PUEBLO – Paula Mandarich says her daughter’s car was towed from her apartment complex for expired tags — but she has proof they were valid.
Mandarich eventually had to pay $ 259 to get the car out of the impound.
While RMA Towing admits no wrongdoing and stands behind the tow, a News 5 viewer watched our original report and decided to donate $ 250 to the family.
“It really helps and means a lot that people really care,” said Jessica, Paula’s daughter. “I really appreciate this.”
We first met Paula and her daughter in February, following a controversial tow that took place at Evergreen Apartment Homes.
On day 13 of Jessica’s recovery from a positive COVID-19 test, her car was towed away.
Jessica, her mother and a third-party witness at the resort told News 5 the vehicle was mistaken for expired tags.
DMV records show the tags were valid, but Jessica did not put the sticker on her car during quarantine. However, she says she had the papers and tried to provide them to the tow truck driver before they took off with his car.
To make matters worse, Jessica works directly with COVID-19 patients and needed her car to work.
“When it happened I said I was calling Eric Ross,” Jessica’s mom said.
News 5 spoke with RMA Towing by phone.
They said they were standing next to the tow and said they had an agreement with the apartment complex to tow vehicles that did not meet community standards.
While contracts between towing companies and apartment complexes are not public, we do know that some resorts and HOA regulated communities allow cars to be towed if they do not display a current label on their plates – – whether or not you have renewed your labels and are simply waiting for them to arrive in the mail.
While police give drivers a 30-day grace period before stopping you, towing companies are not required to offer a grace period.
When it comes to tackling towing companies, Paula admits there aren’t a lot of protections.
“When you go to a lawyer, they say it’s going to cost you a lot of money and you don’t have a lot of places to go,” Paula said. “This (story) is being broadcast in the community and it is for all of us normal people who have problems and who now know they have a way to turn.”
Of course, we don’t deserve any credit for the towing refund that Paula and her daughter received.
Credit goes to the generous News 5 viewer in Colorado Springs who wishes to remain anonymous.
“We never thought for a second that someone would reach out to us like that and for me it goes the extra mile and it touches our hearts,” said Paula.
RMA Towing has a history of complaints on file. We are currently in the process of reviewing the Public Utilities Commission state files.
If you believe you have been towed illegally, you must file a complaint with the PUC here.
If you live in an HOA-regulated community or apartment complex and are concerned that your vehicle will be towed for expired tags despite being renewed online, you should print a copy of your renewal receipt and provide it to your complex and the towing company that enforces the parking rules.
By providing a receipt showing valid proof of registration, it will be much more difficult for any towing company to claim that a vehicle has been towed for expired tags.
Do you have an idea for a story that you would like our News 5 Investigates team to review? Email us: [email protected]