Press Releases

Beyer and Van Hollen Introduce Bill to Crack Down on Predatory Towing

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Washington, May 21, 2015 | comments
Congressman Don Beyer joined Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen today to introduce the State and Local Predatory Towing Enforcement Act to crack down on predatory towing practices that leave consumers with costly bills and no recourse for overcharges and unfair treatment.  
 
“Unfair and predatory towing practices take money out of our constituents’ wallets and strain their budgets,” said Rep. Beyer.  “I am proud to join Rep. Van Hollen to provide our state and local governments with the authority they need to properly regulate this industry with common sense, consumer friendly towing protections.”
 
“Victims of predatory towing face real economic hardship that has a negative impact on their families and communities. For too long, victims have not had a mechanism to stand up for their rights as consumers,” said Rep. Van Hollen. “This legislation will protect consumers by closing the loophole that allows predatory towing practices to go unpunished.” 
 
“We thank Representative Beyer and Representative Van Hollen for their attention to this issue important to residents and visitors of Arlington County,” stated Arlington County Board Member Jay Fisette.  “While the United States Supreme Court has affirmed state and local regulation of non-consent towing services, enactment of this bill would further ensure final and clear authority to Arlington County and other local governments as we work to balance the needs and rights of private property owners and consumers – in this case  vehicle owners.”
 
“Predatory towing is generally the largest single category of complaints we receive every month,” said Eric Friedman, Director of the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection. “We applaud Congressman Van Hollen and Congressman Beyer for introducing legislation to remedy any federal preemption loophole and to ensure that states and localities have the ability to limit overly aggressive towing practices.”
 
Federal law currently limits state and local regulation of the towing industry, and the federal regulatory body that oversaw the industry was eliminated in 1995. With confusing restrictions and conflicting court rulings, no level of government has been able to adequately regulate the towing industry, leading to major consumer abuses by some unscrupulous towing companies. The State and Local Predatory Towing Enforcement Act would restore state and local governments’ ability to end predatory practices in the tow truck industry.
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