Repossession Agent's Interaction With The Police
Building Relationships With Local Law Enforcement AgenciesRepossession agents have contact with police departments on a daily basis. Agents either have to drop off a hard copy of the repo order to the dispatcher or they have to call the police department with the information from repossession. Since you have to deal with the police so much, I urge you to become friends with the law. Being known as a professional repossession company that is supportive of the police will make your job easier. I am not saying that the police will break the law for you, but they might bend departmental rules about repossessions done in their jurisdiction. A rule may exist that says that repo agents must submit an order to the police station prior picking the car up. If a dispatcher knows you and respects you, then they may allow you to pick up the car first and drop the order off later. This can save a lot of time and allow you to snatch the collateral on sight. As I stated a previous article, having the police “on your side” will never hurt you.
How do you build the bridge with police departments? The first thing is to never break the law. Repo men have bad reputations and you have to overcome those preconceived notions. Being that you will most likely have police contact, you should always be presentable. For some reason, many repo agents dress like thugs and are often dirty and unkempt in their appearance. Having a clean look will speak volumes about you as a repo professional. Always drive in a courteous manner and adhere to all the traffic laws. Being stopped and cited for a moving violation is not only a black mark on your driving record, it is also black mark on your company reputation. If you are executing a repo and the debtor calls the police, always act professional. Never argue with the police and give them the utmost respect. Even if you are sure that you are right, it is better to bite your tongue than to have conflict with the police. How you conduct yourself will be remembered and this will either hurt you or help you in future repossession activities.
There are many ways that I built rock solid relationships with police departments during the time I owned my repossession company. I made sure that I got to know every police dispatcher and officer’s name that I came into contact with. Being on a first name basis was always a plus in dealing with them. I gave dispatchers and officers company coffee mugs and apparel as gifts. I was not looking for anyone to break any laws for me, but it afforded me a lot of respect when I did have contact with the police. I was willing to do private tows for law enforcement personnel for a price far lower than what other tow companies would charge them. At Christmas, I dropped off cheese and meat trays to the area departments along with a card a thanking them for the service that they provide the community. I donated to the FOP and other police sponsored events such as golf outings, policeman’s balls and other fund raising events.
Using Off Duty Officers As AgentsThe best thing that I did to build a profitable repossession business was to employ off duty police officers as agents and spotters. Police officers are underpaid and usually work off duty security jobs. They would work all night in uniform and get paid about the same money I paid my agents for one repo. Policemen were willing work for me for a few hours and pick up three or four cars. They appreciated it because they would have to work many hours more in uniform as a security guard to make the same money that they earned repossessing cars for one night. Word will soon spread and you will have friends in every police department on every shift. Make sure you always pay them on time and exactly what you promised and it will help your business immensely. If you prefer to be at logger heads with your local police departments and its officers, then go right ahead. I would prefer to spend my night repossessing cars knowing that the police are in my corner.
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