The repossession business is big but when you start getting involved in aircraft repossessions it gets huge. An aircraft repo is far more complex, similar to that of vessels but instead of the Coast Guard you are dealing with the FAA. You are dealing with current log books, you are dealing with airport security and the list goes on.
Each aircraft repossession is very different as are the sizes of planes involved. A bank may give a car repossession firm a small Cessna plane to repo or even a Helicopter on a trailer. I remember my first helicopter repossession was on a trailer about 3 states away. So I had to drive at least 17 hours and pick up the trailer and haul it back. Not the kind of fun someone expects when doing an aircraft repossession, in fact a job like that is long and grueling like that of a interstate truck driver that not everyone likes. Personally my favorite part of the high end repossession industry was the skip trace end. Was locating assets worldwide. I was a natural from the start, and I really enjoyed it. You can read about the bloodline of the repossession industry here, skip tracing.
The only good thing about picking up an aircraft so far away was the pay involved. At least you know the pay will be fat even if the aircraft is a small plane, the minute the word Aircraft is used the price goes way up unless the bank is looking for a cheap deal and the unit is real junk. A bank will typically want to pay much more as the units are extremely valuable and need to be treated as such. If an aircraft needs to be flown out, there could be fines involved, there could be hanger or storage pay involved, there could be Pilot pay involved and there are times when a set of log books gets a whole separate repossession order. many times a pilot will not be able to fly a plane out due to missing log books.
Typical scenario involved with an aircraft repossession:
- Major skip tracing sometimes world wide
- Organizing repossession under the state or country laws where unit is located
- High storage, hanger or repair bill, repo agent must lay out and get reimbursed if approved
- Pilot rental if agent is not a licensed pilot
- Organization of recovery (many scenarios)
- Log book inspection
- Flying plane to secure new storage
- Personal property inspection and separate storage
- Hire an auction company for liquidation. Aircraft must be sold through auction.
These are just some of the scenarios involved. I have personally experienced much more then listed as you will too if you pursue the aircraft repossession industry or advance to that.
What a bank expects from you?
While it is much tougher to show up out of nowhere and start getting aircraft contracts. Banks typically will look for someone known in the industry. I used to get referrals all the time from banks calling other banks looking for a reputable firm. They will expect a large insurance policy. They will expect a bond for at least 1 million up to 5 million. I have had banks ask for financials that I had to provide both personal and corporate. The thing is once you get in, you get in and the Aircraft repossession industry will be a very lucrative one whether you handle liquidations or not.