Think Repo Men Like Recession? Think Again

Victims 'hide' cars, 'fight over them'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 10, 2009 9:51 AM CDT
Buyers view a car to be auctioned at the Bryan Buchanan Auto Auction in Montvale, Va.; the outfit runs through about 100 car title loan repossessions each month.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Repossession agents must thrive on recession, right? Wrong, reports the Wall Street Journal. “People are doing everything they can now to hold onto what they’ve got,” says the owner of an auto-recovery business, whose revenue plunged 23% in 2008. “Do you think they’re going to wait (around) to give up their cars? They hide them. They fight over them.”

Repo orders surged to 1.67 million in 2008 from 1.49 million in ‘07, thanks to defaults on cars bought with easy credit; but vehicle financing has fallen 32% from a year ago—bad news for repo men. On a recent night, two such men went to work in South Carolina; 10½ hours and 350 miles later, they’d found three of nine cars they had pursued.