State law cracking down on rogue movers stalled for the foreseeable future
BALTIMORE – Hiring the wrong moving company can result in late deliveries, defective items, or in many cases, never seeing your belongings again.
The housewares industry is plagued by unscrupulous traders and a state law to combat criminal activity has stalled for the foreseeable future.
The household goods removal company registration program, which went into effect on October 1, 2019, recently lost its funding due to recent budget cuts.
Louis Campion, President and CEO of the Maryland Motor Truck Association and the Maryland Movers Conference, campaigned for law for several years.
“It would essentially require a registration program that moving companies would have to register with the Department of Labor. You would have to provide certain certifications and validations of appropriate insurance, e.g. B. Employee compensation, property identification, ”said Campion.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains a running list and issues licenses nationwide. As WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii revealed in a series of reports in 2018, many rogue operators are slipping through the cracks creating new company names.
“They have very few investigators, covering literally thousands of moving companies across the country,” Campion said.
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The hope was that an extra level of controls would either detect these bad actors or prevent them from operating in the state.
“They identify states with low barriers to entry and Maryland is one of them,” said Campion. “We have so few rules and regulations governing household goods removals that it is really difficult for a consumer to determine whether this company is legitimate or someone they can trust.”
Campion added that he was particularly disappointed because the program would have been self-sustaining through annual registration fees and potentially giving the state overtime.
“Well, 500 moving companies with $ 300, that’s $ 150,000 a year that would have been generated and covered the cost of this program,” said Campion.
Campion is still pushing for a registration program. In the meantime, consumers must continue to be diligent by requesting at least three estimates, seeking recommendations from reputable sources, and knowing your rights and obligations regarding deposits, delivery, and additional fees before moving.
“With moving companies, you give that company your whole life,” said Campion.
And the wrong one could cost a lot more than money.
Click here to learn more about choosing a reputable moving company.
A spokeswoman for the labor ministry said the agency would not be able to implement the moving company registration program without funding. However, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Department of Budget and Administration wrote by email to Sofastaii:
I can’t talk about the future of earmarked funding for the Maryland Household Goods Movers Registration Program, but I can make it clear that we proposed cutting funding for this program for FY21 because of the DBM budget analysts and Maryland staff Department of Labor have decided that MDL can operate the program with existing resources. That is, there should be no impact on the operation of the program itself.
Sofastaii asked if “existing resources” had been identified and why the Department of Labor stated that they could not implement the program. This story will be updated with the response from DBM.
The Ministry of Labor did not provide any additional information on the future of the program and whether or not the agency will continue its work on regulations.