10:21 AM EDT, March 27, 2012
One of the largest towing companies in Indianapolis faces a license suspension Tuesday.
The company has been accused of overcharging, taking advantage of people and ignoring the law, and now, they could be heavily penalized.
A decision could come Tuesday afternoon in a hearing with the Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement that could prohibit Interstate/Delaware and South Towing from performing any non-consensual tows for a year. They could also face fines and penalties.
City officials received dozens of complaints that Interstate was violating ordinances by overcharging customers, performing questionable practices and improperly posting warning signs.
Interstate/Delaware and South is a city-contracted towing company.
FOX59 News found in a previous investigation in October 2011 that Interstate was charging people towed from accident scenes $175 instead of the $125 that was listed on the company's bid for the city’s contract.
The city changed the rules for towing practices in September, but the problems did not go away.
The company has had several warnings to clean up its act, but now, action by code enforcement may be the only option left to force the company to comply.
“With Interstate Towing, we've had more than one conversation about different lots and practices that were going on and things that needed to be remedied,” said Adam Collins with the Department of Code Enforcement. “They chose not to remedy those deficiencies so we were forced to move ahead. We started to notice a pattern. We started to notice a wide variety of violations of the ordinance. We believe that Interstate Towing is engaging in predatory towing practices.”
It was not just the volume of complaints received, Collins explains, but the severity and different types of complaints that have led to this hearing.
Previous hearings of this nature have resulted in city licenses being revoked.