Get ready for your weekly dose of “feel good.” An Illinois repo man recently inspired an entire town when he decided to help pay off a car he was supposed to repossess.
Jim Ford of Illini Recovery Inc. said he got the call to go pick up a 1998 Buick earlier this month. The owners of the car owed $350 and an additional $95 per month. Nothing huge, by any means, but enough apparently to get the credit union upset.
Ford didn’t really want to repo the car from the beginning. Especially when he found out it belonged to Pat and Stanford Kipping, a delightful elderly couple.
“I was like, aw man,” Ford told The Washington Post.
He saw the car in the Kipping’s driveway, but decided not to bug them. The next day, he called the couple imploring them to find a way to make it work for the bank. But Pat Kipping called back later, saying she didn’t have a way to pay for it. The retired couple’s prescription drug costs skyrocketed over the past year, rendering them unable to make the payments and get their medication.
When Ford showed up to take the car, the couple invited him inside and they had a nice chat. “And [Stanford Kipping] is like, ‘oh Jim, you’ve been so good to us, if I ever win the lottery, I’m going to split it with you, buddy,'” Ford said. “And I’m like, aw man. Really? This is getting worse rapidly. I had to get the hell out of there.”
He made it a block with their car before calling the bank to see if he could make the payments for them. But, it turns out, that’s not so easy (and requires tons of paperwork). So instead, and at the suggestion of his partner, Ford started a crowdfunding campaign.
Overnight, his friends helped pitch in $3,000 to buy back the Kipping’s car, with about $1,000 extra to put in their pockets. But before he gave the car back, Ford had more in mind. He got the car an oil change, detail and maintenance job.
By the time Ford brought the car back, a crowd gathered at the Kipping’s place. Their family, as well as a local reporter, wanted to see the heartwarming exchange.
Talk about a great story! Ford says he’s not the first person you’d expect to inspire folks. It takes an iron will to make it in the repo business. But even then, all it takes is a nice chat with strangers to have a change of heart.
Spread this awesome story to anybody who needs a beautiful reminder of compassion this week.