We’ve been hearing lots of rumblings about an auto loan crisis waiting in the wings, and now USAToday says that lots are overflowing with repossessions.
So many vehicles are being snatched from owners who stop making payments that some repo operators and auto auctioneers say lots are overflowing.
This year’s predicted 10% rise in vehicle repos to 1.6 million would be a third higher than 10 years ago, says Thomas Webb, chief economist for a unit of Atlanta-based Manheim, which sells cars to dealers worldwide. The increase comes atop a 10% rise in repos last year.
Webb blames overly “generous” auto loans in the past couple of years as a key factor in driving up defaults that lead to repossessions.
“We’re experiencing significant growth in repo volume to the point where we’re using additional lots to store them,” says Tom Kontos, executive vice president of Indiana-based Adesa Auctions. “Our inventories are growing to record levels,” caused by repos on top of a glut of cars coming off leases and out of rental service
One group of people who are happy? Locksmiths. They make new keys for the repo’d cars and business is booming.