Are people who don’t pay their bills assholes, or does not paying your bills turn you into one?
That is a long title, but it is a serious question that I have been pondering the last several weeks. I haven’t had dealings with a single person yet that we have been looking for that wasn’t a total prick. Seriously. In my fist post this week, I went into what I do a little, but here we will get into the nitty gritty of it all. So, to start, I get a file from the bank. That file is just a piece of paper with some info on it including what type of car we are looking for, the make, model, year and color; next is the amount that is owed on the car and how many days past due the payment is; then there is the persons address and if you are lucky it has some alternate addresses for people like family member or friends. This sounds pretty straight forward, but it rarely is. Usually these people have given bunk addresses or they have moved or are staying at a friend’s house or the info you have is completely wrong all together. To illustrate the point I will talk about a particular file that I have been trying to work right now. We will call this gentleman Brad.
So Brad has given us an address, and it isn’t right. The skip tracers have gathered a few new addresses for me including his mom’s address, his sisters, his brothers and his in-laws. I don’t know how they got this information, and I don’t really care. I start out with his “permanent” address. I go by his apartment building and knock on the door, no one answers. So I peek in and it doesn’t look like anyone lives there. So I knock on the neighbor’s door. This can be a little tricky, because you can’t outright say, hey I am looking for this car because your neighbor hasn’t paid their bills. But here is what you can do. So I knock on the door and this is how the conversation essentially plays out.
Me: Hi, my name is Taylor and I am from the Bank and I am looking for your neighbor Brad. Do you know if he still lives here?
Now as I am speaking I make sure that my paperwork that clearly says “repossession order” on it is held low enough for this neighbor to see. Sometimes I will even drop the paperwork if they don’t look down at first, so that they look and see what it is. The neighbor says something like..
Neighbor: Uh, who did you say you are?
Me: My name is Taylor from the bank, have you seen a silver Dodge Durango in the parking lot?
Neighbor: Oh, you mean Brad my asshole neighbor? Man that guy is a prick. He just up and left one day, didn’t give notice or anything, he just moved and when he was moving out he broke one of my light fixtures when he was moving a couch. I came out and told him he needed to replace it and he told me to shut my fucking mouth. What a dick. He used to work at the Starbucks around the corner, so you could check there.
Me: Thanks a lot. If you happen to see him around, he comes back for anything, then call the number on this card. If you help us find his car there may be a reward in it for you.
Neighbor: Awesome. That guy is a total prick. I would like nothing more than to help you take that dickheads car.
So, here I have gained a few useful bits of information. First off, he doesn’t live in this apartment anymore, and he just bailed without telling the management he was moving out. This is good because I can now tell the bank that they need to start looking for a new home address because the one they have is wrong, and it is also good because since he dicked over the property management at the apartment building they may be willing to help me out as well. Also, I may know where he works, so I am going to definitely go check out the Starbucks around the corner to see if he works there. But first I will check with the property management, which I do, but they don’t have any info for me accept that Brad is an asshole, which I have already figured out. But I leave them my card, and tell them to call the number if they see him around. So now I have two people on the lookout for someone who has screwed them over.
Next I head over to the Starbucks. I go in, order a coffee and then ask if Brad still works there. Immediately one of the workers asks me why, I tell them I am from the bank and I am looking for him. Here is what the woman at Starbucks has to say.
Starbucks Lady: No, that asshole got fired a few weeks ago. He was stealing money. Plus, he was a jerk. He was always late, he was always screwing up orders and he was rude to customers.
So I ask her if she sees him or his car to call and I give her a card. I now have three disgruntled people looking for Brad and his silver Dodge Durango. Also, how the hell can a kid working at Starbucks afford to get a loan for a Durango? Oh wait, he can’t which is why I am looking for it.
Do you see a pattern here? This isn’t an isolated incident either. I would say 4 out of 5 times I get the same type of story about these people from their neighbors and acquaintances.
So, this story ends with one of the people at his apartment building calling the repo guy and saying Brad’s car was in the parking lot. Apparently he left some shit in his apartment and he went back to the property manager to try and get it. The guy I work with, who has the tow truck, rolled up while Brad was inside trying to get his stuff back and the car was snatched. That right there was a cool $75 for me for about an hours worth of entertainment; it wasn’t even work because it was hilarious hearing all these different people talk shit about this guy.
So I ask you: Are people who don’t pay their bills assholes or does not paying your bills turn you into one? I will explore this question further in my next installment where I will talk about the spurned in-laws that I spoke to about another upstanding deadbeat we are trying to find and thanks for reading.