Being a repo man might not seem like an exciting job, but the tales of some of these guys tell a very different story. Sure, some days are boring and uneventful, but others are filled with adrenaline, fast cars, and even gunfire. That sounds more like an action hero's life than a repo man. And in a way, repo men are sort of like action heroes. It's up to them to go out there each and every day and face all of those angry people who don't want to give up the possessions they can no longer pay for. It's definitely not for everyone.
And it's definitely a lot different from what you see in those lame, so-called "reality shows" about repo men. All of the real repo men out there have dismissed these TV shows as fake and clearly staged. And the truth is, some of the real stories out there are a lot more interesting than the fake ones television producers come up with. Some of these stories are sad, and some of them are exciting. Some make it seem like being a repo man is the worst job of all time, while other stories make us want to become one ASAP. But one thing's for sure - all of these stories will have you feeling so amazed you'll be picking your jaw up off the ground when you're finished with them.
15 The Worst Part About Being A Repo Man
What's the worst part about being a repo man? Probably having to deal with crazy debtors that won't give up their possessions without a fight. That's what one repo man had to deal with when he was towing a truck and a man raced outside with an assault rifle. You thought that was bad? Even though he didn't manage to hit the repo man (thankfully), he actually ended up hitting his own car. He later paid his debts and got the car back...but he tried to blame the driver for the bullet hole he left in his own truck!
14 The Best Part About Being A Repo Man
Okay, so we know that being a repo man isn't as glamorous and fun as the reality TV shows make it out to be. After all, who wants to get shot at when you're just trying to do your job? Not even cops and soldiers actually enjoy being shot at...but what about some of the high points of being a repo man? There's actually some moments that make this job well worth it in the end. Like, oh I don't know, getting to drive some sweet sports cars around?
According to one repo man, it's a common practice to drive the coolest cars they repossess and then lie about it afterwards: "Yes. I drove the hell out of a few nice cars. A car dealership can make a key with the VIN of a vehicle for around $25." This repo man's best day at work ever was when he was trusted by his boss to drive a Lamborghini Murcialego to the auction, a drive that took 45 minutes that were pure heaven to this lucky employee. He later admitted that it was the coolest car he ever drove.
13 iPods For Days... And Missing Rims
For the most part, repo men live by a strict code of honor. They try to treat people with respect, and treat them as human beings instead of just dollar signs. But there are some notable exceptions. There's an interesting loophole in California, for example, that states that the debtor has 60 days to come and claim their stuff they left in the car. After that, it's fair game as far as the repo men are concerned. Again, for the most part these employees are respectful, but things like iPods have a mysterious tendency to go missing, and you might just find that your car has different rims when you get it back...
"Debtors have 60 days to come and get their stuff in California. After that, it is legally ours! iPods like crazy! Other than that the most I have stolen is a few coins to buy a soda. I try to picture the car being mine and someone else taking it. I have pride in my work. I have heard stories about my old coworkers swapping rims and what not though."
12 A "Dirty Harry" Revolver Left Under The Driver's Seat
We've heard about repo men being shot at when they're on the job, so it should probably come as a source of relief when they find a gun in the car rather than having it pointed at them. But this isn't always a comforting discovery. When the gun isn't even registered, that's when you need to start worrying, especially when it's a giant Dirty Harry style high caliber revolver. There's something pretty unsettling about knowing that the man whose truck you just truck is being questioned over an unregistered firearm. Who knows what he did with this gun...or who he killed...
"Last week we found a big Dirty Harry revolver under a seat of some old man's car. He said it was not registered. Like all guns we find we have a cop show up and take it away. I assume they will be questioning that man soon."
11 They Find All Kinds Of Stuff...
But giant revolvers aren't the only things repo men find left stashed in cars, nor are they the strangest things they come across. Repo men find all kinds of things - some even make a point of creating "shrines" of all the bizarre items they find in cars. These items include sex toys, nude pics, drugs, and even more weirdness. This particular debtor confessed he has collected all of this stuff, and that his shrine is "getting pretty big!" Truth be told, the life of a repo man can get pretty boring, and little hobbies like collecting items left behind by debtors probably keeps the job interesting even when life gets stressful.
"I've found sex toys, naked pics of the debtors, drugs (everything you can imagine) and all kinds of bizarre stuff. I have a shrine in the shop of all the crazy things I find in expired property. The shrine is getting big."
10 They Smashed Up Their Own Car
People can act very strangely indeed when they're faced with the possibility of their car being repossessed. One repo man witnessed people who did something unbelievable to their car once they learned it was about to be repossessed. I guess their logic was that if they couldn't have it, they would make damn sure that no one else would get to have it either. This is another story that demonstrates not only the sheer madness of debtors, but also the level of danger that repo men expose themselves to on a daily basis.
"So as we approached the house the car was clearly in the driveway, but the driver overshot and had to make a u turn. In the time it took to do that, the people had moved the car behind their house and began to destroy it. Windows smashed, body panels smashed with chains, some unidentifiable substance poured on the seats. To top it off, they were violent towards us as well. Threatening us with their pit bull, hit us, threw the keys at one guy's head."
9 How To Stop Repo Men From Taking Your Car...
Some people get very experienced in dealing with the repo men. These debtors have dealt with repo men on more than one occasion, and are beginning to learn some tricks to stop repo men from taking their cars. For most repo men, this just adds to the thrill of their job. The added adrenaline boost that comes from this game of cat and mouse makes their job that much more interesting. But sometimes, even the repo men must admit defeat. Such was the case when one debtor figured out a way to stop the repo men from taking his car. Although he went to some serious extremes to accomplish this...
"The thing that I experienced the most was hiding the cars. It was a cat and mouse game. They keep moving the car never leaving it overnight in the same place twice. One guy took the wheels off every night to make it more difficult to get."
8 The Banks Sometimes Make Mistakes
It's easy to forget that repo men are just middle men. It's not the repo men that are taking away these people's cars and possessions - it's the banks. The repo men could care less about these people's debts. But they do have to get paid, and to do that they need to do their job. Sometimes these people get angry, but instead of directing their rage towards the repo men, they should get angry at the bankers that have allowed them to get into so much debt in the first place. But one repo man confessed that even bankers make mistakes from time to time.
"Sometimes the banks make a mistake and does not notify us that the debtor is now current on his or her payments.. Just today I took a man's 2005 Dodge Ram and he made his payment a few days ago. The bank asked me to bring the truck back to the debtor. I did and I got paid. The same thing happened 2 weeks ago. It happens about 5 times a year where I work."
7 Your Entire House Can Be Repossessed (Theoretically)
Always remember to pay your debts. If you don't you might just return home to find an empty lot with your house completely gone. This is actually theoretically possible if you live in a mobile home or a camper. The tow truck can just hook itself up and drive away, along with all your belongings. Can you imagine how terrible this must make someone feel? One repo man experienced this firsthand...
"The craziest thing I've repoed was someone's house. This man had a really nice 5th wheel camper on a big piece of property and he was all settled in, he had a fence with a dog and just about everything he owned inside the camper. I was sketched out on that one but luckily I was with a coworker which is very rare for me. We pull up and start hooking it up. His dog was petrified. We knocked and he was not home. The neighbor saw us and came over. He told us that the debtor was a nice guy and would not put up a fight if we waited for him to show up and remove all of his belongings. That was that, he was cool about it and we felt kind of bad. It's a weird feeling to take someone's house away."
6 Surrounded By Thugs
Sometimes people don't really care that repo men are "just trying to do their jobs." To them, repo men are simple thieves that are trying to steal their stuff. And what's the natural reaction when you see someone trying to steal your car, for example? For most people, it's as simple as confronting them. But when you're from a slightly different walk of life, this confrontation can be a lot more violent and threatening.
"Being circled by 5 large black gangster looking guys who said all I was gonna get my ass beat was pretty scary too. I'm a normal looking white 32-year-old guy average height and weight. I look 21 to 25 so I play the nice guy role. It works out for the most part. I act like the lenders are the bad guys and I'm just the middle man. Empathy helps diffuse the situation."
5 How To Bribe A Repo Man
Picture yourself in the shoes of someone who has failed to pay their car payments for many months. You walk out of your house to get into your car, only to find that it's in the process of being repossessed by your friendly neighborhood repo man. What do you do? Is there any way you can get your car back? Imagine the crushing sense of embarrassment, powerlessness, and sheer rage at the sight of your precious car being hooked up to a tow truck. But what if there was a way to stop this from happening? What if there was a way to convince the repo man to drop the car and leave you alone? Well as it turns out, one repo man says bribes can work with certain repo men, and these bribes can either involve cash or the condoms most repo men keep stashed in their glove compartment. Your choice.
"I've heard of cars being dropped for a few hundred bucks under the table. And one of my old coworkers always traveled with condoms in the glove box. Other than that, no."
4 Threatened At Gunpoint By A Hell's Angel
Another extremely violent incident happened when a repo man tried to repossess a car belonging to a member of the infamous biker gang, the Hell's Angels. He didn't know who he was dealing with until the furious man pressed a revolver against the repo man's head and told him to leave the car. Luckily, he got out of there alive.
"An ex-Hell's Angel stopped me from taking his wife's car. I was backing up to his old lady's piece of junk car that was out for repo. He kept yelling that it was private property and I had to go. I said okay I am leaving, just so he would be at ease and not stop me from backing up to the car. As I was lifting the car in the air with my hydraulic switches while sitting in the drivers seat, my passenger window exploded and there was a revolver to my head. He said 'the next one is in your f&$k@%g head' so I said, OK I am leaving and dropped the car as fast as I could and drove to the next door neighbor's which was a few hundred yards away. Police came an hour later and said unless the damage is over $1000 we can't do anything."
3 The Craziest Woman He's Ever Dealt With
Another crazy debtor one repo man had the misfortune to deal with was a crazy woman who tried to take the repossession of her car into her own hands - literally. This woman tried to actually grab the hooks from the tow truck and tear them off from her car. Then she got inside his truck and started to wreak utter havoc in there. He ended up getting some scratches on his hands and she incurred some injuries as well...
"I grabbed a car with someone in it. She was black so I couldn't see her and her baby in the backseat (hope that was not too offensive). As soon as I lifted the car in the air, I realize that there were people in it. The lady freaked out and was trying to rip everything out of my hands as I was hooking her car up with chains and straps. She threw my tools all over the street. I learned a lesson that day always keep the truck locked. She got inside my truck and started messing everything up she emptied my backpack out on the ground. I had scratches on my hands and her finger was dripping blood..."
2 Wrong Audi TT At The Wrong Time
Another interesting story was a case involving an Audi TT convertible. This car proved to be a prize that simply couldn't be won by one repo company. Every time they would show up to repossess this car, it would be stowed away in the garage. If a car is in your garage, the repo men legally can't touch it, but just as long as the garage door is closed (apparently it doesn't even have to be locked, either). After months, the repo men had pretty much given up hope, until they managed to spot them pumping gas at the same gas station as them. They quickly hooked up the car to the tow truck before the woman who was driving the car rushed out. She was seconds too late.
"We had a case with a Audi TT convertible. I had seen the car in the garage at the house so I knew she lived there. But it was an attached garage, so I couldn't get it. A few weeks go by and my boss and I are fueling up the truck at a gas station. A silver TT convertible is at the pump next to us, the driver is in the gas station. This station was a half hour from her house, so I jokingly tell my boss that it was our car. He told me to get the plate off it, you never know. IT WAS HER! So we stopped pumping the gas and he hooked up to it. The lady came out and was confused."
1 Don't Try To Repossess This Old Lady's Car
Skip tracers are like the bounty hunters of the repo world. They often sit in offices and spend their time tracking down the people who owe huge amounts of money. Sometimes this can be an easy job, but other times it takes weeks and months to track down those who are on the run. People can be surprisingly good at disappearing acts. One repo man told a story of how he knew a co-worker who once ran into an old lady who actually shot at him with a shotgun! Maybe that's why he changed from being a repo man to a skip tracer. You're a lot less likely to be shot at by crazy old women inside of an office.
"A former co-worker who now does skip tracing (bounty hunting) once had an older lady shoot at him with a shotgun."