Following is a story of how bad the industry is even with reputable repossession companies. It is unfortunate that so many companies decide to try an extort others because they know they can get away with it.
We received this case from some celebrity rapper thug.I say thug, because of their actions when we finally find them.
Why so many celebrities get repossessions
This goes to show you, whether these guys are famous or not, making good money or not, they seem to piss it away faster then it comes in. In my career I have had more famous cases then I ever imagined. Ranging from pro sports to celebrities.
I personally decide to work the case which turned out to be much tougher than I thought. The case was in Los Angeles, California. I worked it inside out and backwards, I checked the recording studio that they usually recorded in, in fact two of them. I checked the three known addresses I was showing. I checked possible girlfriends and I continued on for several weeks. I got much deeper into the skip trace and was getting close but still not there. It was one of those skips that can get into a month worth of work.
How much this bank pays for a celebrity repossession
I was fine with it because there were 2 cars involved and each one was paying us over $10,000, less our expenses. Normally that would mean less any additional small costs in the investigation usually in the $175 to 200.00 range and then later less the actual repossession which in Los Angeles a company with proper insurance will normally charge between $350.00 and $550.00 each car. After the 30 days it takes to find them, we would end up with $20,000 less $1,400.00 is $18,600.00 which is not bad for the months work.
In this case I had no keys, so we needed to hire a company that had trucks and two at the same time. I figured OK I would go the higher route to make sure I didn’t lose one of the cars for some amateur hour crap.
Keep in mind, I did not assign this case out at all and will not until I am sure exactly where the cars are. I do not want any help from the repossession company in the skip trace or even give them a chance to say they skipped. I didn’t follow my own rule on this one thinking they were super professional and did not get a form signed saying there was no skip tracing involved.
Finally finding the thugs and the cars
I finally broke ground and located a brand new address that I had not found previously. That was it, I knew it was them and they would be there. I found the guys I wanted to do the repossession. They emailed the insurance, I saw the trucks on the website so I knew they could simultaneously do the two high dollar cars.
I explained to the guy exactly how it had to go. That I skip traced it for a while that it was imperative to not lose either car, otherwise it would be gone. He quoted me $375.00 each car and I said I want him to pay extra attention and that I would pay $500.00 per car and that it would include 1 week of storage. Although many repossession companies work well with other repossession companies, sort of like a brotherhood, some are extortionists and you just can’t help it. On one hand you can’t blame them as they are used to over billing banks with additional fees on every bill. So over billing is part of the repossession.
That evening I go to the restaurant with my wife. While eating I see they are calling and I had to answer. I answer and they say we are here in front and the cars are here. I said great! The one guy stays on the phone with me as the repossession is in progress. They begin hooking up both cars and 3 guys come out with 2 pistols. he told me that and I told him to get in the car and call the Police. One of the drivers as soon as he sees the one pistol he acted as if he called the Police but really did not. The thugs saw that he dialed the police, argued for a minute and went back inside.
They are gone with both cars and I am still on the phone with this guy. It was the least he could do for the extra $300.00 I was paying him for the job. I was pleased it was over, it was like a big weight dropping off as I sat in the restaurant with my family.
The repossession extortion begins
I tell the guy to send me out the bill right away and we will have the cars picked up prior to the free week ended that I told him. He said don’t worry about it, i will give you 3 weeks if you need it.
Next morning comes, I find the bill in the fax machine. It is for $2,500 per car. I wait till they open in a couple hours and call this extortionist. His answer was they pulled guns on us.
I said they pulled guns so you raise the bill 5 fold? He said well there was allot involved and then we risked our lives. I said you risk your life on every repossession, it is part of the game.
I said no, we had a deal and it is $500.00 per car and I have no problem paying that.
Repossession guy calling my client direct
The extortionist calls direct to my client. In my opinion that is the low scum of the lowest, these idiots calling your hard earned banks. Luckily my bank is loyal enough to call me right back and advise me.
It reminds of the loser that tries to hit on your girlfriend or wife behind your back.
My bank says they claim they did some skip trace, there were guns involved and so on. I told my client don’t fall for that crap. They said, it’s OK we negotiated it down to $1,300 each car and we will overnight them a check for that. I was pissed as that $1,300 each came out of my hard earned fee. From that moment on, it changed my perspective on how to work with other brotherhood repossessions.