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EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. — John Lewis' repossession career began as a field representative with Chrysler Credit back in 1982, and he has since been involved nearly all aspects of the recovery industry in California and beyond.

Looking at how the industry behaves now is why this veteran is seeking to clarify what makes agencies reputable and successful in today's challenging environment.

"Consider the degree of difficulty it takes to be a repossessor and magnify that by the challenges an entrepreneur faces in running a repossession agency; you have a profession that is as difficult as any there is," Lewis asserted.

"Combine that with the restrictions placed on the repossessors and repossession agencies from strict laws, compliance issues and rising expenses to cost cutting measures that have affected the industry, the factors have forced many great companies either out of business or to be not as great as they could be if they weren't facing so many challenges," he continued.

With that long list as a backdrop, Lewis insists that recovery agents are at a critical juncture.

"You have an industry that is at a crossroads that paints a picture that continues to offer additional challenges as the job keeps getting more difficult to perform," Lewis stressed.

To make positive changes for the recovery industry, Lewis' latest venture is to define clearly the solid, professional repossession companies from those he considers to be performing at lower levels. The task is being undertaken through Lewis' current organization, FindJohnDoe.com.

He thinks once the process is started, agencies performing at a lower level will need to improve. Otherwise, Lewis contends those companies will face additional challenges as opposed to those identified as "great."

"This identification process also needs to include the identification and elimination of repossession agencies, repossession agents, forwarding and skip companies who place the public, our clients, the people who employ them and themselves at risk," Lewis explained.

Lewis invited recovery agencies and other industry executives to contact him at JLewis@findjohndoe.com or (866) JOE-SKIP.