My auto repossession partner and I were amassing a small fortune from all of our hard work. We loved the job, the boss was happy, and we were able to provide for our families like we never thought we would be able to. It seemed that we were going to be blessed with an endless supply of repossession orders. I remember one particular night like it was yesterday. We had a huge stack of repossession orders come over the fax machine and were preparing to hit the street and pick up some cars. Have you ever asked yourself the question “Is this too good to be true?”
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The boss was more than happy to pile on the auto repossession orders, and we were more than happy to add to our pile of cash! We were not lazy, we were honest and, most of all, we got the job done. He was happy and my partner and I were both grinning from ear to ear! We were making so much money repossessing cars part time, that we had even thought of quitting our day jobs. It seemed our full-time job was getting in the way of us getting rich from our part-time auto repossession gig. The repo orders kept coming and the checks kept getting bigger and bigger!
I worked two days repossessing cars with my partner, and we pulled in a cool $900. After the split, I made $540 and only spent about $40 in gas. That was more than I made working all week at my regular job. We decided to concentrate on repossessing cars as many hours a day as we could. I began to do the math in my head. If I could make an extra $1,000 a week repossessing cars, I could put my full-time job’s check into a savings account and live off my repo income. Actually not just live, but live large! We decided to ask our new boss for some more work.
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The VIN matched my repo paperwork, the keys were in the ignition, and the license plates were off the vehicle. It seemed the debtor knew the repoman was coming! The only problem was that both front tires were flat, so I called out the company wrecker to haul it back to the yard. So, my first auto repossession was done without a problem, and I was off to check some more addresses.
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“Here you are”, the owner of the auto repossession company said as he handed me a stack of repossession orders. A little more training would have been nice, but he seemed to think I was ready. I looked through the repo orders and planned the night’s strategy. I had teamed up with a friend to do the repossessions. We had agreed on a 60/40 split of the pay, since we were going to use my car. We loaded up our tools and headed out. It was a warm night and the moon was full, and we spotted our first car right away. I grabbed my flashlight and bailed out to check the VIN.
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So I met with my repoman “trainer” for a crash course on how to repossess cars. Not only did he manage the company, he repossessed cars, was a skip tracer, and even delivered cars to the auction. What he taught me was some old-school repoman training – no self loader, no GPS, no laptop – just you and the debtor’s car and a tool bag full of goodies. In those days, cars were not equipped with transponders or airbags, and usually they did not have an alarm to alert the debtor that you were repossessing his car. He patiently took the time to show me how to use a steering wheel puller, pound a socket onto an ignition and force it into the start position, and how to use those crazy old Ford passkeys. He had me go through the process several times to be sure I knew what I was doing, and then it was time to get my repo on! I have to say that I would not have been a success in this business without his instruction, advice and friendship. If you want to make it in this business, find yourself a man like this and learn as much as you can.
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Interviewing to be a Repoman
After a few phone calls negotiating what I was to be compensated for each car I repossessed, I met up with my new repoman friend’s boss. He ran his auto repossession business from his house and had several storage lots located around the state. I remember thinking to myself that his repo company must have been doing pretty well, judging by the size of his house, his pool, sports cars and extensive gun collection. I later found out that he owned several vacation and beach homes around the country. It was not until several months later that I found out how he was able to live so wealthy. We sat in his home office drinking coffee and talking about the auto repossession business. He was a thin man in his 70’s, who claimed to have worked for the CIA, the Mossad and other organizations that neither you nor I have ever heard of. The guy weaved a pretty good yarn, but I did not care, as I anticipated making a lot of money working for him. I did not believe a word of it and chalked it up to him being a talkative old man. He gave me a crash course on “how to be a repoman”. He then introduced me to his manager for further training.
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I can remember the night that launched my life into the wild world of the auto repossession business like it was yesterday. My first encounter with a repoman was on a cold day in the middle of winter. I met him at a local auto auction. He was there to drop off his latest “steal”, and he struck up a long conversation with me. I was irritated and bothered by him and his talking. The only thing I knew about “the repoman” was what I had seen watching the cult classic of the same name, starring Emilio Estevez. I never would have considered working as a repoman, not in a million years. After the repoman dropped his repossessed vehicle into the storage lot, we went for a coffee and a chat. He ended up talking for a few hours, telling me some stories about the auto repossession business. I learned that I could make five times or more what I was making at my regular job in fewer hours. Right before he left, he handed me a business card and popped the question “Would you like to repo cars in the area for me?” From that moment on, my world was changed forever.
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This is the http://repoindustry.com/ blog. In addition to our auto repossession online magazine, company directory and forum, we wanted to do some daily blogging about the auto repossession industry. The blogs will be short, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, and always informative.