How to Work Alone Without Being Alone by Bill Meinhardt
I Always Worked Alone.There were several reasons I chose to work that way. It kept my costs down. I didnít have to pay someone to ride along and I didnít have to worry about what they were going to do, or say, if things turned nasty.
Most Repossession agents I know work with a second agent. The primary reason is, they believe it is safer, to have someone to watch their back, during a Repossession.
Prior to becoming an agent and owner of a recovery business, my experience was in law enforcement. Naturally when I went to work as a repossession agent, I brought some practices and procedures with me, that I learned, when I was a Deputy Sheriff. I found, some of the safety procedures, converted easily, to the repossession business.
The first procedure is, never be alone. You donít have to have someone in the truck with you to never be alone.
Never being alone means, someone always knows where you are, what you are doing, and does a "status check" on you, while you are at a debtorís residence, or picking up a vehicle.
I always notified the office, just prior to my setting up, to hook a vehicle, and gave them my location. They listened in, on my "Blue Tooth" mobile phone.
During the repossession, the assigner could ask me, if I was OK and/or, call 911 and send an officer instantly, in the event I needed help.
Many times it became apparent to the debtor; I was in communication with someone, while I was conducting the repossession.
I could simply say, "Iím still 10-4", or "I need an officer", and things calmed down pretty quick.
The second procedure is, never leave your vehicle without everything you need to survive.
I wore a ballistic vest, in an overt carrier, emblazoned with "Asset Recovery Agent" in reflective letters, on the front and back.
The vest pockets, held a camera, tape recorder, pepper spray, spare keys to my wrecker, a cell phone, flashlight and ink pen.
In my left front pocket, I carried a set of aluminum knuckles. I also carried a 38 special snub nosed revolver in a high ride holster on my strong side hip.
No weapons were ever visible. I had my CCDW license in my wallet at all times.
Looking the PartI wore a matching cap with," Recovery Agent" emblazoned on the front and back and the "Blue Tooth was always in my ear.
In my hands I carried my clipboard with the debtorís paperwork and forms.
The weapons were legal in Kentucky but are, optional, and may not be legal in some states or municipalities.
They were only there to save my life if everything else failed!
It only took about ten seconds to put on the vest and I could actually don it at a traffic light. I did not wear it, except when approaching a debtor or his vehicle.
I always started my tape recorder before approaching a residence, or a debtorís vehicle. It was a silent invisible witness, to what was actually said or done, during the course of a repossession.
Kentucky is a "one partyĒ state. It is legal to tape record any conversation, or activity you are involved in, as long as you are present. You are not required to inform the other party.
Now you are prepared to exit the vehicle and conduct a repossession.
1. You look professional to the debtor and to law enforcement!
2. Even though another agent is not present, you have contact with someone who knows where you are, and can call out the calvary if necessary!
3. You have a witness that will not lie, and can save you later when you are falsely accused!
4. You are less likely, to be attacked by a debtor, because you look professional. If you are attacked, you have the means to extricate yourself from the situation!
This profession has become one of the most dangerous in the country.
There is a climate of desperation growing out there. You deal with people, who are running out of options, and it will get worse.
Donít become a statistic. Change your game, to keep up with the changing conditions in the field.
"Be yea wise as serpents and harmless as doves. "
Retired Recovery Agent
and former owner of
CWM Recoveries & Investigations Inc.
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