Saturday, May 30, 2009
My career as a repoman is over.
It was hugely fun, interesting, and challenging work. At the same time, it was sad to see people collapsing financially. The work was mostly investigative, figuring out where to go to have a chance of finding the car. People with cars like the one's in this photo don't let their cars fall into repossession. It's almost all three to four year old sedans, Altimas, Stratus's and the like.
Here in Baltimore, I did most of my work in dangerous neighborhoods. Places where I was out of place, and sometimes perceived as a person easy to to rob or assault. I learned early on that repo'ing in a convertible (that's my Miata in the photo) with the top down is a bad idea. And it wan't even a repo car owner that attacked me - it was just a crazy street person in Pimlico. I had to do some tricky driving to get away from him before he hit me with a big stick.
The problem with a repo gig is that less than 30% of cars that go to repo are recovered. It's easy for a debtor to hide the vehicle, and lots of people will lie about the whereabouts of their relatives - understandably. I don't know how many mothers of debtors I was hunting claimed not to know their childs date of birth. Most claimed to not know it.
It was not a viable gig financially. But I really, really liked it.