Police RealtionsI have seen many repo agents that just can’t get along with the police. They look at the police with an “us and them” and it is one of the greatest mistakes that can be made. It is up to you, but I would rather have a good working relationship with police departments, than to be constantly butting heads with them. Your relationship with the police can either hurt you or help you. If you are on a friendly basis with police personnel, then I can assure you that it will make your job easier. The police can and often will share valuable information about debtors and the collateral that you are trying to repossess. I have found that a large percentage of debtors often have had multiple police contacts. How many times have you gone to the police department to turn in a repo order and the dispatcher’s eyes have lit up when they see the name of the debtor? Often times you will hear comments like “He is a real jerk” or “He hangs out at the bar up the street”. Sometimes a dispatcher will tell you that you will not find the debtor at the address listed on the repo order. They may tell you that he has moved and living with his mom or moved to another house. If you have a good working relationship with the police department, they might even check their in house computer records and give you an address that officers last had contact with the debtor. If the debtor has been arrested, often times the booking information will contain his place of employment, relatives address and what bond company he used when he was bonded out of jail. At that point you have several leads that can help in locating your debtor and getting the collateral picked up. You can check his employment, contact relatives and check with the bondsman to see if he knows where the debtor is living. Sometimes the contact that the police have had with the debtor has involved the collateral that you are looking for. Many times the vehicle has been impounded due to an arrest. If the debtor is up for repossession, he most likely will not have the money to pay the impound and storage fees that are owed on the vehicle. At that point, you can contact the tow firm, find out what the fees are and relay that information to your client. This saves you a lot of time and money looking for a vehicle that is sitting in a police impound storage lot. The cost of gas these days warrants a quick repo. No repo company wants to pour cash down the gas tank, when investigative questions and phone calls can locate many of the vehicles. Another reason to develop good working relationships with your local police departments is because sooner or later a debtor is going to call the police on you. If the police are called and they arrive and see a repo man that they always have problems with, then I can assure you that you will be sent on your way. If they like you, then they may explain to the debtor that they can’t get involved and will not stop you from repossessing their vehicle. Positives are always better than negatives. It is up to you if you want to fight the system, but remember the police always win. If you are always locking horns with the police, I can promise you that you will never live up to your potential in the repossession industry. In a future article, I will discuss how you can build positive relationships with police departments and increase your collateral pick up rate as a result of having the police “on your side”.
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