WESTBURY, N.Y. – Repossessions and liquidations of tractor-trailer trucks nationwide increased again in fourth quarter, according to Nassau Asset Management. Nassau's NasTrac Quarterly Index (NQI) reveals trends in equipment repossessions and orderly liquidations based upon the company's own internal activity in a given quarter compared to the same quarter the previous year.

Nassau provides asset recovery, appraisal, collections, liquidation, and remarketing services for equipment leasing and finance companies across the nation. In November, the company reported that overall equipment repossessions and liquidations during the first three quarters of 2005 increased significantly for the first time since 2002.

The upward trend continued in fourth quarter (Q4) 2005 for tractor-trailer trucks (+145%) and construction equipment (+44%).

"We believe fuel costs in 2005 have contributed directly to the rise in truck repossessions, and may have had some impact on construction repossessions," said Nassau president Edward Castagna. "But it is important to note that more positive factors are also at play.

"Reports indicate that equipment leasing industry volume has been increasing. That means there was more leased equipment in the marketplace in 2005 than in 2004. Naturally, there will be a rise in repossessions and liquidations when the pool of equipment in the marketplace has increased," Castagna explained.

Fourth quarter traditionally is the slowest for repossessions and liquidations. Nassau's NQI indicates repossessions and liquidations in Q4 2005 compared with Q4 2004 were down in three of five major categories: printing (-32%); machine tools (-22%); and medical devices (-72%).

Castagna says it is too early to determine if the drop indicates a broader trend since all three equipment categories fluctuated during the previous three quarters. With its Q4 data now in, Nassau plans a Year 2005 analysis of the top five equipment categories by March.