This question comes up often in certain forums discussing TV shows and certain actions such as hiding from security or police during a repossession. It is understandable that many people do not understand the reasoning of this as most people would think that LE would be on the side of the repoman. While there are several factors in the answer of this question, surely some are more prominent than others.
Advising owner that repoman knows the location and ruining skip trace
First off, many times allot of work goes into the skip tracing part of the case. When this happens it is obvious the less people know you are there the better off you are. Even if nothing illegal is going on, a police officer might throw a wrench into the case by advising the owner of the unit or saying that a court order is necessary. If this happens all the work on the skip trace becomes null and void as the owner will clearly move the unit to another location the very same evening. While almost every time the police became involved in any of my repossessions luckily it went in my favor and thankfully so as most of them were out of state where I had a flight to catch back later that day.
Getting fines later instead of stopped prior to.
Allot of repossessions get taken totally legally although there might be fines involved which are ok as well, however if a police officer knows that a fine is going to be had, they will stop that from happening first by telling you not to do it. A few examples would be:
- Taking heavy equipment by way of 18 wheeler through a large metropolitan city a certain hour of day can cause thousands of dollars in fines.
- Taking off from a runway without proper documentation or prior notice to the airport.
- Policeman telling you to stop the repo that day as it constitutes a breech of peace
- Possible trespassing
- LEO might be friends with debtor and work in his favor
- Corruption at the airport
As you can see there are many factors as to why during a repossession it is better to avoid anyone and yes even the police if at all possible. On the other hand, conventional wisdom is that it may also work in your favor. Personally I have been on many repossessions in almost every state and due to irate dock masters or airport security the police will show up in the middle and ask to see paperwork. If the paperwork is in order you have a 50% shot that a LEO will tell security its a legal repossession and off you go, while its clearly a roll of the dice it does happen.
Bottom line is nobody wants to risk losing a $15k plus repossession fee over an issue with the local police department.