AG Nessel warns Michiganders of scamming and price-gouging after weekend of flooding

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Dana Nessel

FILE – In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel addresses the media during a news conference in Lansing, Mich. Jacob Wohl, 22, and Jack Burkman, 54, two notorious conservative operatives were charged Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 with felonies in connection with false robocalls that aimed to dissuade residents in Detroit and other U.S. cities from voting by mail, Michigan’s attorney general announced. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — In lieu of recent flooding over the weekend, Attorney General Nessel is encouraging home and vehicle owners of price gouging and scams over the next few weeks.

I am concerned that bad actors may use the weekend’s flooding to overcharge or scam people who need assistance. Our Consumer Protection team is committed to investigating complaints and I encourage people to contact our office if you believe an entity is engaging in price gouging or other fraudulent behavior. We stand ready to hold accountable anyone who attempts to take advantage of this devastating situation.” 

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Nessel has issued three consumer alerts after being notified of complaints about tow companies price-gouging for the recovery of vehicles that were abandoned during the flooding of Southeast Michigan. Currently, there are hundreds of abandoned vehicles throughout Southeast Michigan after flooding and significant damage caused by rains last weekend.

Drivers have the ability to challenge unreasonable fees incurred for for towing and storage, but those interested must do so in a timely fashion.

According to a release from Attorney General Nessel, those interested in challenging their towing fees must:

File a petition in the district court with jurisdiction over the location from which your car was towed. You must file your petition within 20 days from the date on the notice that your vehicle was towed as abandoned. And you will be responsible for applicable court filing fees. The petition and instructions for how to fill it out are included with the mailed notice, or available on the Secretary of State’s webpage (Petition Regarding Impoundment of Motor Vehicle (DC90) form). If you request a hearing, you can also get your vehicle back while you are awaiting the hearing outcome, but you will have to either:  

  1. post a towing and storage bond, (which will include the accrued towing and storage fees) with the court; or 
  2. pay the abandoned vehicle fees and the accrued towing and storage fees to the custodian of your vehicle.

If the court decides that the vehicle was improperly towed, the driver will be reimbursed for both towing and storage fees, and the abandoned vehicle fee will be returned.

Other consumer alerts by Nessel encourage Michiganders to research contractors for home repairs, and to remain wary of water-damaged vehicles sold on the used car market.

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