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Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

Hoboken, NJ, to Refund Tens of Thousands in Towing Overcharges to Over 3,200 Drivers, Auto Body Shop Suspended

Hoboken, NJ, will reimburse tens of thousands of dollars to more than 3,200 drivers who were overcharged when their cars were towed from city streets dating back to December 2012, according to reports in the Star-Ledger.

Jerry Chiara's car was towed by John’s Main Auto Body of North Bergen, NJ, while officials tried to clear vehicles from the streets of Hoboken for plowing in the wake of a January 2013 snowstorm.

Chiara showed up at the site with his keys, so according to the Predatory Towing Prevention Act, his car should have been released.

Instead, it was hooked up and towed, and Chiara was left with a $274.20 bill. A close look at Hoboken’s towing ordinance showed that many of the charges imposed by the tow company were higher than they should have been.

This one particular overcharge was a clerical error, the city said: What should have been a $25 service charge was automatically billed as $45. The error has since been corrected in its computers, the city said.

For starters, the city will refund money to 2,322 drivers who had easily-identifiable information and New Jersey license plates. The others towed vehicles were from out-of-state or from leasing companies and will require more legwork to track down, Hoboken spokesman Juan Melli said.

Read the full story at the Star-Ledger.

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