have the right to have unauthorized vehicles removed. a few examples here in ridgewood…the whole foods parking lot on godwin ave is for the patrons of whole foods.. NOT for the patrons of the godwin ave stores… same goes for the Kings parking lot on maple..its not for the visitors of that big apartment house or the funeral home. If the owners of these lots choose to tow..then they will perhaps enrage possible customers of their tenants..that is the choice of the property owners.. but its common sense..and common courtesy…that would dictate that a driver OPEN HIS/HER EYES and see that the parking lot is owned by a particular biz for THEIR customers..

  11. yes but the difference with this strip mall is that CVS is open 24/7i wanted to pick up a couple of things and the signs are not clear like kings or whole foods and it was 11:30 at night and i wsnt even parked for 1 1/2 hours

  12. 7:10 –
    True … But clear signage (“…conspicuous warning signs posted detailing parking rules and towing conditions…”) must be posted… I think that is the beef here and why the towing is being described as predatory…

  13. Stop & Shop fills with people from the church/preschool. Sometimes it looks like they are giving away the groceries. Once inside I find that the store is empty.

    Stop & Shop has been very nice about this issue. At times I have left S&S to shop at Kings because of the lack of parking.

  14. me too

  15. I think S&S has a long standing arrangement with the church that it’s ok for members of the congregation to park there. Anybody know for sure??
    I’ve gone to A&P in Midland Park when the lot is full.

  16. I think that S&S has been nice about this. People from the chuch park at S&S for every activity. Even for non church activities. You can tell when the preschool has something going on. It costs S&S business.

    In December I saw people park at S&S and then walk to town. People are taking advantage of a store that is acting as a good neighbor.

  17. to me said…

    Were you shopping in stores in the strip mall or were you borrowing their parking?

  18. S&S is a being a good member of the community and I support their policy even if it means that I have difficulty parking on occasion.

  19. more bul shit from a towing place.some of the drivers my god what dirt ball,sthey are so dirty.

  20. hey PJ I hear the LAND LORD OWNS THAT TOWING COMPANY better send in a 1099 so the IRS can check if they are reporting the income ….these gys are low lives

  21. The landload does not own the towing company. The towing started when cars were left overnight and for days when they catch the bus to NYC. The signs are up. I see them, why didn’t you?

  22. A neighbor ordered some food and the delivery man parked his car in front of the mans house. A white ford escort with Triple A signs on the car and a big yellow light on top drove up right behind the delivery car and a tow truck drove up in front of the car to block him in. Mind you the tow truck drove against the one way to block the delivery mans cars. Everything happened very quickly. The delivery man and the tow truck drivers got into an argument and delivery man called the police. Fortunately the P.O. made the tow truck company released the car.
    Now what would you call that, Predatory Towing or sounds more like attempted autotheft.

  23. This is a great post, which I blogged about at http://www.towingutopia.com, which specializes in information about abusive, predatory towing.

    http://towingutopia.blogspot.com/2008/11/calling-out-predatory-towing-in.html

  24. Yes Johnny, we’ve seen your emotionally charged and incestuous posts on this topic. This post does have some merit, much unlike yours. If you want a different perspective on these issues, check out my blog. It always comes down to the same thing. What were you doing parking on private property that you didn’t have permission to park on in the first place? Signs or no signs, it’s obvious that the lot in question is private property.

    Maybe we should all post signs by our front doors. “You are not allowed to enter without knocking first” Give me a break. Johnny the whiner here would want to claim all impound towers are criminals.

    Tell them the real reason Johnny? How much did it cost you when you trespassed on someones property with your car and you got caught?

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