While banks are very careful to begin working with new unknown companies they are still much more lenient working with automobiles then they are with vessels and understandably so. Working with vehicles has its tough side and tremendous amounts of legalities vessels typically carry much more value. A bank will start off whether they know you or not by checking how much insurance and bond coverage you have. The best bet and the way we broke into the vessel aircraft industry was by working with a company that specialized only in that. Over time the managers of the banks begin to know the agents and if you do a good enough job, they are more likely to give you a shot later if you do decide to go into the business on your own. Doing vessel repossession is a highly profitable business model for a company that knows what it is doing.
If you are really lucky the bank may even begin to work with you on liquidations of the assets which brings the profitability to the next level. Some repossession companies are hiring liquidation managers to only work with the liquidation aspect.
Vessels can be simple with trailers or they can be more complex as some of you might have seen on TV in the water. Either way the agent must have a decent organization skill to complete vessel repos.
Here is a list of things that are involved in doing just one vessel repossession.
- Locate the vessel
- Figure out the best time to take the vessel, usually early mornings for us
- Verify hull number, on rear lower right side
- Organize with a captain to meet you at the location
- Call local police department to advise them of the repossession
- Or contact Sea tow to meet you at the location in order to transport
- Organize with another location to securely store the vessel
- Pay any fees owed to the Marina after getting approval from your client
- Take lots of pictures usually a whole roll
- Do a personal property report
- Keep the vessel secure until finance company advises what to do next
Believe me, anything that can go wrong usually will go wrong and always something not on the list will be added to that list.
Personally I enjoy vessel repossessions as I did those from A to Z throughout my career. It enabled me for the first time to travel throughout the United States and see some of the other beautiful states that I might not have been inclined to see before.
Another good thing with vessel repossessions is that many marinas are honest when it comes to vessels, they also know they will get their overdue storage money upon release. I personally have had cases where a marina was friends with the owner in a certain state and they went as far as calling the police, which usually will side with you in that scenario. Remember in certain states it is illegal to use police to assist in the repossession.