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Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Why are these two laws screwed up and actually reversed ?

Asked by Pretty_Lilly (4655points) April 16th, 2010

It is my understanding that by law a person can order a repo man in the process of legally repossessing a vehicle to release it,even if the loan is in default and the repossession has been order by the title holder,the bank
(*that’s why,most repo men prefer to work at night and steal the car back) but when I lived in Florida it was legal for tow truck companies to go about town and tow away legally parked cars and charge the owners +$300 to get their cars back,even though the tow was not ordered by the police nor by a property/business owner .

I think the worst case,I have ever seen was a pregnant woman parking at a 7/11 to use the payphone within seconds the tow truck backed up to her car & hitched up her front wheels.
Completely legal,because technically she was not there patronize the business,, to top it off the A-hole truck driver was laughing at the poor crying lady,telling her there was nothing he could do !
There were several tow truck companies that were infamous for basically doing the same thing,,, drive around town stealing legally parked cars out of side streets,businesses and even an apartment complex.
Even the local radio DJs would often comment on this practice !

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18 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Your first mistake is in assuming laws make sense!

mrentropy's avatar

I didn’t think you could stop a repossession. For any reason. After watching that dumb show about a repo crew on TV I’d say the reason why they prefer to work at night is just so they don’t have to deal with people angry that their car is being taken back. And they aren’t being stolen. If you wake up in the morning and your car is gone you can call the police and they can tell you if it was repo’d or not.

As for the towing companies that have a contract to tow away vehicles from business’ parking lots, yeah, I think a few of them have been a bit over-enthusiastic. The Consumerist had a story about a guy in a coffee shop, drinking coffee, and having his car towed away.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It varies with the state. Some states give the homeowner the right to stop those attempting to repossess a vehicle. Other states require the repo man to inform the individual that he or she is about to repossess his or her car.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

@mrentropy I read the story of the guy at Starbucks but I found a worst one !

CaptainHarley's avatar

I ride a motorcycle and have a concealed carry permit for my twin CZ75 compact 40 calibre pistols. Need I say more? : )

Steve_A's avatar

So in some cases depending on where I live once I park my car and leave my car for example, like the 7/11 or some other store, it is basically free game for Tow truck businesses?

Sounds like I need to get me a tow truck and a license for it, stake out my local 7/11 for douche bags and I will be good to go~ :)

Brian1946's avatar


As you said, that depends on where you live.

In some areas that have more sensible laws, unauthorized towing might even constitute car theft.

thriftymaid's avatar

A repo man does not have to cease at the demand of the car owner. They must stop the attempt to repossess if an altercation rising to the level of breach of the peace occurs.

CaptainHarley's avatar


In some jurisdictions, yes.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

@thriftymaid Thank You for your legal advice ! Which law school did you attend ? Harvard,Yale,Stanford???

CaptainHarley's avatar


Sarcasm usually isn’t “Pretty.” : P

DarkScribe's avatar

In Australia (and I imagine many other places) a person repossessing a vehicle is not exempt from law, including trespass law. If they are on your property without permission and are ordered to leave, they must obey. They need to find the vehicle in a public place to be able to repossess it without hindrance.

thriftymaid's avatar

@Pretty_Lilly None of the above. There are many others, you know. I am not providing legal advice; just an opinion. I charge for advice. :)

thriftymaid's avatar

@CaptainHarley My answer was in sync with the Uniform Commercial Code, which most states have adopted. It is possible that specific jurisdictions have narrowed their statute with regard to repossession. Thanks.

LuckyGuy's avatar

If this is a serial tower, I think it’s time for someone in the neighborhood to drop a few home made tire stingers where he parks. Make sure to remove them when he leaves.

bobloblaw's avatar

Repossession b/c you defaulted on a loan is different from being towed b/c of where you parked. Repossession occurs when you’ve defaulted on a loan. The creditor presumably has a right to take the car back b/c you put the vehicle up as collateral. Towing your parked car, in your hypo, is due to your violation of an applicable statute or due to you parking on property for reasons that were not permitted by the property owner. Two completely different animals, but w/similar results (sometimes).

@thriftymaid is right. A creditor may only reasonably exercise repossession under the UCC. The UCC has also been adopted by all 50 states in some form of another.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Still you did not get my point,I am not talking about a lawful tow due to a violation! BUT A-hole scumbag tow companies stealing lawfully parked cars and forcing people to pay a ransom to get it their vehicles back !

bobloblaw's avatar

@Pretty_Lilly What they’re doing is technically lawful. You’re conflating what is “ethical/moral” and what is “legal.” Sure, what they did was worthy of the title of “Grand Duke of Douchebaggery,” but there is nothing illegal about what they do.

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