February 16, 2008
Car and truck repossessions this year are headed for the highest level in at least a decade, thanks to easy credit and a faltering economy, says an economist for one of the largest wholesale auto auction services.
So many vehicles are being snatched from owners who stop making payments that some repo operators and auto auctioneers say lots are overflowing.
This year’s predicted 10% rise in vehicle repos to 1.6 million would be a third higher than 10 years ago, says Thomas Webb, chief economist for a unit of Atlanta-based Manheim, which sells cars to dealers worldwide. The increase comes atop a 10% rise in repos last year.
Webb blames overly “generous” auto loans in the past couple of years as a key factor in driving up defaults that lead to repossessions.