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What Can I Do With Abandoned Tow Vehicles?

Are you a towing company that has towed vehicles taking up space on your lot? Have the vehicles been abandoned and never retrieved by the owner? If so, you may be able take possession of the vehicle to cover the costs of towing and storage.

Massachusetts law offers guidance for a towing company owner to take possession of a vehicle (or vehicles) on its lot. Please contact The Jacobs Law if you are a towing company facing this type of situation.

Involuntary transfers

If a vehicle is abandoned, or if the vehicle’s ownership is transferred by bankruptcy, police-ordered tow, government seizure, or a mechanic’s garage and stored vehicle lien, it is considered an involuntary transfer.

A vehicle may be acquired and sold by a mechanic’s garage, public parking garage and storage entities for non-payment of repair or storage fees. The documents required to transfer ownership may vary according to the instructions set out in the court order. For example, a judge may order the garage or storage facility to either keep the vehicle in lieu of payment, sell the vehicle to recoup losses, or have the Sheriff seize the vehicle and sell it at public auction.

To transfer ownership, a copy of the court order is always required. Depending on the details of the order, other documents may be required, such as a copy of the execution or a sheriff’s bill of sale, will also be required.

The parameters for involuntary transfers are discussed in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 255, Section 25and Chapter 135, Section 8.

See Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 255, § 25. See also Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 135, § 8.

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