Saturday, January 16, 2016

Repo Story

I was asked to write a repossession story. Why stop at one?

First off, my repo experiences are nothing like what you may have seen on reality TV shows. Much more boring.

For several years I managed the offsite sales for the dealership that employed me. We were aggressive in delivering the cars and worrying about getting them financed later. After every sale some would have to come back. That was part of my job.

One time I needed to get one back from a young lady in Kanarado. Her extended family is well known to local law enforcement. I arrived at her single wide trailer home and made contact. Suddenly three large men trotted out of the house and lined up behind her. I called out to my helper. He came ambling over. The three gentlemen promptly went back into the trailer. Soon, my helper left in the vehicle in question.

My helper was my middle son, a gentle soul until riled, then a Norwegian berserk-er. However, his appearance is such I’ve seen gangbangers find someplace else to be when he walks down the sidewalk. He is 6’3” with long black hair, wears black Wranglers topped off by a heavy metal T-shirt, black Dr. Martins, and often a black leather biker jacket. He has a perpetual scowl. Too vain to wear glasses, and being nearsighted, he has developed a piercing stare which can seem like a glare. Usually has some kind of scruffy beard. I love him like a son but, damn, he looks like a character in a slasher movie. 

In later years I started acting as a spotter for two brothers who are among the few people that scare the shit out of me. Repo men and bounty hunters, they would pay me to find vehicles and sit on them until they could arrive. One day I spotted one in a company parking lot. They arrive and take possession. The debtor sees them drive off, calls 911, and reports it freshly stolen. One of the brothers was talking to central dispatch reporting the repossession but before the information was processed an officer spotted the car. Soon a felony stops was in progress with several cars arriving. After some confusion the situation was resolved and the car searched. A handgun was under the front seat. Several firearms were in the trunk. A quick check revealed they were stolen.

The “owner” was called on his cell. The police told him they had recovered his car but needed to do some paperwork; would he meet them outside his place of employment? Yes was the response. While the cuffs were going on, the “owner” kept asking when he would get his car back.

Another time a dealer offered me a $1,000 to get a Mercedes SUV. A lawyer had bought it, wasn’t paying, and was playing lawyer games. He lived in a gated community and parked downtown in a secured garage. After getting the spare keys,  picked up my helper and headed out to the lawyer's neighborhood. My helper was an old biker babe  who was seemly unafraid of anything. Sometimes being lucky beats being good. As we entered the area the Mercedes drove past us. We followed until they parked in a shopping center garage, public, and unsecured. A few minutes later I was driving the Mercedes back to the dealership with my helper following. Start to finish, under two hours.

My medical courier gig brings in enough so I’m not interested in spotting. Repo work? I’m too crabby and way too old to go hands on with assholes. I do miss it. Much like hunting with the stalk and then the kill. Nice adrenaline rush.


Coffeypot said...

Some guys are just on hard luck but still lose their ride, but many are just assholes that deserve what they get. Did you have to face down any armed assholes? No shootout at the OK Corral over a 1962 Opal Kadett station wagon? I had one, and to go up a steep hill, I had to put it in second gear and have Judy push from behind. Young, dumb, and broke days.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Once. Got the car a week later while they were in Walmart.

CenTexTim said...

And I always thought repo men only did it in the dark... 😉

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Most of the time you just walk up and ask them for the keys. On the tough ones I preferred around 0430. By then the drunks are asleep, the cops are going off duty and working people are still in bed.

Doing it in the dark depended on who your helper was.

Old NFO said...

Not a job I'd want... Unless I had a helper like your boy! :-)

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Wasn't a life long career aspiration I can assure you.
Always good to spend quality time with a son.