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Repo Man?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Repo Man?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 5, 2011

Had a lot of fun yesterday going to a southwest Chicago suburb and repo-ing a car. Well, it's wasn't quite a "repo", but close enough to look like it.

The person who had the car wouldn't return it. A demand letter from a local attorney provoked no response and no return of the vehicle, which had been taken from Woodstock late last summer, using a Power of Attorney, plus a little intimidation (or maybe a lot of).

The person with the superior right to the car went to a town near Joliet. We didn't have the key, because the person with the P/A had taken the only key to the car. We couldn't get a key made in advance, because of the computerized key for that make and model of vehicle.

I had gotten excellent advice from the Secretary of State's DMV office via its toll-free number. I got incorrect advice from the Woodstock DMV, and subsequently the Secretary of State Police offices in Rockford and Springfield confirmed the initial advice from Springfield DMV telephone line.

When we arrived at the location where we had suspected the car might be parked, we found it without any difficulty. We called a Will County sheriff's deputy, and he attempted to get the key but could not reach the person who had it. He had no objection to our having the vehicle towed, and we used a tow company at the end of the block. The vehicle was dragged up onto the flatbed tow truck, and off we went to the dealership eight miles away. And what a break on towing, too: $65 to load the vehicle, plus $3.00 per mile.

Although Currie Ford's service department (Frankfort, Ill.) closed at 5:00PM and we arrived at 5:30PM, they helped us and made a new key while we went across the road for dinner. That was real service, and we avoided a second 160-mile roundtrip!

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