Saturday, May 17, 2008

Weird Facts: Bentleys, Porsches And Other Top Line Cars Repo'd In Record Numbers

weird facts - In his 40-some-year career, recovery agent Hank Leleu has witnessed enough economic downturns to know how they'll play out. Once people start missing payments on their "toys," a storm starts brewing. He knows that just from experience.

The country has fallen on hard times once during each of the decades of Leleu's career, and he says it's always the same story.

When times are good, people buy, often beyond their means. When times are bad, as is now the case in the U.S., debt collectors and recovery agents come calling. In a sense, they're profiting from other people's misery, and there's usually plenty to go around.

There's something different about this one though, Leleu says, particularly about the people who are receiving these calls.

"It seems like no one is really exempt from this cycle," says Leleu, who operates ARB Las Vegas.

From November 2006 to March 2007, ARB was averaging a recovery of 43 high-line cars a month. For the same period a year later, ARB averaged 55 high-line cars a month. These figures include brand names such as Mercedes, Porsche and Bentley.

Leleu says that a year ago, approximately 75% of the cars recovered were C- and E-class Mercedes Benz, carrying sticker prices of $35,000 to $80,000. A year later, the numbers are up by 28% or so, but the true picture here is that now 75% of the high-line cars ARB is recovering are valued in the range of $100,000 to $500,000.

We're pulling cars from mortgage bankers, real-estate firms," Leleu says. "We're talking about upper-echelon people. It's like nobody seems to have that savings or extra borrowing ability to get them over the hump."

There has been no clear forecast on the size of this hump. Until we're on the other side, people who profit from others' financial losses, whether they operate pawnshops or run bankruptcy law firms, will thrive. It's nothing personal; it's just business, and a countercyclical one at that. These are industries that see a spike in demand during the economic downside.

[Via - Moneycentral]

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