Predatory Towing is not a new practice. Tow companies and business owners have long engaged in this type of fraud, which victimizes unsuspecting automobile drivers. Although the specifics of these illegal practices may change from case to case, towing is generally considered predatory when:
- A tow operator will only accept cash to release a vehicle
- A vehicle has been towed without authorization from the property owner or manager
- The tow operator has no permit to tow vehicles
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Predatory towing may also include a demand to pay a parking ticket that has not been issued by a government entity. Regardless of the circumstances or methods by which these nefarious towing companies go about their business, Predatory towing is against the law! An individual who feels they have been a victim of predatory towing can contact law enforcement and file a complaint. They can also take the towing company to small claims court.
Some law firms, like Newport Personal Injury Firm Bisnar | Chase have taken on the scourge of predatory towing by filing class action suits against Los Angeles Towing companies guilty of this illegal practice. The firm’s injury blog details a class-action lawsuit that the firm filed on behalf of a client whose car was towed away while it was legally parked in the lot of Los Angeles restaurant without his or the restaurant owner’s permission.
Predatory Towing Tactics
The exact tactics that predatory towers use to victimize drivers can vary from company to company. Some similarities do exist, however. Including, but not limited to:
- charging large fees to release the towed vehicle
- demanding fees be paid in cash
- tow truck drivers who ‘troll’ parking lots looking for violations or partial violations
- driving away quickly with the towed auto
- towing vehicles to a dark street or location other then where the car was picked up
- reports of thefts from the towed cars