House Bill 2642
This bill has been signed into law by Governor Rauner. No further phone calls or letters are necessary. House Bill 2642 (originally introduced as HB6169)was a bill that was introduced by the credit union industry. This bill was intended more towards the auto repair and body shop industry as well as consensual towing and storage. The bill requires any repair shop, body shop or towing company that is providing consensual storage to notify the lienholder before any storage can be charged. It also requires any letter sent to be sent certified U.S. mail with a return receipt. The bill mandates that a lienholder be allowed on your premises for the purpose of determining whether they will remove the vehicle or dump it. It also mandates that the lienholder be allowed to bring the form of payment that they prefer. The forms of payment are payment include bank checks, cashier check, certified checks and wire transfers. These are all secure forms of payment, but take some of your control away from your own business. How many of you can take wire transfers?
The PTROI, while being a towing association, has many member companies that do mechanical and body repair. That being said the PTROI chose to fight this bill. Unfortunately, we were fighting alone, and just did not have the muscle to defeat it. The body shop association, the mechanic association, and the new car dealer association were all contacted by the PTROI and only the body shop association made any attempt to help us, and that help was minimal at best. One of our biggest concerns is that this type of thinking may show up soon in bills attacking police and relocation towing.
The PTROI is asking you to write a letter to Governor Rauner. Ask him to veto this bill as it actually is demanding that we provide a service for free. Tell him how as a body shop, towing company, or mechanical shop we act in good faith that the vehicle owner will pick up his vehicle and pay the charges. We understand that the credit unions take a hit, but we should not bear the full load of their debtor’s refusal to pick up the vehicle. Further, if they have that much interest in the vehicles, they should be made to retrieve them all, as when the customer fails to pay a loan, the vehicle reverts to the lienholder. Also, in terms of payment, many of us are not set up to take wire transfers, and to take them once or twice a year it is not worth the expense. The PTROI really appreciates the efforts of those of you that made calls to other members and non-members to get them to call their legislators in an attempt to defeat this bill. This also goes for all of you that sent electronic filings. It is just hard to believe that with a total of over 300 electronic filings in just two hearings that no-one would listen to us. This bill went through both houses of the legislature with not one vote in our favor. We really need you to write that letter. I know a form letter would be easier, but it is said a short personal letter is more effective. You can also cast your opinion electronically, which may be a bit easier. (Both electronic and a letter would be best, but I know I am pushing it.) Below is the contact information for Governor Rauner. PLEASE DO THIS TODAY AS TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. This bill will be on the governor’s desk by the end of June. Below is the contact information for Governor Rauner. This bill has passed and been signed by the governor.
The PTROI recently passed a new law which will lessen the penalty for not using the third tow plate. Currently, the third plate must be used when towing a vehicle with it’s wheels on the ground with no valid registration. The current penalty, if convicted, is a Class a misdemeanor, which could mean up to a year in jail and/or up to a $2500.00 penalty. When the governor signs this bill, which is expected in August, the penalty will be up tp 30 days in jail and/or up to a $1000.00 fine. Keep in mind, that even with the reduced penalty, this is still a crime, which means that you now will have a criminal record. I would suggest that you fight this in court, perhaps with a lawyer. Another penalty attached to this law is that since it is a crime, you may have a tougher time buying a house or car, or being charged a higher interest rate. This bill has passed and been signed by the governor.
In respect to the failed payment law, in a word it failed. We faced very tough opposition from one group, the credit union association. These are the same people that wrote the 2-day notification law for the leinholders. Our thinking is that since we got so much of that law changed, they are tasting sour grapes and want to get back at us, as his law would have absolutely no impact on them. We are looking to try this law again in the fall veto session or in the January legislative session.
Senate Bill 2261
Senate Bill 2261 has been signed in to law by Governor Rauner. Much of this bill has to do with how municipalities charge their administrative fees for towing.
This bill forms a Towing Committee in the legislature which will go through the existing laws and make recommendations to the legislature. Anything coming out of the committee is not law, rather just recommendations. It is, however, something that we must prepare for as there are over ten people on this committee, only two, being from the towing industry.This bill has passed and been signed by the governor.