Car towing and impounding nightmare

February 24, 2011 3:45:55 AM PST
A New Jersey woman's car was towed and impounded, but when she tried to get it, she was told she had to pay fines on several other cars besides hers.

In the West Side impound lot, going on six days now, sits Leanne Paserchia's car, while Leanne encounters what has become a towing nightmare.

"I just know that I am the one trying to pick up the pieces of this mess," Paserchia said.

It's a mess she could never have imagined that began after her car was ticketed and towed on 19th Street.

Then, she went to retrieve her car.

"No, I could not get my car out, and I would have to pay over $2,000 in fines that are not mine," Paserchia said.

Those whopping fines, according to documentation from the Parking Violations Bureau, include outstanding tickets on five other cars with New Jersey plates.

Pascerchia just had the current ticket and one outstanding.

She thought it was some kind of fraud, so she filed a police report in her hometown of Nutley.

"They were able to run the plates and conclude that none of the plates were registered or belonged to me, and the only common denominator between me and the other plates was our leasing company, which was Wells Fargo," Paserchia said.

So she called them.

"Trying to get them on that end to fix the problem," Paserchia said.

After many frustrating calls, two hours at the Parking Violations Bureau, and then meeting with a city attorney, it was discovered that there was a rare issue with the way New York City's system interacts with New Jersey's system.

New Jersey requires leased vehicles to be in the name of the leasing company.

In New York, it's based on the name of the car's registrant.

"They say there is a group of people that is in the same situation that I'm in, whether they know of the situation or not," Paserchia said.

A Department of Finance spokesperson said the vehicle was being released, and later, Leanne was able to drive out after paying just her ticket.

"Hopefully they won't have to go through the same situation that I did," Paserchia said.