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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 9, 2020 11:19 AM
From: Representative Louis C. Schmitt, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Modifying Management of Abandoned Vehicles at Auction (Former HB2870)
In the near future, I plan on re-introducing legislation that would modify how wholesale vehicle auctions handle abandoned vehicles that were left at an auction by licensed dealers, without the approval of the auction.

Licensed wholesale vehicle auctions are a special class of private property owner. They handle thousands of dealership-owned vehicles every week that are bought and sold by licensed vehicle dealers to other vehicle dealers at the wholesale auction.

Vehicles are often abandoned by auto dealers. In some cases, it is because they simply go out of business. In other cases, they purchase a vehicle at auction for sale with no success. More often, they purchase them at auction and then do not transport them to their dealerships by the deadline. Some wholesale vehicle auctions experience hundreds of vehicles being abandoned by their dealers. This in turn takes up space where other vehicles could be stored. Dealers are licensed by the State and have a contract with the licensed wholesale vehicle auctions for the sale of their vehicles.

My legislation would authorize a wholesale vehicle auction, or salvor, to remove vehicles that have been abandoned by dealers after 3 business days of the vehicle remaining without consent. The legislation would also authorize the auction to charge and collect storage fees as well as the releasing, or recovering costs of the abandoned vehicle.

Finally, my legislation would allow the auction to sell the vehicle and certify to PennDOT, for title processing purposes, that the vehicle was abandoned and that the title is being transferred and in effect, custodian, of the abandoned vehicle. In this way, economic waste is avoided and encourages the dealers not to abandon their vehicles at auction. In addition, licensed auctions entities are entrusted with these vehicles to auction between licensed dealer buyers and dealer sellers. This sale can reduce the loss of funds that come from unpaid storage fees and can potentially combat the cash for clunkers type of waste from older vehicles in which are the majority of abandoned vehicles.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.