Just like in skip tracing, pricing for repossession varies greatly depending upon the type of collateral, the complexity of the repo, the tools needed or in some cases the intelligence needed to handle repossessions the right way avoiding breach of peace and illegal repossessions. For the sake of this article since cars are more common in the business and most people going to do repossessions go in with full intentions of working with cars. [Read more…] about Prices for Repossessions
Getting Repossession Accounts
Over the last few months I have received many emails from those seeking advice as to where to start or asking if I had any connections into the repossession field. I even received a call from someone interested in getting into the aircraft repo game and wanted all the info I could give him and I told him flat out not to waste his time. Truth is in this game, especially the higher end game of repossession there are no banks going to start giving some newbie no name repoman multi million dollar aircraft or yachts. It just doesn’t work that way, there are financials involved, there are credit reports involved, there is bonding and insurance involved and I don’t mean the million dollar bond that all these local repo/tow companies get when they buy an insurance policy with them. Even with all the above, if you don’t have a name in the industry, you simply will not get the job bottom line. Have you heard of the good ole boy regime. The Rollins College scenario that makes Rollins such a good school.
Its not what you know, its who you know
Once you become known in the repossession game by the banks as one of the very few top investigative repossession companies, they will tell the other banks who you are. Banking executives always talk among each other in this game and that’s just the way it is. In my case, I had solved hundreds of fraud cases that no one else solved or wanted to devote the time and effort into, I had solved stolen identity cases that were back breaking pains in the asses but my work ethic and passion brought me through and just as suspected it brought me into the upscale world of repossession. Going from 7 figures in Porsche sales to zero due to a garbage economy will make most men have the urge to make it back.
Make it happen in the repossession world
My only response to these emails and calls is to make it happen. Start at the bottom, there is no short cuts. Don’t make excuses, if the buy here pay here lots are saturated or using illegal repossession companies at night that you can’t compete with, go to the next town over and try there. I remember at rock bottom the first week I had my license, I worked the garbage, the ghetto, the farms. I never had a tow truck or drove on so I remember driving through 5 mile long orange groves at 3am in the dead fog in search of a car that was at one of the samll farm homes at the end of the grove. I remember knocking at the doors at midnight in hopes of some info leading me to a debtor at least an hour from home. Yeah, it’s the garbage but you know what, it paid the bills, the mortgage, fed the family and word spread that I was the guy that didn’t go home until the car was found. There are little expenses if you become a car repossession agent and do it the right way. You don’t need employees(maybe a helper or driver on commissions only), you don’t need expensive repo trucks or insurances or even a large lot. These are just excuses that become obstacles and block your way from getting into the repossession business.
The buy here pay here lot that I started with had there own repo truck and repossession agents. I went in there and said I would make them an offer they couldn’t refuse. I told them to just give me the repo’s that there in house guys couldn’t get. For some crazy reason, I got 100% of them and the orders kept building up, I didn’t need another buy here pay here lot. They kept me busy with at least 3 to 5 repo’s per night, I mean why not. I was doing $1,000 plus skip tracing included in the $300.00 price of the repossession, an awesome deal for anyone. Point is that when you need to make it work, you make it work.
Actor and actress wanabees leave there hometowns and head to Hollywood with a dream in a country known for making the American dream come true. Although only a small percentage of those make it to the big time, surely they still get to live the American dream in some other gig that comes around in the area. Or simply getting a decent job and working there way up while coming to grips that they gave the acting thing a go and it just isn’t happening. I give them props for taking a shot, making a move on such a small percentage career type.
It wasn’t long after that my gig was increased to the upscale repossession world and time to move on and say goodbye. If things turned out badly, there is no doubt in my mind that very same buy here pay here lot would load me up again with a bunch of repo accounts.
I will start this off by saying their are probably two different perceptions as to who would better make a good repoman and who seem to make a good repoman but really is not. It will really depend on the goals of the particular person and how far they want to go doing repossessions. It would depend on if they want to work for large banks and finance companies, it would depend on if they want to eventually open their own repossession company and to be honest, you can go either route and still make in this field. Working as a repoman for a company that has consistent work can make someone a good living, so if you don’t want to get involved with all the red tape and licensing issues, getting a job within a decent company is a great opportunity. Please be advised that even a repo company hiring will be looking for those certain qualifications that the person seeking the job may think differently of.
Truly a good qualified repossession agent
A good quality repossession agent is someone that is believe it or not professional. Whether working for a repossession company or working on your own as a freelance repoman, professionalism is important. Why is it important? Because you will be dealing with collateral, other peoples money and assets. They will have to know that they can enough trust in you to know you will do the right thing. That you will not start fights or possibly steal, that you will always do the professional thing. Repossession is frowned upon and made a joke of on TV, it is prone to lawsuits and the last thing a company needs is someone that is not professional.
On top of being professional another qualification is being able to put 2 and 2 together and understand directions to the tee, not driving directions but directions that are written on the actual order to be able to follow through without cutting corners. Too many people today want to cut corners, look for loopholes and the easy way. In repossession work there is none of that crap, unless of coarse the work is for some small buy here pay here lot, inconsistent and uncaring of professional work.
Banks don’t want some tough guy
Understanding that fighting is not the way to get repossessions done. No better way to grab a lawsuit for you personally and the company is by fighting. Forget the garbage you hear about, yeah this repoman kicked this guys ass and grabbed the car.
In certain licensed states felons are not allowed to work in repossession. If you are a felon or have a previous felony charge don’t even try to apply for a license, you will get turned down. It the offense was over the amount of time where you can restore your civil rights then restore them first and then apply.
They want someone who is sharp, someone that can probably talk a debtor out of keys, or negotiate a surrender. This business is very psychological and it is important to understand that speaking with debtors in a professional manner is what everyone wants. if things become hostile, someone will be recording or video taping it and the law is typically against the repoman. You will be sued and lose the case.
Also important to remember that an employer later will expect you to update banks and clients. Updating must be done precisely and professionally. Repossession industry pays very well, so being professional is expected, nothing wrong with being able to defend yourself, but not first priority of someone hiring you.
When first getting into the repossession business, while it might be exciting you got an account or two locally with the local car dealers. it is extremely important to know that you will need more new repossession or skip accounts in the very near future.
The repossession industry sucks in some ways that especially now with the way the economy is and corruption is, banks will close or merge more often then we like. You think ah ok good. No, wrong. These banks that merge might have their repossession agent for years and he will get your contract moving forward. So imagine, you have a family to feed, bills to pay and you rely only on one major bank. There is a good chance you will sooner or later get screwed.
I remember when one major bank merged with another, luckily for us we specialized in high end skips, vessels and aircraft and we were known nationwide in that industry. If it were cars surely we would have lost them immediately as some banks favor a car repossession company they been working with for years. Perhaps it is the company that throws big Christmas parties for them each year, or sends the better care packages. We used to have to spend thousands of dollars Christmas time in packages to show our appreciation of all the orders each and every year. When you have service contracts with big companies gifts are a must during Christmas time. Just as they would send us Christmas cards or small gifts each year.
Getting more repossession accounts
What you need to do is continually ask for letters of recommendation as you grow. Let’s say you have a one time repossession deal with a bank in California. It is only a one time deal since they do not have anything in your area normally. You do a great job for them, ask them for a letter of recommendation and add this letter to your arsenal.
We actually have a beautiful package that we send out to new banks or banks that call us asking for our rates. We made up a really nice presentation with a cover letter including bios of our partners or workers. Our specializations, pricing and locations. In the back you will find our arsenal of recommendation letters. We even added some awards letters from major banks for doing such a wonderful job with the accounts from A to Z.
It will be imperative for any new bank to have someone to call and ask how you do with them. So my recommendation to those starting out is to get letters even from the small car dealerships you do work for. Never screw up the jobs and never fight with the managers.
On occasion our bank would send us an auto case that they just could’t find. So rather then flying out, we would find the unit and forward it to an agent in the area. let me tell you, learn who you send orders to before you send them out.
Some of these repo guys are so mistrusting in the industry from all the crap they deal with that they begin to start treating everyone like that. I send this repo to the guy to pick up, 2 days later his $300.00 check wasn’t across the country, he called me on my cell and started cursing about his check going as far as making threats. Just be careful who you use. Do some research or call a bank or car dealer in the area for a recommendation.