Hammer Time: Repo Etiquette
“You didn’t have the decency to knock on the door! I have your 200 in cash.”
There are three key ingredients with most repossessions. Don’t pay. Don’t tell the truth. Don’t return calls. In the case of this former customer, the check that was ‘in the mail’ and the phone that didn’t work had suddenly transformed themselves into ‘cash money in hand’ and 27 phone calls right after the vehicle got taken back.
Reconditioning vehicles is an expensive process when it comes to repossessions. You have dented panels that either need to be repaired or replaced. Paint work. Mechanical issues aplenty. On average you’re usually looking anywhere between $500 to $1500 between the moment the repo is authorized to the 20 to 30 day time period when the vehicle is back on your lot.
That’s a major deficit compared to the $250 to $450 monthly surplus you can get by having a customer that simply tells you the truth. Contrary to modern fables, most dealerships and finance companies want to make things work. Life happens and if it’s a medical emergency or a shortened work week, invariably you’ll deal with someone who has been there, done that, heard it hundreds of times in the past.
They will work with you. I will work with you. Just tell the truth… and don’t drive around uninsured.
More by Steven Lang