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Senate Bill 543 (Enrolled)Contact: Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Topic: Garage Keepers' Liens
Position: The Department of Consumer and Industry Services supports the bill.
Background: The Garage Keeper's Lien Act provides a person who performs work on a vehicle or provides parts for a vehicle with a lien upon the vehicle for repair and storage charges. If the charges are not paid, the vehicle may be sold at a public sale. The act establishes procedures for enforcing the lien and selling the vehicle. The act was the subject of a fairly comprehensive revision in 1998, but the 1998 amendments did not change the 120-day limit on the time period a garage keeper may keep a vehicle.
Bill Content: The bill makes the following changes in Public Act 312 of 1915, the Garage Keeper's Lien Act.
· A garage keeper is allowed to keep a vehicle for 225 days. Currently, the
law limits retention to 120 days. The bill clarifies that the lien attaches
on the day the last labor is performed or the last parts supplied.
Arguments For: The time lines currently in the act are too tight. The 120-day period is not sufficient for the garage keeper to meet his or her responsibilities under the act. The bill also provides procedures related to the Bureau of Automotive Regulation's objection to a proposed vehicle sale. The proposed criminal penalties will protect consumers against fraudulent enforcement of a lien.
Arguments Against: Criminal penalties are not needed. There is no evidence that fraudulent liens are a problem. The Bureau of Automotive Regulation stops very few sales.
SupportersOpponents: No information is available.
Fiscal Information: The bill provides for a $10 fee paid to the Department of State at the time of the filing of a certificate of foreclosure. The fee is not new. Its timing and placement in the act has been changed.
Administrative Rules Impact: It is possible that changes in the Bureau of Automotive Regulation's administrative rules will be needed.
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