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Economic chaos

Signs of economic chaos: Repo men tow car with owner, daughter inside

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: economic chaos, repo men, towing

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(NaturalNews) A federal judge has partially affirmed that both a repossession company and the vehicle loan group that hired it are responsible for terrorizing a mother and her child back in 2010. According to Courthouse News Service (CNS), repo men "breached the peace" when they proceeded to tow away Rosalind Smith's vehicle with herself and her daughter still inside, and the doors wide open.

Rosalind had originally obtained a loan from AFS Acceptance back in 2010, which she used to purchase a car. Not long after, Rosalind admittedly defaulted on her loan, which prompted AFS to hire Equitable Services to come and repossess the car. But Equitable repo men inflicted serious emotional harm on Rosalind and her daughter when they attempted to tow away the car while the two women were still inside it.

According to the suit, Smith's daughter Rashai first climbed into the car as the repo men were cabling it up to the tow truck, presumably to prevent them from seizing it. Rosalind followed her daughter, as the men proceeded to lift it up and begin towing it down the street. Neighbors and others were reportedly screaming and telling the men to release the vehicle, but they refused until police arrived on the scene and ordered them to put the vehicle back into the driveway.

Rosalind later sued both AFS and Equitable for violating Illinois' Repossession Statute, for willful and wanton behavior, and for inflicting emotional distress. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case, but in her ultimate ruling, U.S. Federal Judge Elaine Bucklo decided that the suit had some merit, which led her to both deny in part, and grant in part, the motion to dismiss.

"[T]he conduct alleged -- towing two women down the street with the doors opened -- is sufficiently outrageous in nature as to constitute a basis for recovery under intentional infliction of emotional distress" wrote Judge Bucklo in her opinion and order. "There is no suggestion that the tow truck operators were unaware of the women's presence in the vehicle, and thus the most likely explanation of the agents' behavior is that they intended to severely frighten the women."

You can read the details of the case here:

Is towing madness a sign of worsening economic chaos?

In a similar case back in February, an Indiana woman had her car towed while her seven-year-old son was still inside. According to ABC57 News in South Bend, Ind., Robyn Hardy's car was illegally parked during the 15-or-so minutes she was inside a Family Dollar store, which prompted a tow truck company to come and seize the vehicle. But the driver failed to verify that nobody was inside the vehicle prior to hauling it away.

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