"Taking It Back"
Meet The Repo Men
Jeremy is a repo man. He won't tell us his last name. He will tell us
a guy shot at him once. But missed.
"When I was going down his driveway yeah," says Jeremy.
He repossesses cars for a living. And what a living! Especially these
days, in this lousy economy when so many people are out of work and
can't afford their car payments anymore.
"I'm going to cry," says Rene from Snoqualmie.
Rene Emery works in nursing but her husband hasn't worked in two years.
And the mother of four has cancer. She pleaded with a repo guy the other
day. Even tried to stop him in the act.
"And jumped on my truck," she says. "And the guy slammed on his brakes.
He turns around and gets out of his truck and says 'You can't do that!'
And I said 'you don't understand, you can't do that this is the only
thing that's mine.'"
That repo man took her truck anyway. It goes on the auction block
They're everywhere. Another score, another repo man. Brian won't tell us
his last name either. But he told us the day we went riding with him, he
repossessed two cars in four hours at earlier that day, a Dodge Caravan,
and a Corvette.
"I don't hold anything against the repossession guys. They're just
doing their job. They're happy making their big bucks, and I'm glad they
have a job," says Jennifer Bond, a Kirkland woman who hasn't had a job
for almost two years.
A Boeing casualty, the former software developer made $136,000 when
times were good. Now she has just $20 in savings.
As for Jennifer's BMW? -- That's right, that's the car she was driving
-- it was her pride and joy. She can only show us pictures now.
A repo man snatched it from her last summer. And to make matters worse,
the bank foreclosed on Jennifer's house in Kirkland.
When times are bad, the repo guys get busy. And it's never been busier.
Brian has his own company. He works day side while his brother Jeremy
works night side.
"I like working at night," says Jeremy. The night we were with him there
must have been a dozen repo trucks driving around the Seattle area. We
passed a lot that was full of repossessed cars. All from one night!
If people don't make their payments, my phone rings, " says Brian.
And these days, people can't afford to make those payments. Last year
was a record year for repossessions according to a trade association.
Nationwide: 2 million repos.
"The Infinity. I want this car," says Jeremy as he continued to search
the streets. "It's time to get this car!"
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