The superheroes of the repo business

When the banks need to seize a jumbo jet or a fleet of helicopters, the super repo men spring into action

Nick Popovich is what they call a “super repo man” in the parlance of the repossession business. While his counterparts focus on cars and furniture and electronics, Popovich’s agency hunts down heavily guarded private jets and high-speed boats—one case involved him taking a plane protected by a militia of well-armed neo-Nazis. And as the economy continues to tank and massive fortunes disappear almost overnight, business for Popovich has never been better. In exchange for a cut of the value of what he repossesses, Popovich will go after just about anything. One recent job involved swiping a fleet of 240 helicopters from a bankrupt chain of flight schools; another called for him to fly in a plane with a defective engine out of Milan and into Munich, where Popovich and his team replaced the engine entirely before flying it back to the U.S. In all, Popovich estimates he’s seized some 1,300 jumbo jets from deadbeat borrowers, netting his company, Sage-Popovich, “into the low-to-mid seven figures” annually.


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