Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Pennsylvania

As a repair shop owner in pa, I had a customer who had a repair completed... she said she would be back friday...we sent her letters about her bill with charges such as finance and storage... a year and a half later we destroyed the car to pay for her debt....then a total of two and a half years later she calls and would like her car?? Were we in the wrong for doing that??

Asked on 4/24/12, 6:43 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Andrew Solomon Law Office of Andrew A. Solomon

In my opinion, the correct procedure would have been for you to go to District Justice Court and file suit for the amount of the unpaid repairs and storage. Once you had this judgment, you could have easily filed a Petition with the Court transferring title of the vehicle to you to satisfy the judgment. Alternatively, you should have given the customer written notice of your intentions to destroy the car and sell it for parts to satisfy within 30 days. While you certainly had a repairman's lien on the vehicle, you did not have title or ownership. If she ends up suing you, you probably have a good defense, but you would have be in better shape had you first obtained a judgment against the customer.

Read more
Answered on 4/24/12, 7:38 pm

You had no authority to just destroy her car unless you followed the steps under the PA Mechanic's/Garageman's Lien law. See 6 PS �� 11-15. If this was abandoned property you also could have followed the procedures in the Motor Vehicle Code, 75 PA CSA �� 7311.

If you did not follow the procedures set forth in the law then you had no business destroying her car and you have now exposed yourself to a possible lawsuit by her for whatever her car was worth less whatever your charges were.

Did you take pictures of the vehicle before you scrapped the car? Get some kind of written evaluation? If not, its going to be her word against yours.

Read more
Answered on 4/24/12, 7:42 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Credit, Debt and Collections Law questions and answers in Pennsylvania