A chapter from an unpublished book – Repo-Deception
Some of us who have had the misfortune of getting our cars or boats repossessed know how much it sucks. I speak from personal experience. A few years back when I was going through my divorce my pockets took a serious hit and I got behind on my car loan and the repo-man showed up at my office.
My secretary was instructed to only call the auto finance company from a prepaid cell phone. Getting seriously behind on the payments I told my secretary to call the loan company and see if we can make some arrangement but make sure she only use the prepaid cell phone. Well she didn’t listen and used the fax line in the office. The finance company did not like the arrangements I suggested and they sent the repo guy who took my car hostage. They pulled my fax number off of their caller ID and identified the location of my office through a reverse listing at the phone company. Frank M. Ahearn king of skip tracing and master of deception duped by caller ID and a red head of a secretary.
The funny part of this story back in my wild days of skip tracing Harley Davidson was a client and I did the skip tracing for the delinquent accounts. Harley was aggressive they would finance their own bikes and a year later someone hits a rough patch and that fifteen-thousand dollar bike has actually increased in value unlike the crotch rockets. We located about thirty bikes a month they didn’t even bother searching for the Buells. I am sure revealing this could put some type of motor cycle fatwa on my head.
Some Harley searches were hardcore one guy had a plank of wood on his front stairs and at night rode his bike into the living groom. Another skip parked his bike in the middle of his backyard with three pit-bulls no repo-guy was climbing that fence. From business experience and work experience I learned no one likes giving up their wheels or boats.
Another such character did not have the luxury of loading his bike in the living room nor yard full of dogs. He rolled his Harley into his van, pad locked it parked it blocks away. We figured out who his finance company was on the van and discovered it to was out for repossession. The repo guy took the paper on the van and picked van with the Harley inside.
When the repo-man comes looking for your property they hit your home and work figuring the vehicle is in that vicinity. Some people think they are slick and park the vehicle a few blocks from the home or work but the repo-man knows this trick. Also some people will park the vehicle at one stop before or one stop past their home on a bus or train route. The soon to be repossessed then jump on the public transportation and the home or vehicle is not far off. The repo people know this trick too.
If you are looking to deceive the repo-man you need to take into consideration that they have all the information on your original application. This means they drive by the home and work places of the people you listed as references. They are aware that sometimes people trade automobiles with a friend or family member.
Typos Should Happen
Do you really want to put the correct information of references on applications?
Do you really want to put the correct in case of emergency number on your application?
It could be illegal to lie on applications however typos are honest mistakes.
If you are having some financial issues and think your car may hit repo status contact the finance company and provide them a new incase of emergency contact, new work and home address and phone numbers. Make them all bogus but do this much before the repo status, there not that dumb.
Never call the finance company from your home number
Never call the finance company from your cell phone
Never call the finance company from your work
You have to be cautious of your social media the repo-guy or skip tracer could start chatting with the people on your social networking sites. One of your friends or family members could accidently slip and mention they are meeting you at the bowling alley later for the Tuesday night games. Or you could have a photo of you and your bowling team Men With Balls and all the skip tracer needs to do is start contacting local bowling alleys to determine if your team bowls there and on what day or night.
If in Debt
Lock down or shut down ALL of your social networking accounts
Do Not Tweet
You might slip and mention your location
In my first book How to Disappear I write about the three keys to disappearing which are MISINFORMATION, DISINFORMATION and REFORMATION. The first tool of disappearing is MISINFORMATION which is to locate all information about you and either delete or deviate if possible. This is the offline information like phone contacts, utility contacts and anything else you can think of. This is where the skip tracer is going to start their search for you.
With the information the repo-man or skip tracer obtains they will make pretext calls to the people associated with you, perhaps as UPS or Dumb ASS Express claiming they have a water damaged package for you and need an updated contact or address.
Tell those around to NEVER give out your contact information
Someone contacts you claiming they are Dumb Ass Express refuse the package
The second tool for disappearing is DISINFORMATION and that is creating false trails for the person hunting you to follow. Think about if you do not want to be found it’s crucial to create deception. The third tool to disappearing is REFORMATION which is getting from point A to point B without leaving any trails. I guess the repo version of that would be keeping your car out reach from the repo-people until you get caught up on your bill.
Use could call your finance company and spoof your number to a different state
Call someone from your phone and the persons Caller ID displays the number that you intend them to see by simply changing the number in the Spoofcard app.
The most challenging part of being in the business of deception is sifting thought the email and finding the clients who are not straight up criminals interested in employing me to assist them in breaking the law. One such client was Frank Tromper who made mucho bucks flipping real-estate in Florida but didn’t seem to know when it was time to stop. Tromper is what I call Miami flash, the kind of guy who looks like he would be a guest star on Miami Vice. He had the flash cars, the gold Rolex, the woman and the house on the water. My new client had one interest and that was protecting his badass boat from the repo-man.
Tromper decided he was going to take advantage of his walk away plan and make his way to the Caribbean and eventually become a PT.
PT: Perpetual Traveler/Permanent Tourist
Before Mr. Tromper could make his way out of Dodge he had to deal with his crumbling affairs. He was behind on his boat payments and wanted to sell off some assets quickly so he could pay off his loan to the boat finance company and at least not have to worry about that when he executed his walk away plan.
Walk Away Plan
If life sour it’s what you do next
I told Frank to hire a techie who could sweep the boat for any GPS or tracking devices he may not know about on the boat. Which he did and so the goal was to figure out what to do with the boat to keep it safe from the repo-people.
Remember once is nice but twice is right when it comes to deception.
To be one hundred per cent Frank hired a second techie to confirm the results of the first techie. If you are having your home or office swept for bugs have two different companies perform the task. From years of experience I have heard some shitty stories where a private investigator would show up at a location and bullshit the client about sweeping a location. It’s one of those searches that if the investigator claims there is no bug or GPS you really have no way of confirming the search results. That is why it is worth it to spend the money and get a second opinion. That is what you would do with a medical issue.
Get a second opinion!
I suggested that Mr. Frank Tromper hold a contest where qualified boaters could win the opportunity to use his boat for a certain amount of time. Frank picked a few qualified individuals and took things a step further and did some background checks on them and handed over the keys. The boat was out of his slip and far from his Miami locale of where the repo-man and skip tracers would be searching. I didn’t leave it at that and hoped that the plan would simply work. I created some DIGITAL DUPLICITY.
Digital Duplicity is the act of being digitally misleading. Frank really was not big in the social networking world so prior to hiding the boat I set up a few social networking sites and in particular I used was Twitter. I figured the skip tracer looking for the boat would do a little digital skip tracing and find his Twitter. We created a bogus itinerary where it appeared that Frank was taking going to take his boat for a trip up the eastern sea board but in reality the boat was cruising around the Gulf Coast of Texas. To learn more about DIGITAL DUPLICITY go to that chapter.
Being compassionate and also at times being in the ruts with money I figured I would go a little deeper into how to avoid the repo-people. Anytime I need to call a credit card company, finance company or bank I use my prepaid cell phone. What most people do not realize is when you call a credit card company or finance company they keep track of the numbers you are call from just in case you default. Even if your number is blocked it still shows on their caller ID because it is a toll free number you dialed.
Test it out block your number by dialing *67 to block your caller ID, then call 800.444.4444 and hear it read back your phone number. This is known as an automatic number announcement (ANAC) which is telephone numbers phone company techs use to determine the number of the phone line they are calling from. If the number does not work search ANAC online for an updated number.
Also note that sometimes your finance companies and collection agencies will have a local area code number for you to dial. DO NOT dial that number from your home, cell or work it can be a number that is attached to a toll free number and still read your blocked call.
Collection agencies are just sperm of the earth and they try to harass people into paying them. Some agencies threaten you with arrest and possible jail time. Some collection agencies have been known to contact people posing as the IRS. How do I know because one such slime bucket contacted me and assumed I would be scared but I was not afraid of him because I knew he was full of shit!
This is a pretty cool story years ago my pockets were bare of when this collector contacted me and his number showed up on caller ID. He told me he was a revenuer with the IRS and wanted to discuss my bank account and it was important for me to tell him what bank in utilized. My answer was not very kind, he did not like what I said and he went off the hook and began threatening me with jail and such. What he didn’t realize is that minute we hung up I would be pretext the phone company and soon determine his location.
It is difficult to actually identify the location of a toll free number. They really do not have physical locations like your home or business number with a local area code and exchange. Toll free numbers are portable and can ring on any number you choose them to ring at. Lucky for me I can pretext and I located exactly where the collection agency was located. I also obtained every phone number they had and just as luck would have it they were located in New Jersey just like I was at the time.
This is prior to Google Earth days and I had to use a reverse directory book that listed addresses on the same street of the collection agency. There was a small café across the street and I pretexted the café as a telephone repairman and asked if they could tell me what the front of the building looked like that was across the street.
After I gathered my intelligence I waited about two hours and called into the collection agency and identified who I was. I told the guy that I am across the street at café and I am looking at the red door which was the entrance to their small office. I told the schmuck I pulled the plates to all the cars parked in their lot. This freaked the guy out and he began to apologize to me and I told him this not the end of our communications. I hung up and never heard from that collection agency again. Never be bullied by a repo-agent or collection agency.
What Creditors or Collectors Can Not Do
Curse at you
Bombard you will calls
Imply they are with law enforcement or government agency
Imply or threaten with arrest
Contact third parties about your debt
Cannot call before 8:00 am and after 9:00 pm
If you are having a problem with an aggressive collection agency contact http://www.FTC.gov and if there are several complaint about a company they will open a case file. Look at that Frank M. Ahearn suggesting you contact big brother for help.
A word of caution about hiding your boat plan or auto from the repo-man and finance company in some states the finance company can apply for a replevin warrant.
Replevin is an action or a writ issued to recover an item of personal property wrongfully taken. Replevin, sometimes known as “claim and delivery”, is an antiquated legal remedy in which a court requires a defendant to return specific goods to the plaintiff at the beginning of the action. The advantage of a writ (order) of replevin is that it deprives the defendant of the use of the property while the case is awaiting trial, therefore increasing the likelihood of a quick settlement.
Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten!””
Frank M. Ahearn