An Advocacy Win for Idaho Credit Unions Holding Liens on Vehicles


Credit unions holding liens on cars are often left holding the bag in more ways than one.

The minute a tow truck hooks its jaws onto a vehicle, the fees start racking up. Storage fees in particular can add up very quickly.

Until the Idaho Legislature passed HO497–Lienholder Notification on Towing this session—there was no legal requirement that lienholders were notified if the vehicle was towed.

At the request of Idaho credit unions, the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Advocacy Team testified in support of HO497, which Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed into law on March 20. It takes effect July 1.  The law will require that lienholders are notified whenever a policing agency orders a tow.

“This is a big issue for credit unions,” said Ryan Fitzgerald, NWCUA Vice President, Legislative Affairs for Idaho. “On a regular basis, credit unions have to write off vehicles because the cost of towing or impoundment eclipses the value of the car. Requiring policing agencies to notify lienholders right away is a good first step, and we plan to work toward expanding the notification requirement to private towing companies.”

Editor’s note: If you have questions about the 2018 Idaho legislative session or thoughts on the policy advancement agenda for 2019, please reach out to Ryan Fitzgerald.

Posted in Advocacy News.