Theft and the Reputation of Your Repossession Company
Repo Agents Are Already Stealing For A LivingTheft is the can be one of the hardest problems to deal with in the repo industry. I never could understand why agents that were making $2000 a week would even be tempted to steal property from a debtorís vehicle. For some reason, some agents still canít resist pocketing personal property. I think that my company had a low incident of theft and I tried to minimize it as best as I could.
How do you know if you have a theft problem? Debtors are always claiming that things are missing and there is no reason to believe them. They canít even manage to make their car payments on time, so there is no way that they have anything of real value.
There is no way to eliminate theft in your company unless you ride with your employees 24 hours a day. You have to find honest workers, and even then you never know. I think the biggest deterrent to theft is to pay your agents well. Also make sure that all of your drivers understand that it is not worth it to steal. They need to know that a poor reputation will hurt the companiesí work flow and this will in turn hurt their wallets.
Keeping Theft To A Minimum In Your Repo CompnayHow do you spot a thief in your company? Look for multiple complaints about a certain driver. If someone is thieving, it will generally not be a one time thing. If you suspect a driver of theft, then you can either ride with him or team him up with one of your newer agents. Having a partner for accountability will help keep your driver honest. You will get to know who your honest drivers are by there actions. They are the ones that will contact you and tell you that they found a sizable amount of cash or a valuable piece of jewelry in a car and they want to turn it in to you.
Also, always set a good example. Do not be a thief yourself. There are always opportunities where you could thieve yourself. I remember more than a few occasions where I could have stolen some things and never got caught and I did not. One time, I picked up a real junker from a bar one night and the debtor had left her purse in the car. When I got back to my storage yard, I proceeded to inventory the property in the car and I found $5000 in the purse. The debtor was a cashier at a gas station, lived in an RV at a campground and was behind 5 months on her payments. The lender nor the police would never have believed her if she told them I had stolen $5000 out of her vehicle. I contacted the police in the county where I had recovered the vehicle from about the money. I also left a message about finding the cash on the lenderís voice mail. The police and the lender were both shocked that I had not pocketed the money. By being honest in this situation I was able to build a tremendous reputation with the lender and the police. From that point on, no one could ever accuse me of theft to that lender. On another occasion, I repossessed a Ford F750 Flatbed from a tow company that was just a few months old. I parked it in my storage yard and while doing my inspection, I noticed how new the tires were. I looked over at my Ford F750 and sadly looked at my near bald tires that needed to be replaced. I did not steal the tires and the next week I bought six new tires for
my flatbed. I never said anything to the lender about not stealing the tires, but in my heart, I knew that I had been honest. I am not trying to brag on myself, or come off as better than anyone else, I am simply telling you to get into the practice of being an honest businessman and you will reap the rewards.
For some reason, being a repoman and a thief seem to go hand in hand. Every lender I ever dealt with told me that theft and dishonesty were the two biggest problems in the industry today. I am not sure if we can ever change that perception, but we can surely be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Please fell free to start a thread in the forum if you have any further information on this topic that you would like to share.