For Wesley Peirce, and his drivers at East Texas Auto Recovery in Longview, the goal seems simple.
“The goal is to get the car and leave with it,” he said. “If it’s front wheel drive, I want to get to the front of it, pick it up and leave.”
But re-possessing cars and trucks can be a dangerous haul.
“[people] scream yell, make threats, stuff like that,” he said. “As far as shooting goes – not something happens everyday, but you can expect it’s going to happen.”
Peirce says debtors have been so upset — they’ve pulled guns. Something that his family knows all too well.
“My son was murdered re-possessing in 1999,” he said. “Literally over a re-possession.”
Peirce says it’s supposed to be a smooth process — hooking up a car and towing it — but they usually are not assisted by police because it’s a civil matter, and they can’t carry guns either.
“I make sure there are two guys in there in the event something does go wrong, there’s a second person.”
Peirce says the economy can play a toll in peoples reactions — something that carries over to the office too.
“Even sitting in this office, you don’t know what’s going to happen, because they come in here just as hostile as they do out in the field.”
And it’s lead to faster repossessions in the last few years — leaving a full tow yard and more work on the line.
Even though a repo man could be on your property, you cannot keep them from the vehicle. The best way to handle the situation is to work with the driver. If you try to get your car back, at that point it’s between you and the lien holder or the bank.
By Jennifer Heathcock
CBS19 News – KYTX-TV, Tyler, TX