During my career as a repoman, I have worked with Credit Unions, Banks, Finance companies, Car lots, Attorneys and even private citizens that hold a note on a unit. In all that time being a repoman doing car repo work I was able to measure if you will the level of aggression from each.
I have to say by a long shot large well known finance companies will be the most aggressive. They start out normal but once the case on a 10 thousand plus asset becomes closer to charge off, the aggressive tactics begin. I have seen finance companies use police where it is illegal to use police to talk to people as the repoman stands by on the phone or around the corner. I have never been involved or seen any bank do this, but I see the large scale finance companies pull this crap and end up getting away with it while it is a clear case of wrongful repossession. In fact if a repoman want’s to use a police tactic the bank does not want anything to do with it as they know, they can easily be sued or lose the entire collateral with someone that has a slight inkling of the law.
I believe large finance companies use tactics such as extreme aggression or even repo companies utilize tactics like these in hopes that the debtor will never come fourth with a case against them, or in hopes the debtor will be too scared to come forward knowing that hiding the car was wrong or having a repoman involved was wrong in the first place.
I have heard of a large finance company send a cop to a residence making contact with the debtor and telling him he was going to go to jail if he didn’t tell him where the collateral was by a certain date. I have seen a cop leave a note on a door on an actual police business card, advising the debtor it would be grand theft against him for not producing the car. In this particular state both of these actions are completely illegal but due to the aggressive nature of the big finance company with deep pockets, they bet on the fact that they would get the car and never get sued.
At that time there were less attorneys doing cases like that on a contingent basis or at least not advertising so. Now, many more law firms are becoming hip to the fact that these law suits are very real and usually work in the debtors favor. If a repoman is involved which usually he is, he better have wrongful repossession insurance as these ruthless finance companies will allow the repoman to take the fall.
It’s kind of like how large banks are now with the citizens. They play the grey lines, they count on the fact that few if any will sue them for wrongful fee’s. Large banks, finance companies and credit cards will continue charging wrongful, grey area clearly illegal fees until someone comes along and gets awarded a few million. The banks do not care, they will make much more then the few million loss the lawsuit produces. In essence, the finance company will lose a car and legal fees here and there on a wrongful repossession case as it is a drop in the bucket compared to the many they get away with.