I spent over twenty years repossessing vehicles throughout the state of Arizona. Many of those years were spent with my brother, Mike, seated next to me. During those long, and sometimes dramatic nights, we encountered guns, baseball bats, dogs, car alarms, and plenty of angry threats from those who felt they were exempt from car payments. We also saw firsthand the sad consequences a lack of financial knowledge or planning inflicts upon families. These latter experiences eventually induced me to become an attorney focusing primarily on essential estate planning documents. I decided I no longer wanted to be a “consequence” of financial hardship, but a “solution”, assisting families in protecting their loved ones from the “what ifs” that almost inevitably occur in life.
I like to think the Law Office of James J. Jones, PLLC is something of a reflection of the way Mike thought of others. He loved his family and looked for opportunities to spend time with them in unique ways. He also reached out to almost anyone who needed a little help or encouragement. Although it seems counter intuitive to imagine a repo man having compassion for others, Mike pulled it off in a way that still influences who I am today.
Just before Christmas in 1998, Mike was killed by a drunk driver racing the wrong way on the freeway. He left behind a wife and four small children. The funeral procession to the cemetery included tow trucks from all over the state of Arizona as the industry paid its final respects. Had we thought of it at the time, we would have placed Mike’s casket on the back of a flatbed tow truck for his final drive home. He would have liked that.
Following Mike’s death, I spent a year recording many of the experiences we shared repossessing and impounding vehicles. As Mike would often leave slightly exaggerated notes for our parents relating what had happened during our nightly adventures, I chose to write my recollections in a similar manner. It is my intent to periodically share these adventures on this site as I remember my former life as a repo man with my brother.