RED BUD, Ill. - “I go out and take cars,” said Jim Ford, co-owner of Illini Asset Recovery.
“From people who don't pay,” he said.
Repo man Ford wears his company name on his back - and his heart on his sleeve.
“I've been shot at, ran over, just about everything you can imagine,” he said. “I haven't been stabbed yet.”
There's not a place on the map Ford hasn't traveled to repossess somebody's car for a bank.
But, he wasn't prepared for what he saw when he arrived at the Illinois home of Stan and Pat Kipping.
“You know, it was just one of those repos,” Ford told Fox 2. “My grandparents are gone but, you know, I could see them in the Kippings. I knew what was going on. The cost of their medications have doubled or tripled, and I know that's happening to everybody. I knew why they were behind.”
“We had to go to the doctor, drug store and grocery,” Pat said. “That’s about all we ever got to do.”
And, now, their transportation was gone.
Ford did repossess their car.
But, then, he got on the phone with the bank.
“I pulled over about a block away from their house, and called the bank and said we got to do something, how about I just pay it current, right now?”
Ford promptly set up a GoFundMe account.
“We raised most of it in the first eight hours," he said. "I think might just reactivate it, because they are a lot of people who keep asking to donate.”
And, Monday, Stan and Pat got their four-wheel freedom back.
“It's just like hitting the lottery,” Stan said. “I'm just so happy. I can't believe it.”
“I just looks so pretty,” Pat said.
It’s pretty because Ford and his fellow benefactors got the oil changed and had the car detailed - in addition to paying it off.
“We owe a drug store $500,” Pat said. “We owe IGA, our grocery store, money. And, then, this happened. It’s made me think that there are very good people out there and it’s not all bad.”