(WXYZ) — Gas prices are finally trending down and the average price for gas dropped below $4 per gallon in metro Detroit this week.
But, other costs are still way up, and many people are having trouble paying their bills.
Unfortunately for some, that’s led to a new trend, the repo agents getting more business.
At Rockwood Recovery in Roseville, Jenny Liagre the co-owner and current president of the Michigan Association of Repossession Agencies said business has been booming.
“Are you seeing a lot more repossessions right now than, say, you were even a few months ago?” I asked.
“Absolutely. Absolutely. Everything seemed to change at the end of May around Memorial Day. We just did double what we normally would do for June and July,” Liagre said.
She points to the expiration of COVID-19 unemployment benefits last year, and inflation.
“People have to make a decision. Are they going to make their house payment? Are they going to put food on the table? Or are they going to make the car payment?” Liagre said.
She said Detroit has always had a high auto default rate, but now, she’s seeing a rise in repossessions outside of Detroit.
“Which suburbs are you seeing more repossessions?” I asked.
“Places we wouldn’t normally see them: West Bloomfield, Farmington, River Rouge, Ann Arbor,” Liagre said.
Rockwood Recovery uses mobile-mounted license plate recognition cameras to scan for vehicles up for repossession. But, they can’t do it anywhere.
“Any place that they can find that vehicle and take possession of that vehicle without trespassing, they can do so,” Ian Lynglip, a consumer protection attorney in Oak Park, said.