Repo Men Keeping Busy In Spokane

SPOKANE – People’s budgets are stretched thin forcing many to decide between what bills to pay. Many are choosing not to make car payments and as a result the repo business in Spokane is booming.

Everybody is affected by the rising cost of just about everything and making a car payment on time every month is not as easy as it used to be. If you choose to not make your car payment the repo men might be paying your home a visit.

John has been a repo man since 1995. He describes his office as basically north of I-90, “from Argonne to the Canadian border to Wenatchee.” His tools of the trade are cameras, maps, a slim jim and a pickup truck fitted with a tow hitch that has logged well over 100,000 to repossess vehicles.

And with the economy tanking John says the repo business is booming.

“The last time I was this busy it was probably ’96 or ’97,” John said.

Over at the Western International Recovery Bureau the lot is full of repossessed boats, RVs, trucks and cars all taken from people that couldn’t make their payments.

“Some can be 30 days, some can be 90 days, there is places out there that get on it right away it just depends on which finance company or bank your dealing with,” Curtis Nelson with Western International Recovery Bureau said.

Curtis says business is running about 20 to 25-percent higher than it was last year with the majority of the growth happening the past six months.

“The economy, the gas, I mean everything where its at its driving some people that had some spendable income in the past they just don’t have the resources now to cover some of those payments,” Curtis said.

Repo man John says that when he’s out in the field he hears the same thing all over, that times are tough.

“Most people are just gas is expensive and things are just getting tight, they’re good people and things are just starting to get real tight,” John said.           

The repo men say the best way to avoid having something repossessed is to talk to your lender. They say it costs the lender anywhere up to $8,000 to repossess something so they are usually are willing to work with people.