How do I Become a Repossession Agent?

Terrie Brockmann

When a person wants to become a repossession agent, he or she needs to investigate the local laws governing the repossession industry. This generally is the first step because some regulations restrict who can become a repossession agent. For example, New Zealand's Credit (Repossession) Act 1997 states that convicted criminals cannot be repossession agents; many other regions have similar laws. An agent often needs to be licensed, insured, and/or bonded. The best way to gather this knowledge typically is to call or visit local law authorities who should have the contact information for the agency governing repossession agencies.

A repo agent may repossess automobiles.
A repo agent may repossess automobiles.

Another way to find data on the local laws and regulations about repossession is by contacting a local repossession agency. Many successful agents suggest that if a person wants to become a repossession agent that he or she should work for an established agency. While working for another repossession business, a person can learn how to be an efficient agent. Establishing a reputation for being a responsible agent is usually one of the best ways to earn the trust of the local financial businesses that hire repossession agents. A person sometimes can have the equipment and the knowledge of how to start a repossession agency, but not get the contracts necessary to keep the business lucrative.

A special driver's license may be required to become a repossession agent.
A special driver's license may be required to become a repossession agent.

A person can learn the trade through a hands-on apprenticeship or through schooling; sometimes, local laws dictate how a person learns to become a repossession agent. If schooling is required, there are accredited schools where he or she can learn how to become a repossession agent. An Internet search reveals that there are numerous schools that offer training, but a person needs to choose a fully accredited school — there are many fraudulent companies offering bogus schooling. Another good reason to work for a repossession agent as an apprentice is that some agencies reimburse a person for schooling at an authorized school.

Unless he or she is working for another agency, a repossession agent will need certain equipment. A repossession agent usually needs a vehicle, such as a tow truck or a vehicle dolly caster system, and often a special driver's license to operate the tow truck. Some tow trucks are equipped with a tire or wheel lift device, which lessens the damage to the towed vehicle. There is special towing equipment that can be attached to pick-up trucks; some of this equipment stows away so that people do not know the truck is a repossession vehicle. The initial investment in starting a business can be expensive.

A person usually needs to consider the rigors of the job before he or she commits to becoming a repossession agent. From television and movie stories, people think the repossession business is a glamorous occupation. The truth is that, aside from an occasional irate vehicle owner, the job is often boring and repetitive. Generally, the best agents avoid confrontation during the repossession.

The job usually entails a great deal of paperwork. Industry regulations often require an agent to notify local law authorities either before or after taking the vehicle. Frequently, a repossession agent needs to file paperwork with the lending institution and sometimes with regional legal or banking bureaus.

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