A recovery specialist works for a repossession and recovery company that is hired by a lending institution to recover assets. This may occur if a person purchases a vehicle, home, or other item with money from a lender, but that person fails to pay back the money that was loaned. A recovery specialist will then be hired to locate the items and repossess them for the lender. This job can be dangerous and complicated, and while it is not necessary to have any specific level of education in order to work for such companies, a high school education is usually preferred.
A college education in criminal justice may also be preferred by companies looking to hire a recovery specialist, and it is likely the candidate will also need a commercial driver's license and some self-defense training. Some companies may require firearms training as well. The recovery specialist may operate wreckers or tow trucks, as well as larger hauling vehicles that are designed to recover vehicles or other items with or without the consent of the person who committed to the loan. The lender technically owns these items, so the recovery specialist will be hired by the rightful owner of the vehicle or item to recover it from the person who took out the loan.
Repossession can be a difficult process, as the recovery specialist may first have to locate the item to be recovered. This may involve research and reconnaissance, and once the item is located, the specialist may have to interact with the person currently in possession of that item. These interactions can be intense, and conflicts are common. The specialist may be trained in self-defense in case such interactions become violent, and the specialist must also be trained how to recover vehicles quickly and safely.
Law enforcement agencies may be involved with the investigation and repossession of items, so the recovery specialist may need to interact with these agencies regularly. This means the specialist must obey all local laws and regulations at all times during the recovery process, and he or she may need to get clearance from local law enforcement agencies before taking part in any recovery processes. If the repossession involves taking items from a person or group engaged in illegal activities, the specialist will generally need to consult the police or other law enforcement agencies before conducting any type of recovery services.