Monday, August 04, 2014

When Repos Go Bad

Let me regale you with a story, Dear Reader. A story of what could go wrong, going very very wrong indeed. Almost.

As is customary, let me begin by reminding you how much I hate repossessions.

A lot!

And this is why.

It started out a month or so earlier. I received a standard repo warrant from one of my usual clients (I only do repossessions for three or four) in regards to a Mister Brokeback* who had recently moved to Bad City from 'up north'. He'd taken with him some items that he hadn't paid for and failed to provide his new contact details to the creditor. Somehow, they had a new address for him so the issued the Warrant for 'Goods at Risk'.

I made the attendance to the address and learned that this was that of the parents of Brokeback's girlfriend, Sara Bustle*. Apparently, they had moved down together but had only stayed at this address for a couple of weeks before moving on. They didn't bring much with them from up north, and certainly not the large items we were seeking. While they didn't know where their daughter was living, they did give me her phone number. They also commented that they really didn't like Brokeback and that he was a bad influence on their daughter. One last bit of interesting information what that Sara had also recently opened an account with the same creditor, although the local branch, and had some expensive electronic items delivered to her home the previous week.

So, I called up the local branch and confirmed that delivery to Sara had been made to a local address some five days ago.

1187 Hundertwasser.**

Anyway, I phoned and spoke with Sara and she stated that she was no longer with Brokeback, had no idea as to where he was currently residing, and only had an old cellphone number for him which she provided.

Calls to the cellphone went straight to voice mail and there was no response to messages or texts so I reported this to the client and closed the file.

Until three weeks later when I read a news article about a stabbing.

At 1187 Hundertwasser.

One Sara Bustle currently held in custody.

The article also mentioned the ongoing problems that neighbours had with the occupants of the house, their incessant partying, and antisocial behaviour.

So I let the Client know and a couple of hours later received a new 'Goods at Risk' Warrant for Sara Bustle.

Right. Well, knowing that going into the address where there had just been a violent altercation was not a good idea. I arranged to rendezvous with a colleague around the corner from the address. I then contacted the police to ask for assistance, explaining the circumstances. They were unable to provide an ETA but said they would send someone as soon as possible.

In the interim, I had my colleague set up around the corner with a radio to keep track of people coming and going from the address.

An hour later the Police called back. Again, they were unable to provide an ETA but just wanted to check on several details. Okay.

In that time some four Police vehicles had driven past without stopping.

Another half hour and my colleague had to decamp and go to another job. No worries, I can go in by myself with the Police.

And then another thirty minutes before the Police call again, this time to say that they cannot make it in the foreseeable future and that I might have to wait another two hours. Which, incidentally, puts the repossession outside the legal time frame in which it must be performed.

So no backup, no police assistance, and only an hour left. Come back the following day when the goods might not be there?

That might have been the sensible option.

However, I chose to go in anyway. What's the worst that could happen, right?

Well, before I even got to the door, there was a male standing in the driveway. Turns out to be Brokeback. While I was speaking with him, another male exited the house. He became belligerent and aggressive, steadfastly obstructing me from going any further.

The situation started to escalate as the male now started to threaten to set his dogs on me and Brokeback had moved somewhere behind me out of my line of sight. It sounded like he was getting something out of his vehicle.

I figured this would be a good time to get back to the car and call the police again. Surely this time I'd get assistance.

I'm in the car on the phone and four or five people have exited the house now. Three approach my vehicle and just at that moment, a police car turns up. So I exit the vehicle and walk back to the gate. The police officer walks by and enters the property.

Meanwhile, there are nine or ten individuals now milling around outside. The males are getting all worked up and wanting to have a go right there on the street even with the police officer present.

Finally, one in the group seemed to understand that the situation was only going to get worse - probably ending in the arrest of some of his friends - so obligingly went into the house and returned with the goods, which I promptly secured in my vehicle.

Before departing, I thanked the police officer for his timely attendance and commented that I thought no police were dispatched.

Turns out they hadn't. He was there for a random curfew check and had no idea that I had requested police assistance.

This time I had just been lucky!

Oh yeah, the unidentified male that had been stabbed by Sara? Yep, it was Brokeback.

* Not their actual names.
** Not the actual address.


  1. Damn. I can see why you don't like repos.