Cash for Clunkers aftermath may mean big bucks for some

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Dealers across the country are still recovering from a Cash for Clunkers hangover. But, for some businesses the headache caused by the government-sponsored program may soon mean big bucks.

It's a tough job, but Chad Crear says somebody has to do it.

"You are actually going to someone's house and picking up something they have paid for you know a year or two years," said Crear, with Task Force of Texas, a repossession company.

The company he works for is picking up more cars than ever before. Driven by the recession. In July 2008, Task Force of Texas repossessed about 300 cars. A year later: 425 cars.

And, Crear says in six months, he'll be cashing in even more, courtesy of Cash for Clunkers.

"Now that you have this money that is freed up and you go out and purchase a new car, you don't know if you are going to be able to pay for it or not - especially with this economy," said Crear. "It has pretty much signed our paychecks for the next two or three years."

Tom Mullins is with the Tyler Economic Development Council.

"I'm not sure that would be the case," said Mullins.

He says there isn't a direct correlation between Crear's profit and Cash for Clunkers.

"The car dealers financed the car or the buyer went to a bank for a loan, they are going to have to prove that they can pay for it," said Mullins. "I think the underwriting requirements are the same whether or not people are trading clunkers in or making regular transactions."

He says if people can't pay off loans, it's not the program's fault.

"If you are in a recession and you have lost your job or you are worried about losing your job, you are going to restrict your spending," said Mullins. "You might have to make a decision. What do I pay this month? Do I pay the utility bills or the car payment?"

Either way, Crear says his lot is full - despite a tough economy. Tom Mullins said that if your finances are tight and you're afraid of repossession, meet with a financial advisor for help to re-budget your income.

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