The Man Came and Took it Away


by W.G. Bowser


Book Details


The first true story of life inside the repossession field!

One of the most electrifying and significant documents ever written about the repossession field, “THE MAN CAME AND TOOK IT AWAY” is the authentic story of this controversial profession as seen through the eyes of the dynamic man who owned the world’s largest agency. Bill Bowser, who spent 45 years battling drug pushers, hardcore criminals, sexual deviates, police harassment, deadbeats and even the Mafia, now has disclosed with horrific clarity the dangerous, intriguing, challenging, baffling and outrageous situations which the repossessor meets in an average day’s work. He has repossessed everything from hearing aids on deceased persons, to airliners, and everything in between, including cars,trucks, tractors, pigs, dogs,boats, wooden legs, buildings, tombstones and stallions.

Bowser, probably the most dedicated man ever to enter this field, was determined to get every job done, regardless of personal danger. While performing what perhaps is the most hush-hush, but very necessary, task involved in the preservation of the financial structure of the U.S., death was his ever-present companion. Bowser has been pistol-whipped, shot at, run off the highway at high speeds and burned out, but never was stopped, not even for a day.

First published in 1972. Newley republished in 2011.


Book Excerpt

Selling merchandise on the installment plan didn’t really get to be a big business, with all the problems that big business has, until automobiles came along. I suppose that's because most people didn’t have enough money at any one time to pay for a car and because everyone decided they had to have a car, it was only natural that modern methods of financing developed right along with the automobile industry. The very fact that the things have wheels suggest that, not only are they going to get you there faster, but that if you don’t keep up the payments, they’re already equipped to be rolled right back to whoever really owns them.

In modern-day society, it probably would be impossible for Americans to live if they couldn’t buy merchandise of all kinds on the time payment plan. Our civilization has become tremendously complex, all of us depend on machines and gadgets in our daily life, and there’s a lot of them that we couldn’t do without. Then, there’s luxury items which, in a sense, have become necessities. Most of the things we all take for granted, like a color TV set or a stereo, or maybe expensive sporting equipment or boats, all cost more than the people who buy them, for the most part, can lump out in one sum. So, through the budget plan, people in this country have been able to enjoy things that have raised the standard of living that they never could have afforded if the economy had operated strictly on a cash basis. Installment plan buying has enabled more people to have more things, made it possible for industry to produce more products and thus create lower prices and the financing of these articles has given birth to a whole new financial complex during the 20th Century that no one ever had envisioned. Thousands of jobs have been provided through increased production and in the business of financing. Interest charges have become a multimillion-dollar source of revenue for banks and finance companies (if losses because of deadbeats don’t get too high), while at the same time making it possible for the average working man to enjoy the use of needed or wanted products while earning the money to pay for them, at a slight extra charge.

The public has bad thoughts of a repossessor. They feel he would do anything to get a job done, which is true. Only they do like the kind of job he is getting done, whether they realize it or not. It’s a game of cat and mouse, fox and hounds. In any profession, if you work hard, your talents are recognized. In the repossession business you can have the talent and do a good job, but it doesn’t make you a good guy in the eyes of the public or probably even society, in general. Yet, in some small way, I think probably the guy you have outsmarted may instinctively have some strange kind of admiration for your cunning. It’s a controversial kind of activity. No matter how you go about it, someone is bound to criticize you for what you do or how you did it. There’s a lot of talk on TV and in the newspapers about the repossession business. I recently read about a situation where they were trying to determine that repossessing cars without a court order was illegal. They had test cases to prove whether or not it was illegal. If you’re the type that feels you have to win popularity by what you do, don’t even consider making a career of repossessing. It’s something that has to be done, often under dangerous conditions, and you’re dealing, usually, with hostile human beings in your contacts.

Maybe it seems callous for someone to plan how best to “steal” another person’s possessions, even if they don’t rightfully own them. Yet it would be an awful thing if banks and other institutions couldn’t recover their collateral without going through a lot of red tape. It would slow things down and that would mean these people could drive cars longer that aren’t being paid for and it would be more expensive to the financiers to recover their collateral. They would have to charge more interest and there would be less credit given to the public. This would work a tremendous hardship on millions of people. And, I think if they took away credit, our country would be in very bad shape. Less money would be in circulation, because everything, nearly everything operates on a credit basis.

The automobile industry, which really made credit big business, would be crippled without the installment plan. It, perhaps, is the most important, the most deeply involved industry. Of course, over the years, I have repossessed diverse things: pigs, horses, German shepherd dogs, airplanes, combines, diamond rings, hearing aids and tractors, to name a few. All of these things people had financed. If people can’t buy things then products aren’t going to be made and that puts the manufacturer in a position where he can’t employ people. It affects the retail outlets, because they can’t hire people to sell. All of these things are connected with keeping money in circulation, so essential to the economy. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that our world literally is suspended in space by a chain of time payment coupon books. Economically, at least, our society, as we know it, is completely dependent on credit transactions. It simply would be impossible to function in today’s civilization without credit.

There used to be an old saying that with every rose there is a thorn. I guess that isn’t true anymore, because I think they did develop a bush that grows roses without thorns. But basically, things were that way in the beginning and in the business world, they still are that way. So far as credit is concerned, the classy products that come out of the plants in this country are roses. People buy them by merely signing a piece of paper. When they don’t pay, somebody’s going to get stuck. Since it wouldn’t be very intelligent to let the economy collapse because some people tend to be dishonest in what has become an almost acceptable way, there has to be a thorn in the picture. I guess that’s the repo man.

No normal person likes to get hurt and no normal human being is going to like the repossessor that tows his car away in the middle of the night. No one is going to like it when you repossess anything that he’s become accustomed to using. Even though they are dead wrong in thinking that they can hold onto something that they aren’t paying for, they are going to hate the guts of the man that takes it away from them. They’ll cheat, lie, hide, run away, beat the hell out of you and some will try to shoot you dead. These are just a few of the hazards in my occupation.

Hair raising personal stories as told by Bill Bowser and those who worked along beside him. “ The Man Came And Took It Away “ The beginnings of Repossessions starting in the early 60’s. As well as some of Bill Bowser's risky and crazy private detective stories.

Go to to request a personalized signed book from Bill Bowser when purchasing a book at his personal website.


About the Author

W.G. Bowser

William G. “Bill” Bowser has realized in life what most men probably will only dream of doing. He turned a vision into reality, thus creating a truly unique American success story. For an accomplishment of this type in today’s technological world, a great deal of knowledge is a prerequisite. More than that, talent is necessary. Bowser innately was endowed with both of these essentials, which all too many must attempt to purchase in the academic marketplace. Since action has been the key word in his life, he has continued unceasingly to enhance natural attributes. In other environments, Bowser might have become a military strategist, economic analyst or sociologist, for he has an enigmatic instinct for pinpointing motivations for which others must probe laboriously. These potentialities, coupled with keen executive capabilities, insight into human nature, an acute social conscience and carefully controlled compassion, undoubtedly added immensely to his brilliant contribution to society through the repossession profession. Few innovators of Bowser’s stature can relate an absorbing and engrossing story that approaches the dimensions of the adventures he so adroitly has described.