DENVER (KDVR) — After a Colorado state senator had her car towed, it raised questions about what rights people have when paying for a tow bill.
This comes as the Colorado Attorney General’s Office confirmed one of the largest tow companies in the state, Wyatt’s Towing, is under investigation.
State Sen. Julie Gonzales said her car was towed by Wyatt’s Towing last week. It turns out that was a mistake, and her car has since been returned to her and the fees refunded.
Gonzales said she was parked legally at a business in the city when her car was towed.
She said when she asked a Wyatt’s employee if her tow bill could be paid in installments — a right guaranteed to Coloradans by a law she helped pass last year — they said “I would have to fill out some paperwork and that my paperwork would need to be approved by a Wyatt’s manager.”
“Sure enough,” Gonzales said, “it was about 40 minutes before they ultimately did release my vehicle.”
Gonzales was refunded the money she paid as well.
Senator led ‘towing bill of rights’ law
Her “towing bill of rights” law gives people the right to pay their towing bill in installments, and it’s meant to curb predatory towing bills, which Gonzales said lead to eviction and other financial issues for many people.
“You can either pay 15% or $60 in order to receive back your vehicle then establish an installment plan,” Gonzales said.
Her concern stems from her own experience since the same company that towed her car, Wyatt’s Towing, owns the parking management company that got her car towed.
“I don’t think that a company that is managing the parking operation should then be allowed to be the company that calls the tow company when they are one and the same,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales and other lawmakers have already been in talks to strengthen towing laws that would expand what towing companies are required to inform customers.
“We’re talking now about: Are there requirements in regards to signage?” Gonzales said. “Are there requirements in terms of opportunities to inform Colorado consumers of what their options are?”
FOX31 reached out to Wyatt’s Towing for comment but had not heard back as of Monday night.