Finance, Credit and Repossession Information Resource

Common Terms in the Repossession Industry

The following are some of the everyday terms used in the repossession industry. The definitions are in layman terms, if you want proper definitions check the legal guides or wiki’s.


Is the person that is behind on the asset or the person that signed for the asset to begin with. Anyone accountable will be considered the debtor.

Straw purchase

Is when someone used their own credit to buy an asset for another person. Someone that may buy the car for themselves in the beginning but later transfers the collateral to an unknown buyer.


The unit that is used for collateral in each particular case.


Is a court order allowing the repossession agent to pick up the asset with a court order, usually escorted by the police department. If the debtor does not comply with a replvein or court order, the case can be turned into a criminal case usually citing the debtor in contempt. It is a legal action.


An asset that cannot be located by means of the original documentation during purchase. It could also be if a finance company calls a debtor and the debtor purposely hides the unit. Skip tracing will need to be completed in order to find the asset.

Fraud case

Is a case where the unit cannot be located and the person originally defrauded the finance company knowingly when purchasing the asset. Possibly using a fake social security, possibly using false information, buying the unit with intent to not pay for it. or basically any fraudulent means.

Charge off

Is when collateral has not been paid in several months and the account is getting ready for charge off. Sometimes banks will increase the pay amount to have an agent be more aggressive in finding a unit that is close to charge off.


Most assets that are repossessed will go to an auction or liquidation sale. By law aircraft must be sold through auction sale, similar to that of a house.

Bust out

This sounds worse than what it really is, this term was used in one of the agencies I worked for. What it really means is making contact with the debtor of the unit when unable to locate it. usually a straw purchase type situation or when keys are needed.


Registered owner of the asset

Voluntary Repossession

This is when the RO calls the bank to surrender the asset. When the debtor is cooperative in returning the unit he or she can no longer pay.

Break Order

This usually comes with a replevin order. It gives the Sheriff the right to open a garage or storage facility in order to collect the asset.

Arrest of Asset

This term I have heard several times when dealing with boats that have been seized usually by the marshals office or other federal agency. It usually means that the bank, the repossession agency are out of luck and will either lose the asset completely or have to wait a long time to retrieve the asset.


A licensed repossession agent.


When a skip trace agent runs a comprehensive report on someone in effort to locate the unit.

Brought Current

When a debtor brings the loan current and the bank accepts the late payment.

There are many more terms in the financial and repossession industries that are used everyday. i will update this from time to time.


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