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Negotiating Surrender

Some repossession agents are able to negotiate surrender of vehicles much more effectively than others. We interviewed some of the best repossession agents from across the nation and have compiled their best negotiating tips they had to offer.

Here are the top ten tips for negotiating with a debtor to surrender their collateral:

10. Don't make the repossession personal. Do not use the word "I" while negotiating with a debtor to surrender their collateral. For example do not say "I am here to repossess your car", instead say "the bank hired my company to repossess your car". This may seem insignificant but it helps gives you the ability to befriend the debtor and get him to give you their car.

9. Remain calm and in control of your emotions. Let the debtor get excited and nervous, it's your job to make him feel that way. Many debtors will act like idiots trying to get the repossessor to also act like an idiot. That just gives the debtor something else to debate with you about.

8. Do not use profanity at all, in any form when negotiating with a debtor to surrender their collateral. Since we are all professional repossessors this should go without having to be said. It doesn't matter how many f-bombs the debtor drops, you must always remain professional. If you do swear, the debtor will certainly inform the banker what a foul mouthed repossessor you were, regardless of how many f-bombs he dropped on you.

7. Listen to the debtor's sad story and express compassion for their situation. Many a debtor has simply handed over their keys after they felt like they told their side of the story, and had some genuinely listen to their plight.

6. Advise the lien holder before you demand surrender, that you are about to demand surrender. This way the banker is prepared to back you up when the debtor calls them telling them that you are there to repossess their car. The banker is then prepared to tell the debtor that they have been given every opportunity to pay the account current. It is now time for the debtor to surrender the collateral to you, the repossession agent.

5. Notify the local police that you are going to be confronting the debtor and demanding surrender of their collateral. With smaller police departments it can be very useful to actually stop in the police station and talk to them face to face. Often times, the local police will be able to let you know that your car is impounded or that the debtor's nephew is driving the car you are trying to repossess.

4. Dress for success. You don't have to put on a suit and tie to demand surrender from a debtor, but certainly ripped and greasy jeans are equally inappropriate. A good pair of jeans and a work shirt is the appropriate attire.

3. Pick an appropriate time of day to knock and demand the collateral from your debtor. Don't expect to get positive results if you are knocking the debtor's door at 3:00 AM. Most repossession services agree that the early evening hours (5:00 PM - 9:00 PM) are most productive hours to knock and demand. Many repossession agents have noted that weekdays are better than weekends for demanding surrender.

2. Have a professional business card ready to give to the debtor. Many times the debtor will refuse to give you the collateral at that moment, but after they calm down and think it through they will call you back and let you repossess their car.

1. In child psychology, you should not tell a child what to do, (Clean your room). Instead you should give a child a choice (Clean your room or you don't get to watch TV tonight). Most debtor's are obviously not children, however this little piece of child psychology is very effective when it comes to demanding a debtor surrender the collateral to you.

The best demand for surrender is as follows:

Hello, my name is Johnny Repo (not a real person). The credit union that holds the lien on your truck has hired us to repossess their collateral. The truck has been up for repossession for over 30 days and the credit union wanted to talk to you before they get the sheriff involved in the case. Essentially sir you have three options you can take on this situation: Option one is to immediately pay the credit union off in full and they will release their lien and send you the title. Option two is that you voluntarily surrender the truck to me now. Option three is that if you do not immediately take option one or two, the credit union is going to file a replevin. That is a court ordered seizure of the collateral. The judge will bang his gavel and direct a sheriff to come and seize the collateral, or take you into custody for failing to comply with the court order. The replevin action will cost approximately $2,500. The credit union will hold you liable for these costs and end up suing you for the additional money. Reassure the debtor that this is not the course that the credit union wants to take, but that the debtor's actions have left them no choice.

What's your opinion?

Reader Comments:

Randy says: Where were you 10 years ago with this information? This is some of the most informative repossession service information I have ever read. I am adopting every one of these strategies into my repossession work.

RepoDan says: This is great information. I went and demanded 2 vehicles yesterday that were up for repossession, and both debtors handed me over the keys. Repo Times is the best source for repossession information, and repossession news.

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