SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A repo man said Tuesday that tough economic times are forcing people who can't afford to make their car payments to resort to desperate measures to keep their cars.
Matt Davis was hired by Summerville car dealer Gralin Hampton to find some of Hampton's customers who refuse to pay.
"Been shot at in Walterboro a couple of times, I've had my feet run over," Davis said.
Hampton has been in the car business for a long time. Hampton finances many of his customers who buy from his Summerville lot.
"Normally when people can't pay they surrender their car," Hampton said.
He says during hard times, some find out they can't afford the monthly payments. Hampton called the people who won't pay, "skips."
"People are not paying and intentionally hiding the car and running with the car," Hampton said.
The car dealer keeps files on those folks. Right now Hampton has roughly nine people who fall into the skip category.
"We have a higher number of people who will hide cars and be very abusive to the repo person when we try to get them in," Hampton said.
Davis added that the desperate drivers are making his job more dangerous and difficult.
"They either put them in the garages, in the backyard, over the fence," Davis said. "Sometimes other people are driving them, they just give it to somebody else to drive, it's nuts, honestly it is."
When Davis does find the car and the person who is supposed to be paying on it, sometimes it gets downright dangerous. He had his feet run over by one man who refused to give his car up.
Hampton said he has roughly nine cases of people intentionally hiding cars to avoid paying him. He said it will probably cost his business roughly $100,000.
"It's kind of a frustrating situation," Hampton said.