The Week's Features
News reports note uptick in tower activity downtown
Motorist awareness of the law touted on truck
Roadside steps to increased safety awareness
New design makes down-driveway hookups easier
Puts cap on assets; forces four off board by end of year
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingFebruary 21 - February 27, 2018
The Federal Reserve handed down an unprecedented punishment to Wells Fargo, including capping what the bank can make in assets, for what it called "widespread consumer abuses."

Fed Drops Hammer on Wells Fargo

The Federal Reserve recently handed down an unprecedented punishment to Wells Fargo for what it called "widespread consumer abuses," including its notorious creation of millions of fake customer accounts. The bank agreed to remove three people from the board of directors by April and a fourth by the end of the year.

Wells Fargo won't be allowed to get any bigger than it was at the end of last year—$2 trillion in assets—until the Fed is satisfied that it has cleaned up its act. It is the first time the Federal Reserve has imposed a cap on the entire assets of a financial institution, according to a Fed official.

Last July, the company admitted it forced auto insurance on as many as 570,000 borrowers who didn't need it. About 20,000 of those customers had their cars wrongfully repossessed in part due to these unwanted insurance charges.

Among other offenses, the Justice Department also fined the company in November for illegally repossessing cars from more than 860 service members. Federal law requires banks to get a court order before repossessing a car from members of the military.

The bank agreed to the Fed's conditions under what's known as a consent decree. In a statement, Wells Fargo said it is "confident" it can meet the Fed's requirements.

Man Arrested for Shooting at Agent

Jones County (Mississippi) Sheriff's deputies arrested a man for shooting at a repo man attempting to repossess his truck. However, he said it was all a misunderstanding.

Roy Craven, 67, was charged with aggravated assault for shooting at the repo man coming to repossess his truck Jan. 30.

According to the Jones County Sheriff's Department, the victim left uninjured and called the called the sheriff's department.

However, Craven said there's more to the story.

"It looked to me like he was grabbing towards the storm door to try to jerk it open," said Craven.

Craven said that night he and his wife were asleep when the victim came to the door asking for the key to the vehicle.

Craven's wife, Patricia Craven, went to answer the door.

"I opened it up and I saw him," Patricia said. "He was just steady [jerking] at the door."

She said he didn't have any identification, nor did he present himself as a repossession man. She claimed she then asked him for more time to make payments on the vehicle.

"He kept saying no," Patricia said. "[He] just steady kept snatching on the door."

That's when Roy fired at the victim with his 9mm handgun. The Cravens never called the police.

He said if he had known who the man was prior to the altercation, he wouldn't have fired his weapon.

"If I had known he was a repo man, I would've went out there and helped him hook it up," Roy said.

He said this isn't the first time he's had his items repossessed and that his medical expenses are what put him behind on payments.

Roy said he's never been in trouble with law enforcement in his adult life.

Source: wdam.com.

California Motorists Can’t Cover License Plates

Under pressure from police lobbyists, California state senators have killed a bill that would have made it harder for data-aggregators-on-wheels to automatically snap photos of parked cars' license plates.

Senate bill SB-712 would have tweaked a law that says motorists can't cover their car's license plate.

In California, it's currently legal for motorists to cover their entire vehicle when it's parked, including the license plate, to protect the car from the weather, as long as the cover is easy enough to pull up to get a look at the license plate.

However, it's illegal to cover just the license plate when it's parked, which makes it easier for automated license plate readers to scan.

The ALPR companies also sell information to law enforcement, including to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The DHS, in fact, last month released its updated policy for using this commercial ALPR data for immigration enforcement.

DHS's Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database late January.

The vote in California's senate rejected SB-712 18 to 12.

Source: nakedsecurity.sophos.com.

Man Pulls Shotgun on Repo Agent

A 44-year-old DeKalb, Illinois, man pulled a shotgun when a repossession company employee showed up to take his SUV on Jan. 30, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.

Michael L. Hobson was charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.

The release said the company reported that Hobson pulled a shotgun and pointed it at a company employee, who still removed Hobson's Lincoln Navigator from the residence.

According to Sheriff's Chief Deputy Andy Sullivan, Hobson had lowered the gun and gone back into the house as the company's employees finished removing the car, and that they called the sheriff's office from a residence down the road.

Hobson was arrested without incident, Sullivan said.
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Source: daily-chronicle.com.

Agent Attacked During Repo Attempt

The driver of a tow truck repossessing a vehicle in Warren, Ohio, was attacked by an unknown man on a scooter Feb. 1.

Joseph Schumaker, an employee of Monarch Recovery, was driving his tow truck with a 2006 Pontiac hooked on it when an unknown male drove up, jumped in the car and pulled its parking brake, according to a police report.

He then ran to the tow truck's driver's side window, broke it and began throwing punches at Schumaker's face, the report states.

The assailant jumped back on his scooter and drove away. No arrest has been made at press time.

Source: tribtoday.com.

Dynamic Donates to [b]RABF for 10th Year

For the 10th consecutive year, Dynamic Towing Equipment & Manufacturing will support the Recovery Agents Benefit Fund by donating a Slide-In Unit for the fund's annual raffle.

Valued at more than $10,000, the donated unit raises thousands of dollars annually that contribute to the RABF, providing financial help to families affected by the dangers of the repossession industry.

In addition, Dynamic will once again donate NASCAR suite tickets for each repossession show to benefit the RABF. The tickets, often valued at more than $3,000, are provided by Speedway Motorsports Inc. to Dynamic in its role as the official recovery vehicle of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.

By donating the NASCAR tickets to the RABF auction events at various trade shows, Dynamic President Anthony Gentile said he hopes it will inspire others to give as well and encourage others to contribute to such a noble cause.

Those interested in purchasing raffle tickets or wanting further information can do so at recoveryagentsbenefitfund.org/raffle.asp.

Sources: dynamicmfg.com; recoveryagentsbenefitfund.org.
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