New Law Targets ‘Dishonest Towers’

By Staff Writer April 02, 2024
Predatory towing in Florida has emerged as a pressing issue for the Sunshine State. Predatory towing in Florida has emerged as a pressing issue for the Sunshine State.

A new measure to protect Florida consumers against dishonest towers was signed into law recently by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL). The legislation (HB 179), which was strongly supported by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), will provide critical consumer protections so Floridians do not become a victim of predatory towing practices.

“Predatory towing in Florida has emerged as a pressing issue for the Sunshine State, significantly impacting individuals’ lives and livelihoods and this measure will go a long way in implementing critical reform measures,” said Eric De Campos, senior director of strategy, policy and government affairs for the National Insurance Crime Bureau. 

Eric De Campos testifying. 

NICB noted that vehicle accidents that result in predatory towing practices remain a significant issue for policymakers across Florida and the country. After an accident, vehicle owners find themselves in high-stress situations that can create the perfect opportunity for unscrupulous towers to exploit victims. Law enforcement agencies have seen examples of towers charging accident victims exorbitant fees for a tow requiring only a few-miles – sometimes as high as $10,000 for a single, routine tow.

The new law will:

  • Require reasonable towing and storage fees so that consumers don’t face fraudulent or inflated charges;
  • Require towers to accept additional methods of payment to allow consumers more flexibility to pay their bills and for towers to receive the money they are owed more quickly;
  • Shorten notice of lien periods so consumers can more quickly get their vehicles released; and
  • Extend the amount of time in which vehicle owners may recover their vehicles before they are sold off.
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Last modified on Monday, 08 April 2024 10:49