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Auto Mechanics and Labor

Authored By: North Mississippi Rural Legal Services LSC Funded

Information

Auto Mechanics and Labor

  1. Can my auto mechanic keep my vehicle for the cost of repairs?
  2. How long does the mechanic have to wait before taking steps to sell my car?
  3. What happens to surplus proceeds?
  4. Can the towing company sell my car for towing and storage cost?
  5. How is notice to the owner given?
  6. What happens to any surplus?

Can my auto mechanic keep my vehicle for the cost of repairs?

Yes. All motor vehicles titled under "The Mississippi Motor Vehicle Title Law" repaired for any person, and at his instance, shall be liable for the price of the labor and material employed in constructing, manufacturing or repairing the same; and the mechanic to whom the price of said labor and material may be due shall have the right to retain possession of such motor vehicles so repaired until the price be paid.

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How long does the mechanic have to wait before taking steps to sell my car?

If such price shall not be paid within thirty (30) days, such person shall notify, by certified mail, the legal owner and the holder of any lien of the amount of charges due thereon and provide an opportunity for redemption. If such property has not been redeemed within five (5) days after the mailing of such certified letter, the person to whom such charges are payable and owing may commence suit in any court of competent jurisdiction, and upon proof of the value of the labor and materials and that such labor and materials furnished were reasonably necessary to prevent deterioration, permit operation and preserve the property, shall be entitled to judgment against the party for whom such labor was done or materials furnished, with costs, as in other cases, and to a special order for the sale of the property retained in his possession for the payment thereof, with costs, and to an execution, as in other cases, for the residue of what remains unpaid after sale of the property.

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What happens to surplus proceeds?

The proceeds of the sale of such property in excess of the amount needed to pay the judgment and necessary expenses of the procedure required by this section shall be held by the person for a period of six (6) months, and if not reclaimed by the owner shall be paid over to the chancery clerk of the county in which the sale was held.

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Can a towing company sell my car for towing and storage cost.

Yes. The owner of a motor vehicle that has been towed at his request or at the direction of a law enforcement officer, or towed upon request of a real property owner upon whose property a vehicle has been left without permission of the real property owner for more than five (5) days, shall be liable for the reasonable price of towing and storage of such vehicle; and the towing company to whom the price of such labor and storage costs may be due shall have the right to retain possession of such motor vehicle until the price is paid.

If the owner of a towed vehicle has not contacted the towing company within five (5) business days of the initial tow, the towing company shall obtain from the appropriate authority the names and addresses of any owner and lienholder. If the information from the appropriate authority fails to disclose the owner or lienholder, a good faith effort shall be made by the towing company

to locate ownership, including a check for tag information, inspection sticker, or any papers in the vehicle that may indicate ownership.

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How is notice to the owner given?

Upon location of the owner and lienholder, the towing company shall provide notice by registered mail of the amount due for towing, postmarked no later than the tenth day following the initial tow. If such amount shall not be paid within thirty (30) days from the initial tow, the towing company to whom such charges are payable shall notify by certified mail any legal owner and holder of any lien, as disclosed by the motor vehicle title records or other investigation, of notice of sale of the property. If such property has not been redeemed within ten (10) days after the mailing of the certified letter, the towing company may sale the property at public auction. The towing company shall publish for two (2) consecutive weeks a notice of sale in the newspaper having circulation in the county where the vehicle was initially towed.

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What happens to any surplus?

The proceeds of the sale of such property in excess of the amount needed to pay the towing, reasonable storage and necessary expenses of the procedures required by this section shall be held by the towing company for a period of six (6) months, and, if not reclaimed by the owner thereof within such time, shall be paid to the chancery clerk of the county in which the sale was held to be deposited into the county general fund, subject, however, to any rights of the recorded lienholder.

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Last Review and Update: Nov 30, 2002