Legal Aid Backs Predatory Towing Prevention Act
THURSDAY, JUNE 02, 2016

After three years of working closely with The Legal Aid Society and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs in the fight against predatory towing, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution for consumers, and more than $30 million in fines levied against unscrupulous towing operators, Assemblyman Ron Kim is introducing new legislation that will:

  1. Increase the bond to protect consumers to minimum $50K and maximum $250K from the $5K set in 1987.
  2. Empower the NYC Consumer Affairs Commissioner to revoke licenses of repeat offenders.
  3. Eliminate the usage of "spotting" techniques.
  4. Require towing truck operators to acquire written permission from the owner or manager of private or commercial property before towing a vehicle.

Sateesh Nori, Attorney-in-Charge of The Legal Aid Society’s Queens Neighborhood Office, said that "Predatory towing victimizes anyone who has ever parked a car in this City. This bill adds important checks and barriers for those who seek to perform this service and seeks to protect those who are most vulnerable: honest consumers.”

The new legislation will protect innocent consumers targeted by predatory towing companies by closing loopholes that allowed illegal towing to persist.

"For far too long, innocent drivers across this city dealt with over-zealous towing operators that illegally targeted vehicles, often over-charging drivers and only accepting cash," stated Assemblyman Ron Kim. "These towing companies bullied drivers, pretending they had the authority to conduct what were illegal operations. To counter their tactics of harassment and intimidation, I have introduced the 'Predatory Towing Prevention Act', which will improve the current outdated and inadequate law against illegal towing practices and empower the City to act swiftly and decisively against predatory towers."