US firm urges vigilantes to report car owners’ bad debt in exchange for crypto

But Chicago-based crypto company Repo claims it aims to tackle the problem by allowing anyone with a mobile phone to become a have-a-go debt collector.

By downloading the Repo app, users can scan the licence plate of any vehicle they find and, if the scan shows the car’s owner is behind on payments, their next click will summon a tow truck and inform the loan company that the motor has been repossessed.

The user will then be rewarded with Repo coins that can then be exchanged for cash or goods from the company’s partners.

And while grassing up your neighbour may, at first, appear distasteful in the UK, it would appear the practice is being embraced by many of the app’s users in the US where the amount of car loan debt owed by seven million drivers amounts to some $245 billion.

“I have no problem with turning people in to the authorities if they are behind on their payments,” Joan Winterson of Royal Oak, Michigan, told Express.co.uk.

“Sure, it seems a little vigilante, but you have to consider how much strain these people are putting on our already pretty fragile economy.

“And if I get paid a little bit for just scanning vehicles as I go down the sidewalk then I’m likely going to enjoy it too.”

Miss Winterson pointed to the fact that the total debt of the United States was around $22trillion, and that her efforts walking the streets to scan cars were contributing to her country’s efforts to reduce that massive figure.

“Too many folks go and buy a car they can’t really afford, and by not understanding that you have to live within your means they put our whole country in danger,” she stressed.

“A car costs more than $30,000, so if you don’t have that money to buy it outright you turn to a loan company which will then make you pay $40,000 for that car.

“If you think that’s a good way to be then you’re simply contributing to the problems of the USA and, therefore, making me very comfortable with walking around and scanning licences in exchange for some Repo.”

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