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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4

    Angry Are You Responsible for a Towing Fee After Submitting the Release of Liability

    My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: California.

    I "sold" this used car to the used-car dealership in exchange of the discount for another car that I purchased at the time last year. So there I didn't really receive any payment for that and I don't have any independent contract for that transaction. I just got discount price for the car I bought.
    Anyway, I did submit the release of liability to DMV about the car I sold right away.

    But I still kept receiving the notice for renewal of registration so I did mail back and submit another release of liability. Finally, the car seems to get a ticket for not being registered and impounded in March 2014. I received the traffic ticket that was issued to me but I wrote a appeal letter with the copy of release of liability and also another "declaration of non-ownership" and the citation was dismissed by the City of Los Angeles.

    The problem is, I got another letter from collection agency about the "towing and storage fee" which is nearly $2000!!!!
    I did receive the notice of auction but seems like there were not any bids so they are coming to me to cover the cost.

    I contacted the collection agency and explain the situation and I thought it would help to show that how the citation was dismissed about this car. But they claimed that it is a different issue and I am still legally responsible for the vehicle if I was receiving the traffic ticket at the time. I did order the Vehicle registration history and it has my name on as "R/O". But seems like DMV does have the record that they received my release of liability multiple times.

    Any advise? I lost my first copy of release of liability but I have another copy that I filed later and also I am thinking about ordering the copy of release of liability from DMV.

    I contacted the dealership that I sold the car to find that they went out of business and I have no idea who was driving the car a the moment of citation/towing happens. I will try to track down the guy but that's whole different story...

    Thank you very much in advance for your advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,983

    Default Re: Ca: Still Responsible for the Towing Fee After Submitting the Release of Liabilit

    Quote Quoting jazzbuzz
    View Post
    My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: California.

    I "sold" this used car to the used-car dealership in exchange of the discount for another car that I purchased at the time last year. So there I didn't really receive any payment for that and I don't have any independent contract for that transaction. I just got discount price for the car I bought.
    Anyway, I did submit the release of liability to DMV about the car I sold right away.

    But I still kept receiving the notice for renewal of registration so I did mail back and submit another release of liability. Finally, the car seems to get a ticket for not being registered and impounded in March 2014. I received the traffic ticket that was issued to me but I wrote a appeal letter with the copy of release of liability and also another "declaration of non-ownership" and the citation was dismissed by the City of Los Angeles.

    The problem is, I got another letter from collection agency about the "towing and storage fee" which is nearly $2000!!!!
    I did receive the notice of auction but seems like there were not any bids so they are coming to me to cover the cost.

    I contacted the collection agency and explain the situation and I thought it would help to show that how the citation was dismissed about this car. But they claimed that it is a different issue and I am still legally responsible for the vehicle if I was receiving the traffic ticket at the time. I did order the Vehicle registration history and it has my name on as "R/O". But seems like DMV does have the record that they received my release of liability multiple times.

    Any advise? I lost my first copy of release of liability but I have another copy that I filed later and also I am thinking about ordering the copy of release of liability from DMV.

    I contacted the dealership that I sold the car to find that they went out of business and I have no idea who was driving the car a the moment of citation/towing happens. I will try to track down the guy but that's whole different story...

    Thank you very much in advance for your advise.
    Tell the collection agency to pound sand. If they sue you, take all your evidence that you no longer owned the car with you to court, and show it to the judge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Are You Responsible for a Towing Fee After Submitting the Release of Liability

    Confirm with the DMV that they received your release(s) of liability prior to the date of the tow.

    It's difficult to believe that a car dealer accepted a trade-in, and credited the value of the trade-in toward the purchase of a different car, without any associated paperwork. Although I can't promise that they'll investigate, you can report the issue with the dealership to the DMV.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Are You Responsible for a Towing Fee After Submitting the Release of Liability

    Thank you guys for the advise.


    I went to the DMV looking to obtain some kind of copy or proof of release of liability the submitted. And then... they said they have no record!!! They didn't have any record that I submit the NRL!!

    I have this copy of the bottom part of NRL that I printed out from DMV's website but I am not sure if it works as a proof since it doesn't show the date submitted. Today I did complete another NRL and a copy with today's stamp and also tried to file it online. I do not know if those works as proofs since they have today's date.

    On the DMV website, it reads:

    When the information required on the NRL is received by DMV and updated to the record, you are no longer responsible for civil or criminal actions arising with the vehicle after the date of sale.

    So I am assuming that I should be free from those responsibility after the sale date which is last year.

    Any suggestions? What else info should I bring to the collection agency to persuade that I was not the owner at the time of towing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,523

    Default Re: Are You Responsible for a Towing Fee After Submitting the Release of Liability

    Well, if the requirement is that ... When the information required on the NRL is received by DMV and updated to the record, you are no longer responsible for civil or criminal actions arising with the vehicle after the date of sale. then you may be out-of-luck.

    If the DMV did not receive and update your record, this may be a much bigger fight.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Are You Responsible for a Towing Fee After Submitting the Release of Liability

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    Well, if the requirement is that ... When the information required on the NRL is received by DMV and updated to the record, you are no longer responsible for civil or criminal actions arising with the vehicle after the date of sale. then you may be out-of-luck.

    If the DMV did not receive and update your record, this may be a much bigger fight.
    That's right. That's why I was so terrified to find that the lady at the DMV window said that she does not see anything relating the NRL. But here is a little update.

    I called the DMV since I remembered when I called before they told me that they saw some record of my NRL. So I called again and explained the situation. It turned out that they DO have the record of NRL. It's just you have to send a form to Sacrament to obtain the copy of it. For some reasons those data is not accessible from the DMV field office and the workers at DMV window can't help you with it. He advised me to use the form INF 70 ( https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/forms/inf/inf70.pdf ) Or if you filed your NRL online, you have to keep the confirmation page as a proof. That was my mistake not to do that. But anyways hope this info is useful to somebody. Do not give up at the DMV window! Sometimes their workers don't have accurate information!

    So right now I am obtaining the copy if it.

    Now I wonder if I should send something to the collection agency. I have been communicating with them via phone and emails but since the DMV's paperwork will take longer than 30 days which is the period I have to dispute the debt.

    Any advise? Or should I move new question on the collection agency thread ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Are You Responsible for a Towing Fee After Submitting the Release of Liability

    I would also investigate with the dealer how your car ended up impounded in limbo.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Are You Responsible for a Towing Fee After Submitting the Release of Liability

    Quote Quoting Disagreeable
    View Post
    I would also investigate with the dealer how your car ended up impounded in limbo.
    Thank you for your advise. Yeah. Actually, the dealer guy I sold the car was in jail now with another issue and and his shop is now closed. I contacted their former employee and was trying to track down the guy who was actually driving it. But honestly I have little hope to find him or make him pay myself.

    I have sold (or traded in to be precise) my other car to this dealer guy before and had no problem. But this time I guess he failed to do his job. I might consider some legal action towards him. But right now I am focusing to dismiss the debt collection.

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