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Auto Repossession Industry Lingo


Words Every Repossessor Should Know

There are a ton of terms you are going to hear in the auto repossession industry. Some you will hear every day, some you will only hear once, but it is important that you know what they mean so you do not look unprofessional. I am going to list some auto repossession terms and their definitions as well as some abbreviations and their meanings.

Adjuster - this is an old school term that means repossessor.

Charge off - a declaration by a creditor that a debt is unlikely to be collected. This usually is on accounts over six months in arrears.

Collateral - Assets pledged by a borrower to secure a loan or other credit, and subject to seizure in the event of default.

Collections Manager - Oversees the activities of employees engaged in issuing repossessing orders to adjusters and generally is the individual who decides which repossession companies are on the lender's vendor list.

Collector - the employee of a lender that assigns, updates and oversees accounts that in the repossession stage of collections.

Condition Report - a detailed report on the condition of a vehicle's exterior and interior.

Debtor - the person that is responsible for the loan contract because they put their signature on it. A debtor may also be called a buyer or a maker. A second signer on a loan cane be refereed to as a co-debtor, co-maker and a co-buyer.

Door knock - a door knock is when the repossessor makes contact with a debtor by knocking on the door to find out where the collateral is located.

Field visit - this is when an adjuster goes to a debtor's home, completes a vehicle condition report and usually takes some digital photographs for the lender.

Gag Call - a method of skiptracing done by phone that involves tricking information out of a person who otherwise would not give it.

Light skip - this is where a skip tracer or collections rep does a simply verification of the information a lender has on a debtor. This is usually done via the internet, by phone, pulling a credit report, and using a commercial data service to verify debtor information.

Liquidation - sale of collateral.

Paper - a repo order. There is bad paper or junk paper, which means the order does not list any accurate information. Good paper is when the repo order contains accurate information on the debtor and the location of the collateral. Recycled paper is an auto repossession order than has been sent to one repossession company and they could not find it. It has then been sent to another repo agency and another and another all with negative results.

Phone break - the act of identifying the owner of a phone number and the address the phone services is registered to.

Qualifying a vehicle - often times a transporter will use this phrase when trying to confirm if a vehicle is ready for transport.

Redemption - this when a debtor has paid his loan current and will get his vehicle back.

Replevin - a court action to recover possession of collateral.

Skip - a person who has skipped out on their loan.

Skip tracer - is someone who performs the task of locating a person's whereabouts.

Straw purchase - when a borrower finances a vehicle for a third party, who usually has a bad credit rating. Lenders hate this practice and normally call the loan immediately.

Trap line - a telephone service that "traps" the originating phone number of an incoming call, regardless if caller I.D. is utilized. If a skiptracer knows someone who knows a skip, they will get a message passed to the skip, hoping he calls the trapline.

Auto Repossession Industry Shorthand

Here are some auto repossession abbreviations you are bound to come across in your repoman career. You don't want to embarrass yourself by needing to call a lender to ask what any of these mean.

Addy - address.

DK - door knock.

DNE - does not exist.

GAR - garage.

Invol - involuntary repossession.

KaD or KAD - Knock on the debtor's door and demand the collateral.

LM - left message.

NLE - No longer employed.

POE - place of employment.

Repo - repossession.

ROC - return of collateral.

TT - talk to.

TTN = talk to neighbor.

TX - phone number

UNV - unit not visible.

VNV - vehicle not visible.

VM - voice mail.

Vol - voluntary repossession.

Feel free to add to the list on our forum here

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