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03/12/2005 - 12:45pm

Holding My Car Without Bail


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I have a white Saturn that I haven't used for awhile, so the tags have expired on it. I plan to use it again in the future, which is why I still have it, but it's not been a priority. I live in an area where the HOA doesn't like to have vehicles that have expired tags. On Friday 2/25, they put an orange tag on it saying that if I didn't have the registration renewed that they would tow it on Saturday 3/5.

That gave me 8 days, which isn't likely I can get tags by then. Just to be safe, I contacted the HOA and let them know that I would be in the process of resolving that within the next few days. They said that that wouldn't be a problem, and they would tell the towing company not to touch my vehicle. My next door neighbor was kind enough to remove the orange tag for me. I began the process of reapplying for the tags.

However, come Saturday morning, I notice that my car is gone. So the first thing I do is send an email to the HOA to let them know what happened and ask if they remembered to contact the towing company. I get an email back the next day (Sunday) and they inform me that they did tell the towing company not to take my car, but they will get a hold of the towing company to find out what happened.

So a few days pass, and it's Wednesday 3/9, and I haven't heard anything back. I call the HOA and ask what happened. They tell me that they put the call into the towing company and hadn't heard back, but that they would call again and then let me know right away. They also asked if I removed the orange tag, and I tell them that I did (well, I didn't, my neighbor did, but either way, it's gone).

Now this is where it gets interesting. I get home and have an email from the HOA waiting for me. They inform me that the vehicle was towed because the orange tag was not removed, but they will try to reduce the fee that I pay the towing company.

Reduce the fee?? First off, they never told me that removing the tag was a condition of not having the vehicle towed. Second, that point is moot because the tag had been removed (yes, I did verify that it had been removed). So I promptly email them back telling them that I won't be paying any fees because the mistake is on the towing company's shoulders, and I don't expect the HOA to pay any fees either. The towing company needs to bring my vehicle back, and I told them that I'd like to know when I could expect that.

It is now Saturday, three days later, and I still haven't heard anything back. However, I'm more than willing to contact my attorney and let them handle it if needed.



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