Repo Gal: “I’ve had people pull guns on me, had angry folks yell and run after me as I drive away, had nasty notes left on my desk, and even received threatening text messages,” says nail tech and car repossession agent Brandi Melvin.
On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, you’ll find nail tech Brandi Melvin at Pin Up Salon in Springfield, Mo. “But the rest of the week, you’ll find me at a little, old, messy, car lot — not selling cars, but repossessing them,” she says. “I’ve had people pull guns on me, had angry folks yell and run after me as I drive away, had nasty notes left on my desk, and even received threatening text messages.”
The car lot — Hilltop Auto in Bolivar, Mo. — is a family business and Melvin has been doing repossessions for three years. “When I grew bored with my previous career as a pharmacy tech, I decided to hop on board at the car lot to help out my folks,” says Melvin, who has had no formal training in the job. “Common sense and a gun have done the trick for me so far. I did take a class to get my CCW, which allows me to conceal my gun.”
New technology has made her job easier. “Until a year ago, I had to track down cars the old-fashioned way — a lot of driving around in areas I thought the car might be sitting. I would use networking sites to look for any clues they may have posted in a status,” she says. “But now we use trackers. All I have to do is look up the car on the Internet, get the location, and bam! When we go to retrieve a car, we always take a car hauler in case the vehicle isn’t running, but most of the time we just take our spare key and drive it back to the lot.”