In the repo game we all have experiences that we remember throughout our career and in many cases throughout our lives. Personally I have had a tremendous amount of both domestic and international cases that will sit clearly in my head for the rest of my life. The funny thing as I have mentioned before is none of my repossession cases aside from those of the buy here pay here lots in the very beginning of my career were local.
Almost everything I did was out of state or in other countries. In many cases a trail through several states would be a better way to put it. This particular case was given to us by several banks at the same time. They all got together and decided to send my company the cases all stemming from the same guy. Although we didn’t do auto repos at the time, we still did major skip on fraud cases and that is what this seemed to be. It was nice because it got my foot through the door with 2 banks I had not previously worked with.
There were aprox 12 cars involved in this assignment so our first priority was to find the debtor, find the guy that actually signed on these vehicles. Instead of finding him we found the first victim. The first victim was a home owner that for a little extra income decided to rent out one of the rooms to his house. He rented a room to our guy and a little over a four month period passes. Our guy had not returned for about a week, did not call and did not pay. He walked into the room and was shocked to find several things, most apparent was a bunch of candles and other objects typically used in Voodoo type ceremonies. As he further searched through this emptied room, he found some envelopes that had his name on them, they were credit card offer envelopes and other mail that this fraud tenant had stolen.
The chase continues
He immediately ran his credit report and sure enough, there were several credit checks he did not authorize from mortgage companies to auto finance. He called those companies and sure enough, he had bought several cars and a home. He was devastated and little did he know it was far from over. It really is tough cleaning up your credit after actions such as these.
While there we were able to find the name he used to sign the lease and we contacted that person in another state. They proceeded to say they found the strangest voodoo candles in the room as the guy never came home. I asked if he had checked his credit recently and he did not. I advised him that I felt he should go check his credit. Turns out he too had a house, and several cars. We contacted the banks and they also had these listed, however they were already charged off, which they gave us the vehicle accounts and we do not get involved with the mortgages. Later the mortgage fraud teams from the banks were seeking help.
At this point we knew this unknown voodoo guy would be using his last victims identification to rent another room. Sure enough we found him in the very next state again. We were running about 1 to 2 months behind and we needed to catch up. The good news was as we continued to get to the next house, we kept adding more repossessions to the mix, some were too new to be put into repo status, but at least the banks were aware. There was millions of dollars in mortgage fraud involved and more good news was we began to locate some of the vehicles. They were all strawed out. The guy would rent or lease these vehicles to people and he would come by a certain time to pick up his cash, or somehow get the cash to him.
The cars were his biggest mistake as he profited peanuts as opposed to the mortgage fraud which homes were listed in the comps for half a million and really only worth 300. You knew this guy and his mortgage buddies were walking away with hundreds of thousands per house. Not only that, but it was the car deals that did him him and allowed us to find him eventually.
This next state was even more freaky as the room he rented was close to a what is known as a Voodoo field and an area that is known for people to conduct ceremonies. The agent we sent over there, prior to going knew right away and said that field is the voodoo field.
As we closed in, we began getting more calls from previous states on the straw purchases. People would call and tip us off as to where the vehicles were, thinking back, I truly believe it was him himself helping us with the cars as he realized it was a mistake. Perhaps he figured if he gave up all the cars, we would be done and he would only have to worry about the mortgage fraud people who were far too busy to really focus as we did.
To conclude this story, we ended up making contact with him directly at a home, he decided to live in under his alias, we repossessed the car he had in the garage and knew it was him. Although, our repo job was complete and case was closed.