Possessed by His Job as a Repo Man

Larry Pittman is one reality star you love to watch on TV, but would never want to meet in person. If he's ringing your doorbell, it's not to bring you good news. More likely it's to repossess your car, boat or jet ski. Although people run the other way when they see the star of 'Repossessed!' coming, Pittman says his business is addicting. "It's not just a job, it's a lifestyle," he confesses.

-- See the average salary of a repossession agent.

"We all complain about it, we scream and holler, but every time we walk away, we come right back to it," says the owner of JAM Recovery, whose exploits air Wednesdays at 10PM ET on the National Geographic Channel.



Which begs the question, "Why?" after all, as Pittman so succinctly puts it: "We make a living off of other people's misery." He says he goes through bouts of depression, sparked by arriving at someone's house to repossess their car, and finding an eviction notice on their door. Those types of scenarios never have a happy ending. "But at the end of the week, I gotta eat too," he says.


The cons

There are even some places Pittman just refuses to go. "No matter how desperate I am for a paycheck, I'm not going to repossess a big screen TV on a Saturday morning when the kids are sitting in front of it eating cereal and watching cartoons," he says. But just knowing that those types of situations exist and that someone is going to do it can really bring you down, according to Pittman.

Not only does he deal with tragic situations on a daily -- sometimes hourly -- basis, but those hours are extremely erratic. Often Pittman has to go out in the middle of the night to find the property he needs to repossess at the corresponding address. "We live this thing 24/7," he says. "We sleep sporadically. Sometimes I'm up for two or three days at a clip." Those types of hours can't help but take their tolls on relationships. Pittman says his business is partially responsible for his split with his wife.


The pros

In essence, it's "the thrill of the hunt" that seems to possess Pittman and his colleagues. "I know guys who got into it to pay their way through school, got advanced degrees and those degrees are sitting in a drawer -- they came right back to it," he says. "I know a woman who gets her hair styled and her nails done every week, and you'd never know she's a repo, but she really knows how to move a man, and she can drive a tow truck."

Pittman also loves the diversity. He's repossessed everything from a hot dog cart to a hearse (twice), and he revels in setting up a sting. A particularly clever one came in repossessing an airplane. "You can't just hook it up to a truck and drive it down the street," he said. That one involved renting a hanger at the airport and hiding the plane.

You'd think that during a recession, Pittman's business would be booming, but he says it's a constant struggle. Sure, there are plenty of items to repossess, but "you can't repossess what you can't find" -- and when times get tough, people get more resourceful and hide things better.


The revolution

The internet, however, has revolutionized the repossession industry, Pittman claims. "You can find anything on the internet." He says that when he started out in the business, he would go through people's trash to find clues, such as addresses or letters, leading to where the item might be hidden. Now that public records and all sorts of databases are online, most of the necessary information is right at your fingertips.

In addition, Pittman's son, Mackie, who recently joined his father in the family business, has introduced his dad to all sorts of helpful new high-tech gadgets, which are featured in a number of episodes this season. A motion-activated infrared camera snaps photos and sends them to Pittman's Blackberry, securing the evidence necessary to confront the owner of a Lincoln, which eliminates the need for a time-consuming stakeout. And a tracking device enables the team to nab a high-end boat before it is hidden away in storage for the winter.

Pittman has repossessed everything from a Viper to a business phone system. Some days he'll confiscate eight or nine items, others none. That uncertainty and diversity are among the things that make him cling to his profession. "It's not for everyone," he admits. "But the right kind of person gets possessed by it."

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LAURA

LMAO LOVE IT SO TRUE TO BAD ITS 2013 AND IM A LIL LATE ITS A JOKE NOW ITS ALL ABOUT A SPANISH GUY WHO SHOT A BLACK KID AND THE BLACKS ARE MAKING ALL ABOUT RACE GIVE ME A BREAK

July 14 2013 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kevin.gor

Hello Everyone,

I'd like to introduce a new resource for all Repo employees and companies. We've just launched repomanjobs.com for all to use.

Repo men can post their resumes online. By doing so, employers can constantly be seeing your resume, this will increase your changes of getting a call and hopefully hired. Please go to repomanjobs.com, and "Post Your Resume".

Employers get unlimited access to our entire database of candidates. No limits.

Any questions? please feel free to contact kevin@repomanjobs.com

thanks everyone!

February 22 2013 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
v.rushing

First, Larry Pittman is soooo handsome!! His job is what it is, a job. In order to be successful, you have to do what you have to do to make a living. At least he is not robbing people like new and used car salesmen do. Cars are no where near worth the amount they rob us for. Keep on keepin on Mr. Pittman!!! Love ya!!!

December 25 2012 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amy Jackson

Larry Pittman job is not a easy one,as he has mentioned I sure that he has sympothized with a lot of his repo's,and that he understand what a lot of people go thru doing this process, he does not seem to be proud of doing this job, he just has a job that must be done, we all are victims of jobs we love & hate,at one time or another but we make the best of what has to be done because this is what we have to do.

May 25 2010 at 2:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce

What about those car salesmen who push to sell at 50 dollars a week,doesn't sound like much but it's 200 a month one bad month where the kid needs antibiotics wham bam repo sell to the next customer hec they can sell and repo sell and repo time and time again what about responsible lending, and what about the near ileagal interest rates

May 19 2010 at 8:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TELL THE TRUTH

I SEE THERE IS MIXED REVIEWS ABOUT REPO EMPLOYMENT. I KNOW A FEW PEOPLE IN THIS BUSINESS AND NONE OF THEM HAVE ANYTHING GOOD TO SAY ABOUT LARRY PITTMAN. I PERSONALY THINK HES A WAIST OF AIR. HEY LOOK AT ME I'M A MOVIE STAR...LOL! EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES GOES TO BANKRUPT.

ANSWER ME THIS, HOW IS IT THAT A "REPOMAN" WHO HAS HIS OWN TV SHOW GETS HIS OWN STUFF REPOED? YES, PEOPLE HE HAS HAD HIS REPO TRUCK TAKEN HIS HARLEY TAKEN...WOW, HE'S HAD EVEN THE APARTMENTS HE RENTED REPOED. THE SHOW IS A JOKE! THE JACKET HE WEAQRS WITH LEGEND HARLEY DAVIDSON EVEN WENT OUT OF BUSINESS..GIVE ME A BREAK! BEWARE PEOPLE LARRY PITTMAN IS A SCAM ARTIST HE MAY SEEM LIKE A LIGIT. GUY BUT HE WILL TAKE YOU FOR A RIDE...TRUST ME... LARRY TELL THE TRUTH...WAIT...DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT IS?

May 19 2010 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tastadr

Things shouldn't have to be repossessed. If we can continue to pay for them, we should give them back to the owner. If you don't buy things on credit, you won't ever have to worry about getting them repossessed.

May 18 2010 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Roger

I really don't have much use for a repo man, but there are ways of avoiding having 1 come to pay you a visit. I've never financed anything other than realestate and vehicles, and then made sure I would be able to make the payments. I haven't financed a vehicle since 1982. A person doesn't have to have the nicest care to have something to get from point A to point B, and that's all a vehicle is for. Anyone who thinks they need a new car every couple years or so for status, has been listening to too many car salesmen.
I have a couple credit cards that I use on a revolving setup. I pay them off every month before the payment is due, so I pay no interest, and never have to worry about getting behind on payments. If I can't pay it off that way I don't buy the item. Doing things this way, I have more "stuff" than the average person, and I don't need to worry about losing it. I know this doesn't follow the live on credit lifestyle we have been so used to having crammed down our throats and even had the goverment for a prime example, but it works. One of these years, the goverment will have a repo man visit them too.

May 18 2010 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dean

Anyone that would enjoy being a repo is a first class ass hole such as Larry Pittman.

May 18 2010 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alberta timmons

it sad to lose your life belongings because u lost your job or got sick. i know very well i had a stoke. I paid my bills 2 payment a head of time each month did everything right even make arrangement for a settlement 3years ago now in 2010 they gave my account to another credit company they are howling me again. i believe if the company has collect more then all their money and u have a great lost they should not be able to collect all the remaining money. take it for a lost.

May 18 2010 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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