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Auto repossessions down; is it a temporary lull? P.1

An auto auction and remarketing company reports that auto repossessions declined in 2012, especially when compared to the number of repos recorded in 2009. Manheim Consulting estimates that roughly 1.3 million cars were repossessed last year nationwide, according to a USA Today story in The News Journal.

That reportedly is a 31.8 percent drop from the peak recorded in 2009. Experian says that in the fourth quarter last year, repossessions of automobiles declined 27.6 percent from the number reported during the same time frame in 2011.

Commentators suggest that different forces may be involved in the recent decline in automobile repossessions. Many consumers are keeping up with their car payments in recent months, which commentators report is one factor.

However, after the economic crunch hit the nation's economy, money became tighter and fewer people were in the auto financing market during the Great Recession and its immediate aftermath. With fewer new loans on the market a few years ago, fewer consumers could potentially face the repo man.

A chief economist for Manheim believes that the current drop in repossessions may be a short-term phenomenon. He believes that repos may turn back around as more and more consumers are re-entering the auto market.

Many Ohio residents took on debt during the economic downturn in an effort to weather the storm. In the next post, this blog will continue discussing auto repossessions, including what commentators believe may be influencing the downturn in repos in recent months.

Source: The News Journal, "It's hard out there now for a repo man," Chris Woodyard--USA Today, Feb. 22, 2013

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