By on October 14, 2012

Six hours to showtime.

We have 58 vehicles and 1 motorcycle for today’s sale. It will be a very interesting day between the first dealer conversation and the last car that rolls (or gets pushed) through the lane. We’re going to be managing an on site sale for a large financial institution that is most definitely not in the car business.

Their business is the money business. They will demand 59 checks in hand within 24 hours, and these vehicles must help keep their books healthy for the end of year bonuses.

As for us… we have the bank’s managers, a long line of new and returning dealers, flat tires, dead batteries, cars with varying sorts of mysterious starting problems, and a thunderstorm set to hit in an hour. The cars? Everything from a ragged out 2008 Chrysler 300 to a pristine Mommy-van van whose only owner had the misfortune of dying back in September. The cars are here… now we just need to build the market and have a great sale.

One of the fortunes I have is my dealer work. As a dealer, I get on a lot of mailing lists from other sales and when I do, I get to constantly build my market. In an entirely legal way of course. This weekend yielded some very good results.

By Monday morning we have already sent off a list of vehicles to our dealers that now include several dozen new names. Within hours we have new dealers who are ringing our line to become registered with our sale. It looks to be a great day which isn’t surprising. Given that we’re on the cusp of tax season where folks put their returns towards down payments on their new rides, today’s sale will more than likely be especially strong.

Most auctions have one lot manager who is in charge of a given number of vehicles. They will battery jump the vehicles, add fuel, pump tires, change batteries, and will even shoot some starter fluid to awaken a long slumbering jalopy or ten. We have two lot managers for our sale. Why? It’s cheap insurance and all of these cars have been sitting for a while.

When you’re dealing with a lot of older repossessed inventory that has been laying about, you simply need extra hands to prepare for the unexpected. Even if one vehicle doesn’t go through, that ‘no-sale’ will translate into two lost fees. A buyer’s fee and a seller’s fee. Needless to say, we’re always amply staffed.

I love cars. But like the bank, I want the metal to go away. The long and the short of it is that our job as auctioneers is to take care of the “patient” after the patient’s dead. Most of these cars have lived rough lives and when you open the door to these cars, you get a very complete picture of most of their owners.

Some were single moms whose debts and economic misfortunes simply caught up with them. Others were big spenders who were willing to pay big money for rims, audio systems, and TV’s. A couple were perverts. A few were gangsta wannabes, drug addicts, or simply had more money than sense. A surprising number are laid off teachers and government employees.

In 2007 very few repos on average came from responsible owners. By 2009, the title histories and well kept metal told a very different story.

Looking at the titles for these vehicles, virtually all the rough ones are bought and repo’d within a year’s time. Low savings and a quick dose of unemployment will do that to those paying 12.5% interest a month on a title loan. The ones that had long periods of ownership really break my heart. Folks that kept their cars well kept for ten, even fifteen years, can find themselves behind the eight ball of a terrible economy.

Medical expenses bring down a lot of these people. You can often see the unpaid hospital bills, pills, and test results that put them in the American poorhouse. Many of the dealers are also dealing with the effects of these situations. Situations like these, and my own distaste for financing, are what kept me a strictly ‘cash’ dealer for the well to do until October of 2008.

Anyhow, we’ve prepared well for the sale and the dealer interest has turned into a swarm. Cars are being started up. Wholesalers are calling their used car sales managers. Retail car dealers are checking to see what cars are worthy of their clientele.

The first vehicle sells strong. A 2008 Chrysler 300 goes for $2700 above the reserve and the rest becomes the automotive version of a bull market.

Other than a tampered 1998 BMW 5-Series… that still sells at a healthy premium, fifty eight cars come and go through the auction block within a matter of thirty-five minutes. By the time the 7th Ford Taurus roles through, we’ve managed to sell all but two vehicles. Only a Mazda that the bank was buried in and a Honda crotch rocket that was smashed by it’s owner pre-repo, keeps the sale from being a clean sweep.

We shake hands. Enjoy a few conversations. Take care of a lot of checks and titles, and close shop. The sale is over before 4:30 and by 5:30 we’re on the road. We’ll be coming back to do it all over again in two weeks.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

91 Comments on “Hammer Time Remix: Behind The Gavel...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    7th Taurus… all from the early 00s?

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Steven, another excellent, entertaining and educational article. I’ve learned more about this business from your posts, than I did working at a GM dealer for 10 years.

  • avatar
    Mark_Miata

    “Medical expenses bring down a lot of these people. You can often see the unpaid hospital bills, pills, and test results that put them in the American poorhouse.”

    This is why I am a supporter of single-payer tax-supported health care -our lives are a genetic lottery, and everyone knows that lotteries are not fair. I got lucky in my inheritance, both in health and in money – it makes me support the idea that we should share the risk.

    “Am I my brother’s keeper?” All I can answer to that question is “yes” – to me there is no other moral stance.

    I’d like everyone to be able to afford to experience of freedom that a car provides – freedom from fear (of health care costs) is part of that.

    • 0 avatar

      Wherever did you get the idea that life is fair? I’ve never thought that I had a right to food, shelter or medical care, nor is it my neighbors’ obligation to provide me with those things.

      • 0 avatar
        thirty-three

        Life isn’t fair. But I believe that a medical expenses are putting a lot of Americans in the poor house, and that drags down the country as a whole by reducing productivity and creating hardship.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Ronnie, those ideas are too ‘old school’ for today’s gimmie gimmie mindset. Never mind the fact such ideas and values built this country.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Ronnie,

        I honestly think you’re vehemence comes from a irrational belief that it can’t happen to you. If you were aware of how quickly it could all come crashing down, you wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. So, you cling to the idea that all those guys that end up 55, divorced and/or unemployable, rapidly running through their once considerable savings, battling a bad knee and an even worse heart, are just idiots and fools. Certainly that could never happen you you….

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        It is sad to think that medical bills can take a worthwhile, productive, good citizen and render them homeless. Ronnie, I certainly don’t share most of your political viewpoints – which is fine – but to be so callous of the plight of your fellow citizen is disturbing. If you are talking about somebody who lived wastefully and irresponsibly I would agree that society does not owe them a free meal. But when a responsible person gets handed a debilitating medical problem and can’t pay the bills, suddenly they are worthless and no longer worthy of care?

        Recall the restructuring of the bankruptcy rules? It was pointed out that more than half of such bankruptcies were due to medical issues. I believe Senator Kennedy wanted to add a provision to exempt medical reasons from the new, bank friendly draconian rules. Of course the party that wants you to think they care this November said NO. Too much at stake for their fat cat buddies in the financial institutions. I have no problem making those who were leasing new cars every three years and living beyond their means pay up. But when life is not fair, and you have played by the rules, I’d like to think this wealthy country would have a little more compassion for those who could well turn out to be be you, or me. or anybody else.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        Single government payer, private provider health insurance is by far the best system. The sickest, most expensive to care for people are already covered by single payer, private provider Medicare. Detaching health insurance from work would be a massive boon to labor market efficiency and entrepreneurship. It is very hard to start a small company and secure decent health insurance for employees. Sure it’s fine if you want to start a fast food restaurant, where employees do not expect insurance, but it makes it incredibly difficult to start a small company with highly skilled workers. Yet it is impossible to untie private insurance from work because the only way to make private health insurance work at all is work pools.

        re “28-Cars-Later”: This country was built on stolen Indian and Mexican land and on Black slavery. That sounds pretty “gimmie gimmie” to me. The prior generations were massively subsidized by cheap public universities, by WWII taking out Europe and Asia for a generation, by women and minorities being kept out of the labor market, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Nobody is self made. Nobody has clean hands. The military is a government jobs program that helps a lot of people get skills and education that they could not get in the private sector. Many conservative politicians went to public universities back when the tuition was low or free thanks to government subsidies. Mitt Romney’s parents were on government welfare.

        There are a lot of issues that could use a more moderate Republic party, like out of control government public sector unions, but single payer is just an incredibly efficient system. 3% overhead compared to 20 – 30% overhead with private insurers. The private health insurance system only works for the parasitic paper pushers that work at private insurers, profiting off of the 20 – 30% overhead.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Sorry, Bull. You know it’s bull. We all know it’s bull. We like saying how independent we are and how amazing we are at being great but if I had to pay for a cancer treatment right now with my good health insurance it could bankrupt me. I make in the upper-middle income bracket and it could wreck me. There is no reason life doesn’t have to be fair. If anything our modern western civilization has been shooting for fairness for a long time. I think people confuse equality with fairness, that is everybody is equal but not everybody gets the same thing. We should be equal in healthcare though as that is fair.

        I saw lower in the comments people subsidizing those who wear no helmet when they ride a motorbike. That has no statistical bearing on healthcare for a society, if anything they provide a greater source of viable organs than most. People will choose unhealthy lifestyles but once again we have evidence proving that treating problems before they become huge while expanding our healthcare industry will create fewer catastrophic incidents. In other words SPHC creates not only a equitable society but a balanced one that won’t be bankrupted by the catastrophic incidents.

        Not to respond to the lies:

        @28-Cars-Later – I don’t understand how that can be true when the greatest advancement in middle-class development occurred after our economy became mixed with socialism. In other words the “good old days” weren’t good. I know it’s a good way to feel morally superior and I do think my generation expects more but I don’t think that we’re softer or shouldn’t expect healthcare to be universal as we are worthwhile people.

        Volts On Fire – Anger. Just anger. I don’t understand why you would hate those who seek to benefit all at the small cost to everybody? Essentially insurance as a concept works best when everybody is involved and thus benefits. It’s a risk pool issue

        Kevin Jaeger – I’ve heard this repeatedly as a right-wing talking point but it doesn’t occur in Britain, Scandinavia, or Germany. I’m not sure how accurate it is. I would put it as a half-truth in the sense that normal US healthcare works similarly as you wait for your doctor to clear it with the insurance.

        Redav – I have no idea where you’re pulling that answer from. Christianity has long dictated a sense of social justice and promoted welfare for all. I know it’s convenient for those who oppose supporting all to declare themselves good Christians but you do know Christianity would be worse off if that had been the promoted social doctrine from day one.

        That being said I enjoyed the article and can’t help but feel saddened for all the losses for those but gains for others.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTheDriver

        Yea Ronnie! Screw those “single moms whose debts and economic misfortunes simply caught up with them.” Am I right? Who’s with me on this? Someone tell me I’m right!

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        You’re wrong. Someone else already did the dirty work; Ronnie is just moving the repo’ed cars on to another owner.

    • 0 avatar
      Volts On Fire

      Bullshit. I am the keeper only of my own, and those I deign to care about. No government or proselytizing lefty on an Internet chat board will ever have the right to dictate otherwise, and I will seek to bring pain and hardship upon anyone who tries to inflict their so-called “morality” upon me.

      There are a lot of “victims” in our society that we could stand to do without. I prefer to allow nature to take its course with them.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I tend to agree with Volts mindset, having lived in socialist Canada all of my life. The only “fair” way to have it is to take care of your own. It is unfortunate that some might incur the costs associated with beign sick, but taking people’s moeny to fund others’ misfortune at the end of a gun is no solution. It’s tyranny, even if it is done with the best intentions.

        Put it this way, if I got to keep all of the money taken from me in inflated taxes over the years and set it aside, I’d have enough money to fund some seriously invasive surgery. Personally, I’d rather manage the money myself.

      • 0 avatar
        billchrests

        Last week, my California Cousin died of cancer and I think her story is a classic story of our Health Care. Droped by her husbands employer at 60, her mother paid her coverage at $500 per month till the mother died. At 70 she was diagnoised with Cancer at a intital cost of $25,000 and sent home to die in a month. I know she put it off so long to not bankrupt her ailing husband. This is why we need a shared Health System, she was not a throw-away person. – thanks billchrest

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        To you, no, because she was your family.

        To the majority of the rest of us, however, with absolutely no stake whatsoever in her life… yes, she was. Especially at 70. The truth hurts, but there it is. The world moves on.

        You have absolutely no right to take my money – oops, I mean “share” my money – even to potentially save your family member, unless I am willing to give it to you. Charity should not be federally mandated.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      While in theory this sounds great, how is it fair for me to pay for the healthcare costs associated with people who smoke? What about medical problems due to alcohol abuse? Overeating? The list goes on.

      My point is, as much as I would like everyone to enjoy good health, I don’t see why I should have to spend my dollar to help someone who won’t even help themselves.

      With that said, I do believe that healthcare costs are exorbitantly high, and I genuinely feel sorry for those who get sucked into debt to pay for healthcare. I don’t pretend to have the answer to this problem, but perhaps more effort and money could be spent improving our own country before we go and spend billions of dollars to blow-up other peoples countries.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        @redliner

        Why should I be forced to pay the medical costs of people who ride motorcycles without helmets? Why should I be forced to pay medical costs for people who get into accidents because they drive too fast. Why should I be forced to pay the medical costs of people who play football? Why should I be forced to pay the medical costs of people who _____________ ?

        See where I’m going with this?

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        You are going to pay for people that smoke, abuse alcohol or are obese, because they are going to live to be 65 and be on Medicare when they are finally sick. I’m sure you have seen conservative rural voters at town halls saying that the government has to keep its hands off Medicare, so I don’t expect Medicare to go anywhere.

        Single-payer for those under 65 will just make the healthcare system and labor market significantly more efficient.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      Here are some dirty little secrets about “the best in West” medical care:

      1) The number one reason people are forced into personal bankruptcy are medical expenses.

      2) The majority of people who go bankrupt because of medical expenses HAD MEDICAL INSURANCE.

      Yup, you read number two correctly, most of the people who are forced into bankruptcy because of medical expenses had medical insurance. Most private insurance polices have deductibles, co-pays and limits on the amount they will pay. Did you just get diagnosed with cancer or severe heart disease? Well, your medical bills can quickly zoom up to $1 million or more. Let’s say you have a 20% co-pay on a million dollar medical bill? That’s $200K. You gonna pay $200K out of pocket?

      Don’t think it happens? I now a family that it happened to. Husband, wife and 16 year old daughter. Responsible people, always worked, never caused problems, owned a modest house, they always paid their bills, and never lived beyond their means. Dad worked for the same company for 25 years and had medical insurance…..then he needed a heart transplant. Long story short, they lost their house and just about everything else they had. Today they live in a small apartment, the wife continues to work and the husband receives a small disability check.

      Fact is that in no other developed country does this take place. Despite all the hysterics from the corporations and the Tea-Tards, our current medical system cost more as a percentage of GDP than almost any other country on earth while delivering substandard care and destroying tens of thousands of people financially every year. It’s a huge drag on our economy, and yes, Mark_Miata is correct, it’s time to go to a true single payer system.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Of course, we’ll pass legislation and the government will override Darwinism; physical and/or mental laziness will be politely ignored.

      • 0 avatar

        The question is why care is so expensive, not who pays for it. No matter how you distribute the cost of a $100k heart operation, it’s still prohibitively expensive. That’s why Medicare is going broke.

        If a heart transplant costs as much as a house, something is seriously wrong.

        One clue: Health procedures that are not paid for by insurance, like liposuction, laser eye surgery, etc are far cheaper than what is paid for by insurance. Clearly the primary impact of medical insurance is to create insane costs and huge overhead.

        If I could, I would eliminate Medicare and ban health insurance and watch the whole system collapse. Nobody would pay the prices currently charged by medical institutions if they realized how disgustingly bloated they are.

        Never have I seen so much money spent for so little in the way of results or service than I have in encounters with the medical profession.

        If I have a major health issue, I’m emigrating to a country with reasonable health care costs, instead of staying here and seeing my life destroyed.

        D

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        You know, bankruptcy isn’t death. People start over all the time. I have been there and am just fine now.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        I wasn’t going to get into this discussion about money and medical bills, but what the hell.

        A friend of mine retired at 59, with a good pension, he had 35 years in and was maxed out and he was tired of it all, so he pulled the plug. His wife inherited a small house and a little cottage by a lake up in Michigan. They rented the house to a relative and used the cottage once in a while. Almost as soon as he retired, he developed Atrial Fibrillation, and went on meds for it. No good, he had a couple of tiny strokes, and the invasive “cures” began, one after another was tried, with no cure, until finally some new thing was tried, the last thing possible before opening him up and doing the “Labyrinth”. It worked. It took 3 years, but it worked. He had to pay 20% of the total bills. The total was over a MILLION BUCKS! So his share was $200,000+ change. Bye bye cottage, bye bye rental house, good bye what they had in their joint savings account, and he still had to make payments every month for about a year and a half. If he hadn’t had the stuff to sell, he would have been broke. It’s sad that this can even happen to someone at this point in time. When I hurt myself 5 years ago, it just about put me under and my out of pocket was only a couple of thousand. Between that and my lost income, it put me into a nearly 3 year struggle to get my finances straightened out.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      Mark_Miata, I know you believe making it all the government’s problem will somehow eliminate these medical bankruptcies, but you need to look at how these systems actually work in the real world, not how you wished they would work.

      The reality is in Canada if someone needs a hip or knee replacement and is unable to work they end up just as bankrupt. They don’t get treated – they get put on a waiting list for treatment. And then the Soviet-like bureaucracy goes about doing what bureaucracy always does. If a plumber can’t work for the nine to eighteen months he’s on a waiting list his livelihood is just as destroyed as they would be in the U.S. And in our system only the long-delayed operation is actually paid for by the government. He’s likely on his own for eighteen months of prescription drugs and pain killers. This little fact has made the bureaucracy inordinately fond of trying to treat with drugs even if surgery is what is actually required.

      Don’t be blinded by wishful thinking and good intentions.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        “The reality is in Canada if someone needs a hip or knee replacement and is unable to work they end up just as bankrupt.”

        Really???

        Can you provide a documented example of this happening? It sounds pretty far fetched to me. And if this has actually happened in the past, it’s hardly a common occurrence, and it would be interesting to hear the whole story – I expect there is more to this person’s bankruptcy than timely access to medical care.

        Do you live in Canada?

        I do, and from what I can see the health care system seems to work reasonably well up here. As far as I can tell, people here go bankrupt due to things like living beyond their means – I’ve never heard of someone going bankrupt due to medical bills, or lack of timely access to medical care. It’s certainly not a leading cause of bankruptcy.

        I think “you need to look at how these systems actually work in the real world, not how you wished they would work.”

      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Jaeger

        Penguinboy, I have to think you don’t have much actual experience with our health system to say something like that. Or perhaps you’re in an influential family that has the right connections so that they can jump the queues by pulling the right strings or calling in favors. A regular working schmuck has a very different perspective.

        As for bankruptcies, how about a government report showing 15% of bankruptcies due to medical issues? Here
        http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-osb.nsf/vwapj/Redish-Sarra-Schabas-2006-ENG.pdf

        Wait times? Check the Nova Scotia web site yourself: 90% of people get hip replacements within 484 days:
        http://www.gov.ns.ca/health/waittimes/procedure.asp?pid=1072&catid=sg:

        Regular working schmucks with no special connections are inevitably the ones in the bottom 10% waiting more than 484 days. Of course actual statistics like that published by the government are to be dismissed as “right wing talking points” or “lies”.

        Truth be told, they are lies. The truth is much worse than that because it didn’t include how long it took to get the MRI, other diagnostic tests and appointment with a specialist to get on the list in the first place. The actual suffering is much worse than the government statistics show, which are presented in the best possible light.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        @Kevin Jaeger

        I’m lucky enough that I personally haven’t need the medical system much, but several family members have, and from what I’ve seen it seems to work pretty well.

        Here in Alberta wait times aren’t quite as bad as Nova Scotia:
        http://waittimes.alberta.ca/

        From the link you provided stating 15% of bankruptcies listing “medical reasons” as the cause, it looks like medical bills themselves might not be the cause of bankruptcy, but rather the lost income associated with illness (which in all fairness is what you suggested earlier):

        “15% declared medical reasons the primary cause, although it was unclear from the data whether this was the costs of care over and above the Medicare system or income loss due to medical reasons, or some combination of both.”

        I would suggest that it’s easier to insure for or otherwise replace lost income than it is to replace lost income *and* pay medical bills.

        Our medical system isn’t perfect, but it seems to be a solid step up from the US system – and it costs the taxpayer less as well.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The irony here is that it is the equal outcome mindset that has crippled our economy and created so much misery.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        What has crippled our economy is competition from developing countries and countries taken out of competition for a generation by WWII. That is the real truth that nobody wants to acknowledge. Competition brings down prices. That includes labor prices.

        I am not a fan of equality of outcome systems. But single payer is not the same as unions dictating lock step promotion or work rules. It is just an incredibly more efficient way to run a healthcare system.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        What’s crippled our economy is our government. It creates barriers to entry in most industries, from barber shops to cab companies. It enriches some while denying most opportunities. It removes resources from productivity to make those utilized more valuable for the established. It provides disincentives for work in the form of vote-buying handouts.

        Single payer can only work when we get the trial lawyers and imbeciles out of positions of influence. It can’t work when everyone expects more than they pay in and when political agendas dictate what is covered. Sorry trans-gender-aspirationals. No gender-bending on the taxpayers’ dime until emergency rooms can see people before they bleed out. Living in a border town, it also means no treatment for easily profiled illegals. They get free treatment from our deficient system while citizens do not, and anyone that thinks it is justifiable from a humanitarian perspective can forfeit all their own worldly goods the way the rest of us will when the dollar implodes under the weight of fools.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Because, you know, if we only had more barbers and taxicab drivers, our GDP would go up by 8%/year.

        Anyone who says “trial lawyers” can’t be taken seriously as a commenter on healthcare, by the way. Lawsuits are such a minimal cost of healthcare that they are basically a rounding error. If Congress passed a law eliminating med mal suits tomorrow, the cost of healthcare would not change very much.

        Also, if you look at any data on med mal lawsuits, you will see that payouts have gone down over time when you adjust for inflation. It’s only the headline grabbing suits that catch people’s eye on this, and many of those have the awards reduced in a much less public manner. As usual, the ignorant folks mainly repeat the echo chamber on this because they have no knowledge of the actual data.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

      Note the LORD’s answer to that question. (Hint: It isn’t “Yes.” Rather, it’s closer to “Watch your mouth.”)

      The word translated as “keeper” may also mean “warden.” Cain wasn’t asking if he was supposed to take care of his brother, but rather was he supposed to control his brother, watching/controlling his comings & goings. He poses the question in such a way that the answer would be “no” with the intent of getting himself off the hook. This shows Cain not as a mere jealous murderer, but a clever and truly evil manipulator.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        @Redav,

        You are so right! I mean, the bible justifies greed, and heaping misery on your fellow man for profit.

        For instance:

        It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. — Mark 10:25

        See in the first passage, what they mean by “rich man” is someone who works for a millionaire bust-out artist, er….I mean, “job creator”, like Mittens R., because a common prole is not worthy of being in the presence of someone as exalted as Lord Bain.

        Let’s also consider this:

        For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul? — Mark 8:36

        What the above is referencing is people who resist predatory private equity vampire squids…..er, I mean corporate turn around specialists like his Highness Mitt. When Willard comes after your business it’s because he wants to help you, and not because he wants to load up the company with debt while stealing everything including the silverware.

        And finally,

        And Jesus answering, said to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him. Mark 12:17

        Here Mitt is holy for not paying any taxes to the devil gubermint on his millions and billions. What this means is that guys like Mitt are the modern day king of kings, and whiny losers, like this Jebus idiot, need to shut their commie gobs and pay up.

        Of course I took this from the evil Catlick Douay-Rheims satan bible so I could be wrong, unfortunately I didn’t have Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon handy….neither do I have 437 underage brides nor any magic underpants, but I’m working on it…….the underage brides and magic underpants that is.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        skor,

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/charleskadlec/2012/08/20/mitt-romney-paid-30-not-13-in-federal-income-taxes/

        Does it change your position that you’re completely wrong about Romney not paying any taxes? That’s a rhetorical question, as I’m sure it doesn’t. You should think about what that says about you.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        @CJinSD

        Rmoney paid a lower rate on his multimillion dollar income than do plumbers or school teachers. Understand? HE PAYS A LOWER PERCENTAGE THAN A WORKING PERSON WITH A MODEST INCOME. That’s for the two years he’s willing to show. Mitten’s own father released a decades worth of tax returns when he ran for Prez back in the 60s. According to Romney Senior, candidates who refuse to release their tax returns are probably hiding something.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The point of the Forbes article was that you are wrong about any middle income people paying a higher total federal income tax rate than Romney does. 30% isn’t his marginal rate, it is his average rate since all of his income is double taxed at the federal level. Try reading the article. Ask for help when you are confused.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        That 30% figure is highly suspect for Romney, even though it does accurately describe the average person in the top 0.1%. If you look at actual data on this (the total cost of federal tax burdens including payroll tax, income tax, excise tax, and corporate tax), the top 1% averaged 28.9% in 2009 when you include all four:
        21.0% for income
        2.5% for payroll
        5.2% for corporate
        0.2% for excise

        Mitt Romney has already said he paid 13% for income tax, so he probably comes nowhere near that 30% figure. In addition, a large percentage of Mitt Romney’s income is actually not double-taxed because it’s hedge fund/private equity money (carried interest is not double-taxed, and the carrying structures for hedge funds tend not to be C corps).

        http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43373-AverageTaxRates_screen.pdf

        The data I’ve seen for 2010 break it down better for the 0.1%, although this doesn’t include excise tax which is a rounding error:

        http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/displayatab.cfm?Docid=2980&DocTypeID=7
        Top 1%: income 18.6%, payroll 2.0%, corporate 6.9%
        Top 0.1%: income: 19.5%, payroll 0.9%, corporate 10.3%

        But again, Mitt Romney’s income tax is 13%, and his corporate tax share is likely lower than the typical 0.1%-er.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Congratufukinlations. Who gives a pinch of monkey$hit what you think about health care. It’s an article about auto auctions on an automotive website. I support lifetime bans for bringing politics into these discussions. Guess there’s not enough political forums out there though, huh?

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        DAMMIT!!! I got sucked in. I already did the brothers keeper bit with multiple deployments involving getting my kiester blown up on several occasions to keep Osama out of your town. But you are right, because I don’t support single payer health care I care nothing about my fellow man. Yes, in spite of the several IED blasts, I’m sure you care more.

        Or maybe it’s because I’ll get to one day enjoy the true benefits of the only healthcare system administered at the Federal level that I unequivicably DO NOT support healthcare run at the Federal level…no, not Medicare, I’m talking VA.

        And are we really quoting the bible? There are an awful lot of folks over here in my neck of the woods that can quote the Koran to justify what they are doing. Many do it just before they detonate.

      • 0 avatar
        Angus McClure

        Thanks for your service. Just wanted to tell you a couple things.

        Some in my family are pretty thankful for the VA. It was what they needed to turn to and they did with good results. The clientele is comprised of those who have earned the service. That is a major difference. Results, unfortunately, may vary by area.

        The other thing is that material found in this site has a remarkable way of turning reasonable (one assumes) adults into opinionated experts on everything political. If you engage you will probably regret it very quickly.

        I am addressing this to you as I am a retired military person who just happens to echo your feelings. I love coming here but it sucks when someone (everyone?) gets all political.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        You are correct Angus…I regretted it when I hit the submit button. As far as the VA, those in the WWII generation I know of have done OK with it. My father hasn’t had to utilize it much as he just retired from his second career. Active duty medicine wasn’t kind to him though (Navy).

        My friends that have gotten out recently have had mixed results at best. I was an Engineer before I landed in my current job and did route clearance in Baghdad. Lots of TBI in that community. Some have done well, some are fighting the red tape for years. You are probably right about the area thing.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        That irony is that the people who quote the Bible to justify their actions are usually the people who are most likely to think that other people shouldn’t be able to quote the Koran to justify their actions and not recognize that it’s the same thing.

      • 0 avatar
        modelt1918

        I agree! If I wanted this s*** I would go to a political website. Meanwhile…Back at the ranch….Thank you Steve for articles like this.I learn a great deal about the real world of auctions and car deals from you!

  • avatar
    helius

    I suppose the drug addicts may leave behind some of the paraphenalia, and gansta wannabes may bling up their vehicles in certain ways.

    But outside of finding a diary in the vehicle, how on earth can you tell if the previous owner is/was a single mom, pervert, teacher, or government employee?

  • avatar
    TexasInvester

    Steven Lang,
    I register with this site, just to tell you that your writing is clear concise and tells a good story. I wanted to encourage you to continue. Thank you

  • avatar
    Angus McClure

    Lets not get into politics or the meaning of life. I read virtually everything Mr. Lang writes and am never disappointed. This wasn’t about a car auction. It was an “ad hoc” situation that teamwork accomplished. I enjoy his work.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “By the time the 7th Ford Taurus roles through”

    Can’t decide if that’s a typo…..

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      I am sure it wasn’t. Five years after the last of the Gen 4s rolled off the rental car sales lots; there are still tons of them on the road. (Try just counting them sometime, I count at least a couple dozen on my commute every day.) And many of them have already gone through a “buy here, pay here” lot.

      They are also still the staple of junkyards:
      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/junkyard-find-where-tired-tauruses-go-to-die/

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice, now you’re running an auction. Moving up in the world, Steve?

  • avatar
    ajla

    I wonder how someone “loses” a vehicle they’ve owned for 15 years.

    A pawn loan on something like that won’t give enough to pay off any large debts and IIRC the Georgia bankruptcy exemption on motor vehicles is anywhere from 3500 to 11200 depending on your circumstances.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      I still recall that vehicle being a Lexus and if no bankruptcy is filed, they lose the car.

      The interest rates are high, as is the risk.

      The quote below is taken from the following article…

      http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2012/04/13/title-loan-lender-tmx-hits-the-gas.html?page=all

      “TMX makes short-term loans to customers who put up their cars as collateral, and charges a high interest rate in the process. TitleMax typically charges monthly interest rates ranging from 10.99 percent to 12.99 percent for loans up to $3,000 and 9.99 percent for loans greater than $3,000. TitleBucks charges the same rates as TitleMax for loans above $1,500 and typically 14.99 percent to 24.99 percent for loans smaller than $1,500.

      The stakes for borrowers are high: Often, the minimum monthly payment on the loans doesn’t cover any of the principal. And miss two payments, and you could lose your car. TMX says it considers repossession “a last resort” that it doesn’t use unless it has first exhausted all options for repayment. The company’s repossessed assets jumped from $3.3 million in 2010 to $4.8 million in 2011.”

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Wow, that’s cheap relative to what I’ve heard about from BHPH lots. I’ve seen people who bought salvage title vehicles at well north of 20% interest rates and for prices that wouldn’t make sense for non-salvage vehicles. Usually it’s about having the shiny and the chrome and wanting instant gratitude, rather than saving money for a better vehicle that won’t break down or have serious problems down the road. Sad.

        Your customers seem a bit more grounded, but down on their luck from what I see in your columns. You also seem to sell better vehicles, in addition to having a compassionate attitude, so you probably do a good service in providing access to credit to people who have no other option. Can’t really say that about some of your comrades.

        How is business these days vs. when you wrote the column?

  • avatar
    TomHend

    The high cost of medical care in this country can be traced right back to the US Federal Government.

  • avatar
    Joss

    The one that trashed the Civic pre-Repo was too obvious.. Iodide in the engine oil and transmission will ruin all gaskets. If you want 1-tier medicare hope it isn’t administered by a Clement Attlee. Those that lost their cars for health reasons would be the silver lining behind a dark cloud for their accident victims.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    Nice article,

    as for the healthcare debate,

    My question is this, how come the USA is the ONLY fully developed country that doesn’t have a government run medical system to care for it’s people? Is it possible that as times have changed from 100/200 years ago that healthcare should be now considered essential to the pursuit of happiness?

    How is it that even some poor/developing countries also have universal healthcare systems and they make those work also?

    The arguments against universal healthcare to me seem to come from people who want to live in the past, the world is changing and we as a country need to change more with the times. Obstructionist politics is a major problem and we as a country need to start acting smarter because we’re either losing out or being passed in many areas.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Because of another thing the USA has which other developed countries largely don’t, an enormous and almost totally unassimilated underclass.

      The argument against universal healthcare is the same as the argument against public transportation and heating subsidies and police who use their tazers a little bit less and all the other government service which would actually be pretty nice to have in a civilized country.

      Which is that the beneficiary isn’t you and your hard working family, friends, and neighbors. It’s going to be Obamaphone Lady and three generations of her bastard kids. And we are fed the hell up with paying for them, having our schools ruined by them, cars broken into by them, ad nauseum.

      Of course we’re already paying for their healthcare with Medicaid etc. But democracy isn’t about facts it’s about gut feeling and always will be.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        “An enormous and almost totally unassimilated underclass”

        I have to question in what land are you living? I can only hope you mean the Latin American/Mexican influx. If you’re talking about African-Americans then you’re sadly mistaken, they’re more American than most Americans are. If you’re speaking about the vast influx of Mexican-Americans and other latinos I would argue that they have a distinct streak of Americanism in their hard working near-slave labor wages they take for migrant work. If anything this is more or less demagoguing for the sake of the white angry person vote. I just feel bad for those in that voting bloc because they’re going to be effectively marginalized over the next 20 years as will the current visage of the right-wing without serious voter disenfranchisement to support them.

        PS: Obamaphone was a program started under Bush that Obama had no real hand in. Many states offer a similar program so that people can have an emergency line for use in a pinch.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    What about if someone racks up a debt from student loans, am I also to bail them out? What about a drunk driver that’s uninsured and gets in a wreck? Also my responsibility?

    Most of the people that rack up the big financing are individuals that simply live way beyond their means and it finally caught up with them. People who are living paycheck to paycheck have no business anyway financing a car. Take the bus until you can pay for it with cash.

    • 0 avatar
      changsta

      People are racking up huge student debts because the US government is not doing enough to subsidize the costs of post secondary education. If a drunk driver is uninsured and gets in a wreck, they should go to jail. Your responsibility as a citizen is to contribute to the greater good. The whole, “why should I care” mentality will bite you in the ass one day. There are always exceptions to the rule, and people who take advantage of benefits, but the majority of people that are using them, legitimately need them. I would rather contribute and get ripped off 9 out of 10 times if i knew that at least one person that genuinely needed it, got the help they needed.

      The idea of “take the bus until you can pay for it with cash” is ridiculous. Western societies were able to develop to the degree that they have thanks to debt instruments. If everyone stopped making purchases until they had saved up enough money to purchase the product, the economy would absolutely crumble. Does it really make sense to take the bus when so many manufacturers are offering 0% financing? Why not amortize the cost of the vehicle if the cost of interest is little or nothing? Why spend money in bus fare for years saving? Is the cost of interest per month going to be higher than bus fare or vice versa?

      The problem with credit products is that the lenders became too lax in who they were lending to. There is an acceptable debt to service ratio. If someone goes bankrupt, it is because the payments were unmanageable, which is a problem that the financiers should have seem prior to funding, but they got greedy. This is something the government needs to fix.. lending is helpful when done properly, within acceptable ratios to yearly income.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I once purchased a truck I couldn’t afford (probably ended up at a place like this auction after the repo). I should have gotten a bailout because I have to have a vehicle, right? It’s only fair you should have paid for my truck.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        Re “mkirk”: Did the lender sue you for the difference between what you owned on the truck and what it was able to auction off your truck for? If not then you did recieve a bailout. The bank, and indirectly responsible borrowers like me, covered the bank’s loss on you.

        I’m cool with that. I’m not a big fan of seeing people be sued on difference between what they owe and what the lender can recover on collateral. Even though the bank has every legal right to sue for that difference, and I’m sure many of the conservatives here would root for that outcome.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        You don’t have to be cool with it…I paid every penny of the 7 grand difference between the loan value and the sale price at auction. They never took legal action but they did continue to report the balance to the credit beureau regularly so it was never going to come off until I paid it. I decided I’d like to purchase a house one day so I took I sent most of my reenlistment bonus off to Onyx Acceptance Corp (one of the we’ll loan money to anyone with a job and a pulse places). Writing that check hurt but I think it was at that point I began to become financially responsible.

  • avatar
    Charliej

    The US is going down the toilet if the republicans have their way. It will be the gentry and the servants. After working for forty five years, the last twenty seven as a small business owner, I retired at the beginning of this year. My wife and I made the decision to leave the US and go somewhere with a better standard of living. We wound up in Mexico and we love it. For the people complaining about the Canadian system, the Canadians that I know like the system just fine. They have experience with it, unlike the right wing whiners who hate it. Mexico has health insurance for all, even gringos if you wish to pay the twenty dollar a month fee. Health care here is at least as good as in the US, because everyone has access to it. I really don’t understand what it is about right wing voters that makes them unable to have any feeling for their fellow citizens. They seem to have forgotten that all Americans are a community. Their ideas seem to be more of us versus them. Those ideas will sink the US, you can already see it happening.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      “The US is going down the toilet if the republicans have their way.”

      I’d say it’s pretty far down the toilet right now.

      • 0 avatar
        Charliej

        Crosley, you are right. It takes more than four years to undo eight years of republican idiocy.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “My wife and I made the decision to leave the US and go somewhere with a better standard of living. We wound up in Mexico and we love it. Health care here is at least as good as in the US, because everyone has access to it.”

        “I really don’t understand what it is about right wing voters that makes them unable to have any feeling for their fellow citizens.”

        The sheer hilarity of your statements here makes me think that this is someone parodying a typical liberal. Nobody can really think Mexico has a better standard of living for Mexicans, so it makes no sense whatsoever to claim it is better because your retirement savings make you lord of the manor while the Mexicans you share a sense of fellowship with are often living an existence that makes squatting in an LA barrio worth taking some risks to realize. I can’t imagine anyone can really be so myopic, not even someone that blames the Republicans for the state of the US economy.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      @Charliej,

      I’m entitled to citizenship in an EU country because my grandparents were born in said country, I’m going to obtain a European passport as an insurance policy.

      Yup, most Americans no longer feel any sense of kinship with other Americans. I’m amazed at how many people I run into who have a sense of, I’ve got mine, so f**k you!”

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Forgive my bitterness. 10 years of fighting wars for a nation that continues to pretend the one I currently find myself in doesn’t exist in favor of the latest on Snooki. That’s what I did to secure my healthcare…traded off 20 years of my life in various $hitholes of the world. So yeah, I am less than enthusiastic about those who could have done the same now getting for free what we’ve had to earn.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        and @charliej, as you have divested yourself of this country, who cares. I have been all over this planet and it is still the greatest place I’ve been. Id die before I got driven out of the U.S.

    • 0 avatar
      changsta

      I live in Canada and think the healthcare system is wonderful. My father had an accident where he fell from a roof. He fractured his hip and broke his femur in two places. He also required stitches to the forehead and 2 months of rehabilitation. Do you know what he paid? $300 for the ambulance. How much would someone in the US have paid? He was not at work, so it would not be covered as a workplace injury. The system works. I live with it and am thankful for it.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Everyone looks at Medicare as the federal healthcare model. If I am not mistaken it is administered at the state level. If you want to see how the Federal Government runs healthcare you need to look not at medicare, but rather our outstanding system run by the Veterans Administration. Anyone who says how great VA is has obviously never filed a claim and I am sure with 10 years worth of war it is only going to get better when it is time for me to utilize it. The good…It’s free (if you count what you have to go through to get it as free anyway). The Bad…You get what you pay for.

      • 0 avatar
        200k-min

        “I live in Canada and think the healthcare system is wonderful.”

        Canada’s system is great for things like broken legs and stitching up cuts, etc. For complex medical procedures or highly specalized medical it’s not so great.

        For example, my mother-in-law had a severe problem with migrane headaches. Specalists in Calgary and Edmonton couldn’t figure it out. Flew out to Vancouver and Toronto to see more doctors, no dice. Finally went to the US and was diagnosed and successfully treated. My spouse had minor outpatient surgery in Alberta. It was a 4 month wait in Calgary so she had to travel 3 hours to a rural town where it could be done in a 2 week wait. Living in the US on private health insurance she had orthoscopic hip surgery next day, all for a $20 co-pay. When my father had eye surgery he said half the people getting surgery the same day wer Canadians that couldn’t wait for their cataract surgery in Canada (i.e. go blind) and went to the US to pay cash for it right away.

        The US system isn’t perfect and people do fall through the cracks but overall access to care is second to none.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      If you really believe that I might suggest investing in some lead and devices to shoot said lead. You made your cash and went to Mexico…hey, thats great. It’s cheap down there and a lot of Sailors I know used to do the same thing in the Phillipines. I think however that had you spent your whole life in Mexico you might perhaps feel differently. A steady stream of Mexicans crossing the border daily seems to back this up. I am betting you don’t call Juarez or Tijuanna home BTW.

    • 0 avatar
      modelt1918

      Why don’t you push your political agenda somehere else, Charlie? Leave us car guys alone.

      • 0 avatar
        Charliej

        modelt1918, leave you car guys alone? The first car that I bought for myself,was a used 1961 Mini when I came home from submarine school in 1964, From age 18 to age 50, I raced cars and motorcycles, I was always a little crazy for English cars, Morris Minors, Minis, Austins 1100s and Austin Americas. Also Fiats, 124s, 128s, 850 coupes and spiders. I consider myself a car guy. As for my politics, if you don’t like my politics. Tough luck. I vote Democratic and I am damned proud to do so. Being from Alabama, I have seen what years of right wing politics do to a state, and it is not pretty. Alabama is at the bottom of every list of things that are good, and at the top of all that is bad. I consider myself a patriot, who is trying to prevent the rest of the US from following down Alabama’s path to ruin.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTheDriver

      Spot on Charliej. My folks lived in Mexico (Lake Ajijic, Chapalla) for a number of years after retirement and had the exact same experience that you describe. Obviously this is causing a bit of the old cognitive dissonance among some of the follow on commenters to your post. But that is what a lifetime of Fox News consumption will do to your brain.

  • avatar
    panayoti

    Lots of passion here on the health care issue. Many excellent points. So sorry that Mr. Lang’s article got lost in the discussion. Too bad. Keep ‘em coming Steven.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Hmm, just how do you figure the owner’s a pervert just from the look of the interor of his/her car? Just wondering…

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      We took a Saturn in on trade when I was an auto detailer that had a stack of Swank magazines and an..uummm…pocket vagina in the spare tire well. Thats perhaps an indication.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        I don’t think someone who wanks to opposite-sex porn is a pervert… maybe he didn’t wish to be caught doing so in his home? Perversion implies some deviation from the norm, and a man being aroused by the female body is hardly perverse. Just sayin…

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I suppose you are right. The Swanks in and of themselves weren’t bad and provided much entertainment to the shop. But one should remove their sex toys prior to trade in. I mean really, I had to dispose of that thing.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Im off to the Brown Car Appreciation Society…Brown Cars, no politics.

  • avatar
    Charliej

    mkirk, I left the US because I was fed up with the idiocy in my home state of Alabama. I have traveled over most of America and saw no place that I liked enough to move there. Using the internet, I found that Lake Chapala was the destination of choice for Americans moving abroad. My wife and I are here now and we love it. By the way, I served my time in the Navy on a radar picket submarine in the mid sixties. I learned electronics as a radioman, and supported myself and my family as an electronics tech since then. I just never was consumed by hate and envy of others, as so many seem to be.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      That’s what I don’t get. It seems the Left is consumed with hate and envy for the rich. I’m not rich, but I have no beef with the Trump’s and Romney’s of the world. No, I’m not a bazillionaire but this country has afforded me a nice living and I have no real complaints as far as that goes. Someone being very rich has no impact on my relatively comfortable standard of living. I lived in Europe for some time and I would not trade how our middle class lives for the cramped apartments of say the Itallian middle class. We won’t even discuss the middle class of Iraq (yes, it is there…there were areas of Baghdad that actually seemed nice when no one was blowing something up). Afghanistan…well, I think middle class must mean you have more goats than the poor guys do.

      I don’t begrudge you for moving abroad…It is our right as Americans to live elsewhere should we choose. I’m just saying it was this country that allowed you to make your money and move abroad. I doubt you would live so comfortably were you a native Mexican.

      I don’t see a lot of people floating across 90 miles of open sea or slipping across the border at night to sneak into Mexico. Not saying Mexico is bad. My experience is limited to visits to Tijuana as a 19 year old sailor in San Diego (I was a Radioman myself prior to my Army time). There is a part of me too that wouldn’t mind living in the Canadian Rockies as well but in the end, The United States is a pretty great place to call home and affords one with many more chances at success than they’d likely receive in other places.

  • avatar
    AJ

    I’ve got a lot near me that takes in repos and lease turn-ins. I like to drive by and see what is there. For the last year or so they tend to have a lot of RVs and even some boats and horse trailers. Some poor horse has lost his wheels!

  • avatar

    Dear fellow human herd members,

    I enjoyed reading about the auction and other topics briefly mentioned in the article and I also enjoyed reading the comments… those about the auction along with those narrowing the focus to some of the briefly mentioned topics.

    I peek at many various Web sites with commenting allowed.

    On the whole, the horde hanging out in this ‘hood tends to be smarter than than the typical commenter of the various commenting places.

    And I delight in a delicious pile of mashed taters.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India