CHAPTER 17 Repo #1

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

My phone rang first thing in the morning.

"When you left last night, did you notice if the truck was there?" asked my Dad.

We had dinner and watched a movie together the night before. Since we lived so close, I had walked to and from my house to theirs through the old apple orchard. It helped me feel better when we were together doing every day normal stuff. They were the only little moments when life felt almost sane despite everything.

"I don't know. I don't think I even looked for it when I left. And with the motion sensor spotlight on, it was hard to see in that direction."

"Well, we were behind on our payments," my Dad said.

"Maybe you should call the Bank before you call to report the truck stolen," I replied.

Sure enough the Bank said the truck had been repossessed after two months of non-payment. Luckily we had it around to help move their stuff out of the A-Frame before the Lock-Out.

"Did you have anything in the truck?" I asked.

"A few tools," Dad said.

"So what happens to all that stuff? All the insurance papers, and your tools?"

"I don't know. But I don't think they're going to be sending it back to me."

"Wow. Imagine if you had real valuables in there."

"I don't think they care. They probably just care about getting the car back without having a problem. Maybe they sell what they can and the rest gets trashed," Dad replied.

It made me think about people with young children who had expensive car seats in them or valuable tools. Or maybe they only had one car and it was their sole means of transportation for a job. I could only imagine what having a car repossessed would be like for them.

That afternoon we went down to the coffee shop for the daily internet hit. Mom and I were scrambling to do our taxes before the deadline. We were both thankful that neither of us had had a big year because it meant we didn't owe anything. But I was aghast when I discovered I owed the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, after making less than eight thousand U.S. dollars the year before.

Years prior the IRS hadn't bothered me. But now they were coming after me for their piece, what little piece they could get for Social Security and Medicare. They hit me harder because I was in business for myself. I would have been happier to pay it out towards health care insurance, which I didn't have at all. As far as I was concerned the Social Security system was a joke.

Later that evening Dad was driving down the main road into the Farm. He pulled over when he encountered a truck with a trailer about one hundred yards from the main gate. He said he got a bad feeling inside as he was driving up to the truck.

"Can I help you?" he asked the men.

"No. We're going down to the house," they replied.

They were headed to the A-Frame, the same house on Parcel A that we'd had the Lock-Out on.

"Who are you?" Dad asked.

"We've been sent by the Bank. We're going to change the locks and load everything up that was left inside the house," they replied.

"Well, if you work for the Bank I want to see some documentation that proves that and says the Bank has given you authorization to access the property," Dad replied.

The guy driving the truck had nothing on paper to show and gave Dad a fumbled reply.

"Because I don't know who you are. I've never heard of you and I'll bet neither has the real estate agent in charge of this property. So if you step one foot on this property, I'm calling the Sheriff's and getting you thrown in jail."

They were definitely unsettled by the encounter with Dad and turned their truck and trailer around and drove off.

"So who do you think they were Dad?" I asked.

"I have no idea. But I can tell you Larry [the real estate agent for Parcel A] didn't send them because he would have told me."

"Jesus."

They must be scavengers. The kind of people that circle the wake of a disaster looking for a quick buck or an opportunity to pick up valuables that can be sold or added to their collection.

And with the foreclosures happening all over the country, it was not hard to fathom that some were getting fat off the carnage of other people's lives. I tried to imagine all the people packing up and leaving their homes, taking only the bare essentials, what they could carry, and what they could fit into their cars. Drifting on endless roads trying to find another place to belong...another place to call home.


"With the U.S. dealing with an economic slide that has cost millions of jobs, the number of vehicle repossessions is expected to rise 5 percent this year. That's after it jumped 12 percent to 1.67 million nationally in 2008, said Tom Webb, chief economist with Manheim Consulting, an automotive marketing firm. That followed a 9 percent increase in 2007, creating more opportunities for bad outcomes in an industry where armed confrontations and threats happen every day."

Jay Reeves

The Huffington Post


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