One business succeeding in bad economy: repossesionsPosted: Updated:
It's the business that isn't suffering but booming as a result of the economic crisis: repo work!
No one's exempt.
People are always going to be falling behind on their bills.
In these tough times, it's become more prevalent now.
In fact, business at one valley towing and repo service has quadrupled over the past six months.
It's at the point where Dan Turner, owner of AE Recovery, is doing a lot less towing, and a lot more "repo-ing".
"I'd say 98 percent of the time it's not dangerous," says Turner.
"It really just depends on how you approach the job."
Turner is known as the "repo guy" and for him, it's all about the chase.
"It's just like hunting. People who hunt, they go out for an elk and then they've got to go out and find the thing, then shoot it, get it and take it home," says Turner.
"Well, I've got to go out and find the car, get it, and bring it home."
We join him during his "hunt," armed with an address and a V.I.N. number.
He scouts out locations during the day, but it's evening when he pounces.
"3 in the morning, they're asleep, all the lights are out, and the car is gone."
Since business has gone from three repos a week to more than a dozen, his chances of encountering upset individuals has also increased.
His truck usually bears the brunt of that "rage."
"As for upset people, I've had my other step side on the other side broken by a guy with a sledge hammer," says Turner.
"I'vehad a pick ax through the side of my door; I've had people throw bricks at my truck. I've had people try to climb through the window of my truck."
His motto is to find the car, hook it up, and move on out.
It's a job that only takes him about 14 seconds and Turner is always trying to beat his best time.
"After you do itenough times, you start tryingto improve your skills because you don't want to run into any confrontations," Turner says.
So, even if some one has managed to avoid him once, his promise is the person's luck will eventually run its course.
"If you're going to make it hard on me, I'm going to findyou," says Turner.
"We always do."
Turner repossesses high-end cars from Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and other areas around the valley and state.
He also adds that he'll be the first person to stop off and help a stranded motorist for free.