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License Plate Readers Change the Repo Business

Southern Dad

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Repossession is high tech now. It used to be the repo man had to sneak around in the dark, stalking a debtor's address, risking life and limb to recover the lender's asset. Not any more. Thanks to high technology, the recovery agent, as repo men now like to be called are able to just drive around in parking lots looking for cars needing picked up. I've spoken with two of these agents recently, one in McDonough, Georgia and one in Loganville, Georgia (just this morning). They both tell me that it has increased their income at least five fold. When they used to be able to get one to two cars a night, if they were lucky, they now pull five to ten in a day.

Favorite places to find cars on the "active repo network"? In McDonough, he says the Walmart parking lot. The Loganville guy says churches on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings and any public parking lot on weekdays. He tells me that he hits on just as many at Target as Walmart. His truck was actually a disguised tow truck. It was masquerading as a normal pick up truck. When he finds a debtor's vehicle that is up for repossession, his wheel lift comes out from the bottom and he makes the snatch. Then he pulls to a nearby parking lot to remove the license plate from the vehicle, puts his required DOT signs on the side of his truck, adds his flashing yellow light, and tow lights with magnets. Pretty slick in all. The recovery agent that I met in McDonough it didn't bother with covert. His truck was clearly a repo truck. He told me that the parking lot that we were standing in had three hits, he took the one with the highest bounty.

Some will say that this isn't fair. No longer does the recovery agent have to be looking for a certain vehicle but instead he or she can drive through a parking lot and just snatch whatever hits on the computer list. License plate readers have changed things. It certainly makes it harder for deadbeats to get away with hiding their cars. Others will argue that a reading license plates is a violation of privacy. The reader doesn't tell the driver anything about you unless you are in the database. Only cars up for repo are in the database. What do you all think? Fair, not fair?

ce67f39e2ce11060e7f02f33a49d2a4b.jpg


adfdaa54f6e51b3a7ef0e6ae49a6b51f.jpg
 

OrphanSlug

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What do you all think? Fair, not fair?

I do not look at license plate readers as necessarily a problem. No matter if we are talking about police departments of repossession businesses they are not reading something that is private, or protected by some right that suggests automatic readers cross a line that manual efforts do not.
 

DaveFagan

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Sounds like progress. If you don't make your payments, you don't own it. Same goes for houses, etc.
 

Southern Dad

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I do not look at license plate readers as necessarily a problem. No matter if we are talking about police departments of repossession businesses they are not reading something that is private, or protected by some right that suggests automatic readers cross a line that manual efforts do not.

I agree. License plate readers are reading information that a person could look at with his or her own eyes and check a list. This is just much faster and able to check almost all the plates when driving down a parking lot row. Of course, parking lots are technically private property, so some place like a Target or Walmart could post their properties against recovery trucks.
 

Southern Dad

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Sounds like progress. If you don't make your payments, you don't own it. Same goes for houses, etc.

Very true. Of course houses are much easier to locate as opposed to vehicles. Houses rarely move.
 

DaveFagan

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Very true. Of course houses are much easier to locate as opposed to vehicles. Houses rarely move.

Houses with wheels do move, a/k/a mobile homes. A tougher nut to crack, eh?
 

Southern Dad

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Houses with wheels do move, a/k/a mobile homes. A tougher nut to crack, eh?

Recreation vehicles, yes. Mobile homes? No. It takes a permit to move anything over 10' wide. All modern mobile homes are 14' or 16'. Since there is a permit, it will give the location it is being moved from and to.
 

DaveFagan

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Recreation vehicles, yes. Mobile homes? No. It takes a permit to move anything over 10' wide. All modern mobile homes are 14' or 16'. Since there is a permit, it will give the location it is being moved from and to.

There must not be any "Midnight Movers" in your neighborhood.
 

Southern Dad

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There must not be any "Midnight Movers" in your neighborhood.

Not pulling a 14' x 80' or 16' x 80'. And it doesn't happen where you live either. No one is going to risk their CDL to pull a stunt like that. Not when the permits are easy to get. You do realize that you don't pull a modern mobile home with Bubba's pickup truck.
 

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Repossession is high tech now. It used to be the repo man had to sneak around in the dark, stalking a debtor's address, risking life and limb to recover the lender's asset. Not any more. Thanks to high technology, the recovery agent, as repo men now like to be called are able to just drive around in parking lots looking for cars needing picked up. I've spoken with two of these agents recently, one in McDonough, Georgia and one in Loganville, Georgia (just this morning). They both tell me that it has increased their income at least five fold. When they used to be able to get one to two cars a night, if they were lucky, they now pull five to ten in a day.

Favorite places to find cars on the "active repo network"? In McDonough, he says the Walmart parking lot. The Loganville guy says churches on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings and any public parking lot on weekdays. He tells me that he hits on just as many at Target as Walmart. His truck was actually a disguised tow truck. It was masquerading as a normal pick up truck. When he finds a debtor's vehicle that is up for repossession, his wheel lift comes out from the bottom and he makes the snatch. Then he pulls to a nearby parking lot to remove the license plate from the vehicle, puts his required DOT signs on the side of his truck, adds his flashing yellow light, and tow lights with magnets. Pretty slick in all. The recovery agent that I met in McDonough it didn't bother with covert. His truck was clearly a repo truck. He told me that the parking lot that we were standing in had three hits, he took the one with the highest bounty.

Some will say that this isn't fair. No longer does the recovery agent have to be looking for a certain vehicle but instead he or she can drive through a parking lot and just snatch whatever hits on the computer list. License plate readers have changed things. It certainly makes it harder for deadbeats to get away with hiding their cars. Others will argue that a reading license plates is a violation of privacy. The reader doesn't tell the driver anything about you unless you are in the database. Only cars up for repo are in the database. What do you all think? Fair, not fair?
Seems to me he is violating the law by not having it on there at the moment he picks up the vehicle... though I doubt he would ever be prosecuted for it.


I agree. License plate readers are reading information that a person could look at with his or her own eyes and check a list. This is just much faster and able to check almost all the plates when driving down a parking lot row. Of course, parking lots are technically private property, so some place like a Target or Walmart could post their properties against recovery trucks.
I could see that eventually happening. Not good for their business if customers have to worry about this.
 

Southern Dad

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Seems to me he is violating the law by not having it on there at the moment he picks up the vehicle... though I doubt he would ever be prosecuted for it.

I could see that eventually happening. Not good for their business if customers have to worry about this.

I imagine that he probably is, but then again he might be quickly moving to somewhere safe to do it.
 

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I don't see a problem in this particular case. I also don't have a problem with plate readers in police cars or traffic lights looking for wanted felons. Now, if cameras around the city were reading everyone's plates and using that to archive where we all go, I would have a problem with that.
 

radcen

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I don't see a problem in this particular case. I also don't have a problem with plate readers in police cars or traffic lights looking for wanted felons. Now, if cameras around the city were reading everyone's plates and using that to archive where we all go, I would have a problem with that.
Do you believe in the slippery slope?

It will be done in your best interests, of course. No worries. :)
 

beefheart

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We drove across the US border today. When we got to the US border guard, he addressed my GF by her first name and already had all the info about her. I had my Global entry card, turns out, all I had to do was show it to the camera and they wouldn't even need to see my passport.

Of course, driving into Mexico, they stopped us because the license tags were expired, but after a few minutes of showing them the paperwork showing that they were in the mail, no problemo....
 

Caine

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Repossession is high tech now. It used to be the repo man had to sneak around in the dark, stalking a debtor's address, risking life and limb to recover the lender's asset. Not any more. Thanks to high technology, the recovery agent, as repo men now like to be called are able to just drive around in parking lots looking for cars needing picked up. I've spoken with two of these agents recently, one in McDonough, Georgia and one in Loganville, Georgia (just this morning). They both tell me that it has increased their income at least five fold. When they used to be able to get one to two cars a night, if they were lucky, they now pull five to ten in a day.

Favorite places to find cars on the "active repo network"? In McDonough, he says the Walmart parking lot. The Loganville guy says churches on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings and any public parking lot on weekdays. He tells me that he hits on just as many at Target as Walmart. His truck was actually a disguised tow truck. It was masquerading as a normal pick up truck. When he finds a debtor's vehicle that is up for repossession, his wheel lift comes out from the bottom and he makes the snatch. Then he pulls to a nearby parking lot to remove the license plate from the vehicle, puts his required DOT signs on the side of his truck, adds his flashing yellow light, and tow lights with magnets. Pretty slick in all. The recovery agent that I met in McDonough it didn't bother with covert. His truck was clearly a repo truck. He told me that the parking lot that we were standing in had three hits, he took the one with the highest bounty.

Some will say that this isn't fair. No longer does the recovery agent have to be looking for a certain vehicle but instead he or she can drive through a parking lot and just snatch whatever hits on the computer list. License plate readers have changed things. It certainly makes it harder for deadbeats to get away with hiding their cars. Others will argue that a reading license plates is a violation of privacy. The reader doesn't tell the driver anything about you unless you are in the database. Only cars up for repo are in the database. What do you all think? Fair, not fair?

ce67f39e2ce11060e7f02f33a49d2a4b.jpg


adfdaa54f6e51b3a7ef0e6ae49a6b51f.jpg

Im not so sure that they should have access to state information like that, as it is a violation of the use of DCI/NCIC information.

But as a privacy concern, Its a non issue. The plate attached to your vehicle is not YOUR PROPERTY. It is the property of the State. And the information associated with that license plate is also the property of the state.

Where I disagree with "Recovery Specialists" using this information is that it, as I knew it when I was a Law Enforcement Officer, is in violation of the terms of use for those information systems that store the information associated with a license, Namely DMV/DCI/NCIC.
 

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Im not so sure that they should have access to state information like that, as it is a violation of the use of DCI/NCIC information.

But as a privacy concern, Its a non issue. The plate attached to your vehicle is not YOUR PROPERTY. It is the property of the State. And the information associated with that license plate is also the property of the state.

Where I disagree with "Recovery Specialists" using this information is that it, as I knew it when I was a Law Enforcement Officer, is in violation of the terms of use for those information systems that store the information associated with a license, Namely DMV/DCI/NCIC.

They don't have access to any government database. The readers check a private database. Only vehicles up for repossession are in that database. All other vehicles return, "No information."
 

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They don't have access to any government database. The readers check a private database. Only vehicles up for repossession are in that database. All other vehicles return, "No information."

Then there is no problem, and definitely no violation of privacy.

Anyone who think so, thinks that Americans have the "right" to avoid responsiblity and the "right" to "get away with it".
 

Southern Dad

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Then there is no problem, and definitely no violation of privacy.

Anyone who think so, thinks that Americans have the "right" to avoid responsiblity and the "right" to "get away with it".

What it does change is that recovery agents aren't sneaking through the backyard, fighting off Fido, before you take a shot at them when they come to get your car. Everyone has to buy groceries. I loved the Loganville guy telling me that Sundays and Wednesdays he's going through church parking lots. Stained glass windows hide a lot, don't they?
 

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Repossession is high tech now. It used to be the repo man had to sneak around in the dark, stalking a debtor's address, risking life and limb to recover the lender's asset. Not any more. Thanks to high technology, the recovery agent, as repo men now like to be called are able to just drive around in parking lots looking for cars needing picked up. I've spoken with two of these agents recently, one in McDonough, Georgia and one in Loganville, Georgia (just this morning). They both tell me that it has increased their income at least five fold. When they used to be able to get one to two cars a night, if they were lucky, they now pull five to ten in a day.

Favorite places to find cars on the "active repo network"? In McDonough, he says the Walmart parking lot. The Loganville guy says churches on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings and any public parking lot on weekdays. He tells me that he hits on just as many at Target as Walmart. His truck was actually a disguised tow truck. It was masquerading as a normal pick up truck. When he finds a debtor's vehicle that is up for repossession, his wheel lift comes out from the bottom and he makes the snatch. Then he pulls to a nearby parking lot to remove the license plate from the vehicle, puts his required DOT signs on the side of his truck, adds his flashing yellow light, and tow lights with magnets. Pretty slick in all. The recovery agent that I met in McDonough it didn't bother with covert. His truck was clearly a repo truck. He told me that the parking lot that we were standing in had three hits, he took the one with the highest bounty.

Some will say that this isn't fair. No longer does the recovery agent have to be looking for a certain vehicle but instead he or she can drive through a parking lot and just snatch whatever hits on the computer list. License plate readers have changed things. It certainly makes it harder for deadbeats to get away with hiding their cars. Others will argue that a reading license plates is a violation of privacy. The reader doesn't tell the driver anything about you unless you are in the database. Only cars up for repo are in the database. What do you all think? Fair, not fair?

ce67f39e2ce11060e7f02f33a49d2a4b.jpg


adfdaa54f6e51b3a7ef0e6ae49a6b51f.jpg

Easy way to get around that is if you are behind, go get a new set of plates.
 

Caine

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Not a lot of people are going to think about that one, but it would probably work for a while.

That all depends... Local small credit unions hire specific recovery companies to look for a specific vehicle..... Which means the dude is going to be looking for the vehicle and checking the VIN number.
 

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How disappointing, I thought we were going to talk about high tech, you know, kill switches activated by the lien holder making the car useless to the borrower and GPS mapping so that they can send a tow truck to collect it instantly. I remember reading a few months back that the kill switch idea is very doable but that it runs into trouble with some of the laws, I did not pay a lot of attention though, which is why I was looking towards this thread for more insights.

Oh well....
 

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That all depends... Local small credit unions hire specific recovery companies to look for a specific vehicle..... Which means the dude is going to be looking for the vehicle and checking the VIN number.

The point of this thread is the plate reader and the recover agent driving through parking lots to find the cars.

A new plate won't be on their list so the recovery agent won't know it is the car.
 

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How disappointing, I thought we were going to talk about high tech, you know, kill switches activated by the lien holder making the car useless to the borrower and GPS mapping so that they can send a tow truck to collect it instantly. I remember reading a few months back that the kill switch idea is very doable but that it runs into trouble with some of the laws, I did not pay a lot of attention though, which is why I was looking towards this thread for more insights.

Oh well....

That has been used on some high risk loans, but you get into trouble because you don't know where the car is when the kill switch is activated.

If the car and owner is in a dangerous place, the lien holder can be held liable for something.
 

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That has been used on some high risk loans, but you get into trouble because you don't know where the car is when the kill switch is activated.

If the car and owner is in a dangerous place, the lien holder can be held liable for something.

I read about one a few days back, a semi truck which had a load. I think it only kills when the rig is parked and turned off. Thing that I did not get was that it took a few days to collect the truck, and the load went bad. Who ever owned that load is going to be looking to get paid, and it might not be their insurance who sends the check, IDK. BTW this was an article about scum companies who sell idiots trucks with horrible terms, and so they very often come for their possessions when the guys who are failing at the business of trucking in part because they are paying too much for their trucks stop paying.
 
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