Sunday, August 25, 2013

Motorists Statewide Targeted in Apartment Complexes for Expired Sticker Scam

Why towing company owners think they can burn vehicle owners over the expired inspection or registration sticker, is a sign of their desperation. The state law hasn't changed since it's creation that regulates this issue. ( Occupations Code 2308.253 (d)(1)(2) ).

I am pleased the SOAH Administrative Judges whom hear cases brought by TDLR against towing companies, tow truck operators, are sticking to law and regulations as written, instead of being swayed by attorneys representing them in this issue.

It's not to late for anyone towed or charged a drop fee for expired stickers, to file a Justice Court suit against the apartment complex for violating the Texas Towing Law.

Because the apartment complex failed to provide the required notice, the vehicle owner or operator is entitled to $1000 plus the filing fee, three times what you paid at the storage lot and the cost of repairs for damage done to the vehicle during the removal. 

There is no filing deadline to sue an apartment complex for violations of Occupations Code 2308.251.  This type of action is not a Tow Hearing

You do not need an attorney for this type of action, as many others have done it on their own with guidance. Since Dallas State Senator John Carona sponsored legislation that passed, your attorney fees cannot be included in any settlement.  I tell folks, if only paid $300 to get your vehicle back and you spend say $150 for the filing fee and your awarded $2000, surely they can satisfy their counsel expense.

This sticker scam is occurring daily across the state, as dishonest towing companies know 99% of vehicle owners or operators do not know the state law all towing companies and parking facilities MUST follow to have vehicles towed.

The only way a vehicle maybe towed for an expired inspection or registration sticker, from an apartment complex is: a certified letter giving 10 days notice, or hand delivered with a witness present, a written warning, from the parking facility, NOT the towing company. The manpower to walk, sticker, write down all the vehicle information takes time, but many towing companies offer this to property managers everyday, knowing darn well it's against the Law.

Dishonest towing companies send their employees, many convicted felons and registered sex offenders, walking parking lots during the day and night placing orange stickers on vehicle windows threatening the removal of vehicle. ALWAYS question who placed the sticker on the vehicle. These orange stickers cost money and the parking facility is prohibited from accepting anything of value from the towing company in exchange for towing vehicles.

Visit Texas Towing Compliance regularly, as this site provides valuable information.

It's important to remember, unless you file a complaint with TDLR regarding a towing company, tow truck driver, vehicle storage facility or employee of their conduct, they grin on the way to the bank, knowing they just got another sucker!