When The Tables Turn: Jude Law plays Remy, an organ repossessor who is heavily in debt after receiving his own heart transplant. Alice Braga plays Beth, a fellow debtor who teaches him how to disappear from the system. Kerry Hayes hide caption
This may sound familiar: Repo Men is actually the second film about organ repossession released in less than two years, after the 2008 goth-industrial musical Repo! A Genetic Opera. There's valuable social commentary to be mined here, but two movies into this budding subgenre, it's clear that filmmakers haven't yet moved past the shock value of violently yanking bloody organs out of living human beings. Repo Men may not be as awful as its predecessor, but that's the faintest of praise.
"For a price, any organ in your body can be replaced. But it can also be repossessed.".In the future, medical technology has advanced to the point where people can buy artificial organs to extend their lives. But if they default on payments, an organization known as the Union sends agents to repossess the organs. Remy is one of the best agents in the business, but when he becomes the recipient of an artificial heart, he finds himself in the same dire straits as his many victims.
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The specter of the repo man haunts many Americans who have fallen behind in their car payments. Some even resort to sleeping in their cars to make sure they don't get towed in the middle of the night.
The best way to avoid the repo man is to stop the repossession process before it starts. Repossessions are costly and can stay on your credit report for seven years. With that in mind, read "What To Do When You Can't Make Your Car Payment," to get a better idea of how to deal with your lender.
But if it's too late for that, you should know your rights in a repossession. These vary from state to state. In some states, for example, repossessions aren't permitted at all. For more information on repossession, read the Federal Trade Commission's consumer guide to vehicle repossessions.
In most states, a default is all it takes for repossession to begin. After default, "the laws of most states permit the creditor to repossess your car at any time, without notice, and to come onto your property to do so," according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Realistically, though, how long does it take before the repo man has you in his sights? That depends on your payment history with the lender. If you've never missed a payment, you might not be subject to repossession immediately. But if you've been late before, your number may come up right away.
Once the repo man locates a car, he will wait until it is left unattended and use a tow truck to repossess it. In some cases, repo men have specially modified tow trucks that can yank a car away in a minute or two.
From there, the car goes to an impound lot, where it will typically be held for 30 days to give the owner a chance to "make the loan whole" by bringing all back payments up to date (including the repossession fee) or by paying off the loan balance in full.
If the owner doesn't settle the account in time, the lender sells the car at auction, deducting the selling price and fees from the amount owed. The fees include the cost of the repossession, auction, interest and the amount owed on the loan. Odds are high that even after your car is sold at auction, you'll still owe money on it to the bank.
For example, let's say your car was repossessed when you were in the fourth year of a five-year loan. If you'd made a substantial down payment, you might have equity in the vehicle and not know it. After the car was repossessed and sold at auction, the amount it brought could have been more than what you owed on the loan, even after auction and repossession fees were deducted. In short, if you'd been aware of the loan balance, you could have avoided the entire repossession by selling the car, preventing damage to your credit score. The moral of the story: Keep tabs on your car's value.
There's no point in hiding your car or blocking it in with other vehicles. That's just postponing the inevitable. As one repo man said, "We use every trick in the book to get your car. We watch the house and follow you if you take the car anywhere. We'll grab it when you park, even if it is for a few minutes. I took one from a gas station when the owner went to the window to get their change.
If you're in immediate danger of having your car repossessed, take steps to make sure you don't lose other personal property. Remove any personal items, including any aftermarket stereo equipment or other accessories. Put the original equipment back onto the vehicle or you will be billed for it. If your car is repossessed, you have the legal right to claim your personal possessions from inside the vehicle. But in some cases, personal items can vanish. The agent is supposed to store and log everything in the car, but it's no guarantee that your items will be safe.
Some people avoid repossession by surrendering their cars. Several years ago, when the economy had taken a bad turn, there were stories of some car dealers who had come to work to find SUVs parked outside with the keys in the ignitions and notes on the windshield saying, "I surrender this car." Surrender avoids the repossession fee but not the balance owed or the auction fees.
Some people facing repossession have been known to vandalize the soon-to-be-towed cars, presumably to exact some revenge on the lender by making the cars unusable. But damage only lowers the value of the car at auction, further increasing what's owed on the car.
To recap: The best course of action is avoid making the repo man's acquaintance in the first place. As soon as you think you're going to be late with a car payment, or that you might miss it altogether, contact your lender and work out a payment plan. Whatever that plan turns out to be, it's bound to be better than repossession.
Repo Men is a 2010 science fiction action film directed by Miguel Sapochnik, starring Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, Alice Braga and Carice van Houten. An American-Canadian production, it is based on the novel The Repossession Mambo by Eric Garcia, and follows a repo man who goes on the run after he becomes the recipient of an artificial heart and finds himself suffering the same fate as his victims. The film was theatrically released on March 19, 2010.
In 2025, advancements in medical technology have perfected bio-mechanical organs. A corporation known as The Union sells these expensive "artiforgs" on credit, and when customers are unable or unwilling to pay for their artiforgs The Union sends "repo men" to locate and forcibly repossess the organ - invariably resulting in the death of the owner.
Remy (Jude Law) and his partner, Jake Freivald (Forest Whitaker), are considered the best of the Union's repo men. However, Remy's wife Carol disapproves of his work, believing that it is a bad influence for their son Peter. At a family barbecue, Remy allows Jake to discreetly perform a repossession nearby, but is caught by Carol who leaves with Peter in anger.While patrolling with Jake, the duo discovers a "nest", a refuge for Union customers who have defaulted on payments for their artiforgs and are attempting to escape the country. Remy and Jake raid the nest by themselves, impressing their boss, Frank. He offers them the opportunity to become full-time raid captains. Remy declines and attempts to ask Frank to transfer to sales, but Jake cuts him off. Jake tells Remy that what they do is important, but Remy's mind is made up. Jake suggests that Remy's last job be a musician that Remy is a fan of. After helping the musician finish one last song, he uses a defibrillator in order to stop the artificial heart, but the device malfunctions, and Remy is severely injured, requiring replacement of his heart with an artiforg.
Carol divorces Remy for taking another job, so he moves in with Jake. As he tries to go back to work, he realizes he's developed sympathy for the customers, unable to lie when he tries sales, but also unable to kill when repossessing their artiforgs. He's soon unable to make the payments on his heart and is in debt. Jake discovers that Remy has not been repossessing and takes him to a "nest" with enough artiforgs to clear his debt; however, Remy cannot do the job. Furious, Jake demands he stay there until he gets over his inhibition. A stunned debtor wakes up and knocks Remy out.
Waking up, Remy encounters Beth, a singer he would see while drinking in a bar with Jake. He takes her to a motel room and discovers she has numerous artiforgs. Breaking into the office, Remy attempts to clear Beth's and his own accounts, but he is interrupted by Jake, who lets him leave. On the run, Beth and Remy leave for the abandoned outskirts of the city. Beth tells Remy of how she contracted various diseases and was involved in a car crash, and was forced to resort to buying artiforgs on the black market after running up severe debts. They begin a relationship, and Remy decides to document his life as a repo man with an old typewriter Beth found. As he works on a manuscript, he is interrupted by a repo man. Remy sets a trap and the collector drops through a hole in the floor. Beth falls through the same hole, damaging her prosthetic knee. Before the collector can shoot Beth, Remy manages to kill him. 2b1af7f3a8