Entering the industry as a Repossession Agent
Many enter the repossessions area from a previous career in law enforcement, finance or credit management, however, there is no one ideal background to guarantee success as a repossession agent. You might come from a career in administration, finance, industry, hospitality, retail, sales or security.
The work of a repossession agent involves attending at various places including residences, businesses and work places for the purpose of making demands for settlement of outstanding arrears on a debt or else to seek the surrender of security goods such as vehicles, caravans, boats, trucks etc.
Many repossessions are halted at the doorstep when the debtor provides cash, bank cheque or evidence of an EFT transaction to clear the outstanding arrears. In the event resolution of the debt cannot be achieved at the doorstep it is the repossession agent's responsibility to effect repossession in a professional manner and in accordance with instructions from the client and in keeping with the various legislation including the ASIC/ACCC Debt Collection Guideline which reflects obligations under the Australian Consumer Law introduced in 2011, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, and privacy laws and principles.
Once goods are repossessed they are towed or carted by an independent contractor to an auction room in accordance with the financier's instructions. In the event buildings or land are repossessed, the repossession agent is involved in securing the premises after the occupants have been ejected by a Bailiff or Sheriffs Officer and arranging a locksmith to re-secure the premises to prevent re-entry by the debtor/occupier.
Typically, a competent and successful repossession agent will possess:
- Maturity, honesty, integrity and a fine sense of ethics;
- Good people skills including the ability to empathise with others;
- Good communication skills;
- A firm but friendly manner;
- Patience, tact and persistence;
- An ability to negotiate; and
- A consistent work methodology.
A common question is whether a repossession agent (being a collector) requires an Australian Credit Licence issued pursuant to the National Consumer Credit Protection Act, 2009 - a permanent exemption for collectors from that licensing was issued by a regulatory change in June 2010, whereas those engaged in debt purchasing must hold an Australian Credit Licence.
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