The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010||
Sponsor Statement: House Bill 251
Vehicle Liens/ Towing/ Storage/ Transport
“Relating to liens on vehicles and to towing, transporting, and storage of vehicles; and providing for an effective date.”
Posted: April 2, 2010 : v26-LS0786\S
Bill Version: CSHB 251(JUD)
Status: Chapter 113 SLA 10 : 2010-06-28
Towing companies provide necessary service to Alaskans through the removal of abandoned, junked, and wrecked vehicles from public thoroughfares and private property. Alaskan towing companies follow prescribed laws in providing these towing services and in most cases are acting under the authorization or direction of public safety officers. Alaskan towing companies should be paid for providing these services to the public. Providing a statutory mechanism so that these small towing businesses are first in line for payment for delivered services will reduce business risk to these companies. House Bill 251 changes the priority in which payments may be made to provide for a fairer business environment to towing companies.
House Bill 251 prioritizes a possessory lien for services lawfully provided in conformity with AS 28.10.502, and requires towing companies to provide timely notification. The prioritization of the possessory lien gives first position to towing companies for the purpose of recouping costs for contractual vehicular towing and storage. HB 251 also adds a layer of consumer protection by requiring a towing company to notify the registered owner and primary lienholder of towing and storage of a vehicle within 7 business days from the date of service.
House Bill 251 corrects a current situation whereby some owners and lienholders may receive services from towing companies without paying for all or part of the charges. Current law does not specifically state a possessory lien has precedence over other perfected liens on a vehicle. Nonpayment for service situations could shift these costs to other Alaskans, raising prices for all. In extreme cases nonpayment may induce business hardships and cause business failure. This is unfair to Alaska's towing companies. Reducing unfair business risk to small companies is in the best interest of the state.