MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (9/24/15)--The Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) filed comments Tuesday in support of an automobile lien bill (H.B. 3590) related to abandoned motor vehicle storage and fees, and being considered in a committee hearing in the Massachusetts Legislature.
The hearing was held by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Association, chaired by Sen. Barbara L'Italien (D-Andover) and Rep. Jennifer E. Benson (D-Lunenberg), said CCUA (Daily CU Scan Sept. 23).
H.B. 3590 relates to notifying auto lien holders of certain towing and storage costs, and is sponsored by Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham). It aims to standardize and update a notice process that is timely, reasonable and fair to owners, garage owners/operators and lenders as lienholders in addressing abandoned motor vehicles, said CCUA.
CCUA is also monitoring a similar bill in the House (H.B. 1675) related to towing and storage of a motor vehicle. That bill, introduced by Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus), a member of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, is currently pending before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
The association noted that despite the best member communication and collections efforts of Massachusetts credit unions, the problems underlying H.B.3590 are real and serious for credit unions and their members.
When motor vehicles are stolen, damaged, abandoned, or otherwise not in the possession of members, credit unions are often not informed about the garages’ possession of the vehicles. Regularly, 30, 60, or 90 days may pass before any attempt, if at all, is made to notify lienholders of the location, condition and circumstances to acquire the vehicle. Instead, credit unions often become aware of such situations during their own skip tracing and collection efforts.
The association’s letter stressed that passing the bill was important to credit union members, credit unions, and the garages that may save expense, paperwork, and time through the lienholder notification process. CCUA has advocated passage of the measure consistently in other legislative sessions and worked on compromise language favorably released by the committee.