From The Miami Herald.
When the repo man showed up, “Baby” lost her ride.
The little Pomeranian dog loved to curl up on 82-year-old Stanford Kipping’s lap when he and his wife Patty, 70, went for a drive. But in recent months a sharp increase in the cost of prescription medicine and other bills were more than a match for the couple’s fixed incomes. With several $95 a month car payments left unpaid on their 1998 Buick, the repo man, Jim Ford of Belleville, stopped his tow truck in front of their house.
Ford, 41, ought to have turned into a cynical, bitter man, he said. After all, he had been shot at several times when repossessing vehicles, including once when he was lying on the ground hooking up a tow chain, and a man let fly with a rifle inches from his head.
“I never even saw him but I felt the flash and tasted gunpowder in my mouth,” Ford said.
But Ford, co-owner of Illini Recovery Inc., is different. He said he knocks on doors to tell folks what’s going on and allow them a chance to remove personal items. “I may be getting soft in my old age, but you get more done with kindness,” he said.
Ford had met with the Kippings. In fact he tried to work out a deal with the bank for them to keep their car, but it was a no go. It was the hook for the Buick.
“When I got home that night, I said to myself, ‘They are a real nice elderly couple. I gotta do something. I can’t just take their car,’ ” Ford said.
Then he did something that surely broke the hard code of ethics for repo men; he decided that he would pay off the Kippings’ debt and return their car to their driveway.