Can a towing company withhold your personal items if you can’t get your car out?

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Can a towing company withhold your personal items if you can’t get your car out?

Asked on June 19, 2015 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In such a case, you have a right to get your personal belongings back. In most states,�a towing company�cannot charge you a fee for storing or returning your personal property, however, they do have a right to charge you storage fees the car.

Personal items would be loose items such as�clothing, CDs, tools, jewelry, cell phones and detachable media players and navigation systems. Usually, however, thetow company does not have to return any "fixtures" such as�stereos, sounds systems, tire rims or GPS devices that were permanently�installed on the car.

If the tow company refuses to cooperate in returning�your property, or if the property is missing or damaged, you may have a claim against them. Since the specific details can vary from state-to-state, you�may want to�contact your state attorney general's office or consumer protection agency, or consult directly with a local attorney.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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