The Voice of Truth or Not?If you have worked in the auto repossession business for more than a hot minute, I know that you have spoke to a debtor or one of his relatives and asked yourself, “Is this guy telling the truth?” We always here the same old stories - “I have not seen Junior for months” or “He moved out of state” or the debtor giving you the $400 promise of “I will turn over the car in the morning”. Of course, the account gets canceled in the morning because the truth was that he was stalling you so he could get his bankruptcy case filed.
When you are out repossessing cars and have to door knock a debtor’s house, there are several techniques that can help you determine if a debtor or his relative is lying to you. Of course you need to remember that although these techniques are more often than not accurate tests of truthfulness, there are exceptions.
Watch for the following ten things, if you want to know if someone is lying when you ask them a question.
1. He repeats your question before answering you.
2. He says “no” more than once in response your question. No, no, no, no, no way. I call this the “echo”. “Have you seen John Doe?” “No, no sir, nope, no can’t say that I have.”
3. His answers are vague and do not directly answer the question you posed.
4. He can’t answer without uncomfortable hesitations or nervous pauses.
5. There is a lack of contractions in his answers. “I have not got the slightest idea where he (the debtor) is.” rather than “I haven’t got…” I call this the “Clinton” because Bill used it in reference to Monica Lewinski “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”. I knew he was lying right then because he did not say “I didn’t….”
6. He is going on and on for no reason. I call this the “Rambler’s syndrome”. It is when he is trying too hard to sound truthful and he can’t shut up. He feels he has to convince you he is being honest.
7. He is speaking slower than a normal, prudent person would. It is because he is making the story up as he goes along. He may mumble, slur his words together, speak in a low tone or show a lack of confidence when speaking. Often times s person that is lying will try to be humorous or sarcastic.
8. His story contains inconsistencies that can’t be explained.
9. He avoids your questions, is quick to change the subject and / or seems to be in a hurry. He can’t wait to get you out of his life.
10. He gets angry or aggressive when you persist with your questions. He will blow up, throw a fit and slam the door because he knows that he has been caught.
The EyesYou should also watch a person’s eyes when you are trying to figure out if you are being lied to.
1. If a person’s eyes move up and to the left, they are most liking concocting a lie.
2. If a person’s eyes move up and to the right, they generally are trying to recall a past event and probably being truthful.
3. If a person seems to be blinking a lot and has rapid eye movement, there is high probability that they are lying.
Other body language to watch for when a person is lying are touching the face, neck or playing with their hair; fidgeting with their hands or other objects, and standing in defensive postures such as having the arms crossed or standing in a fighting position.
Again remember that if you see one or two of these signs, it does not mean the person is lying. The more of them you see, there is a higher probability that you are being lied to. However, you should keep in mind that these signs do not offer 100% proof that you are being told a “fat one” because all a small percentage of people react differently than the rest of the population.
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