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Wrongful Storage Contents Auctions

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Los Angeles, CA: People across the US are filing lawsuits against self-storage companies which unlawfully seize the contents of their storage lockers and auction them off, often at a huge profit to those companies and without the content owners' knowledge.

This is known as "Conversion,"a common law tort, and it is a voluntary act by one person inconsistent with the ownership rights of another. When applied to storage lockers, or self-storage facilities, the act of conversion can include anything from 'denial of access' to 'wrongful auction.'

Consumers are protected from such violations through state laws such as the California Self Storage Act, which requires, among other things, that 28 days pass and two separate notice letters are issued prior to denial of access to the storage locker or goods.

There are many stories involving people who fall behind in their payments due to illness or mitigating circumstances. When they go to make a payment they are either told that their goods have been auctioned off or they are denied access to their lockers but not told that their goods have been auctioned off. In some cases people cannot make contact with anyone at the storage facility.

Often, contents of storage lockers are auctioned off at profits that greatly exceed the value of money owed by the person renting the storage lockers.

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Reader Comments

Posted by

on
Both district and property manager wrongfully auctioned off my unit. The property manager and I spoke about payment arrangements and she never notifying me about a lien. In my email I was sent a bill for January to February including late fee. When I called they were auctioning or should I say stealing my things January 4th 2019. YOU ARE LATE ON THE 5TH!! I had many people call as soon as I found out on the 4th to make payment and the property manager denied them. She said it was too late and the only way they can stop the auction is a payment at the store. She had already closed my account so no payments can be made by card through the phone. In a matter of 30 mins I lost everything. The staff including manager were laughing, ignored all the calls and hanging up. Their behavior was beyond belief and completely unprofessional. The district manager didn't care to look into the case and took whatever the property manager told him to be true. Corporate suggested I spoke with district but I even spoke with regional and all I was told that it's impossible for errors and he wouldn't look into the matter and ignored my calls. They didn't notify the other lease holders or phone numbers. They didn't send out an email which I signed for.They are extremely deceptive. I suspected of them stealing from my unit a long time ago and changed my locks. I take pictures of my unit and would be glad to see how they ramaged through my unit before sale! I should have been sent an email notifying me of a lien since I signed off for all mail be sent to email as well in my contract. They failed to contact my uncle's phone who is on the lease as well. They called him but never spoke to him and discontinued calling approaching auction. I recently was in a sever car accident that has caused physical injury. I made the property manager aware and she tried everything to make it difficult to pay. If my account wasn't shut prematurely and the company didn't allow for deceptive practice I wouldn't be in this position.

Posted by

on
Storage owner told me my unit was auctioned. She lied to me. But, I was watching storage auction online then the storage owner CANCELLED THE AUCTION. She DID NOT cancel auction because I paid balance due to stop the auction. THE OWNER CANCELLED AUCTION, WENT INTO MY STORAGE UNIT, TOOK/STOLE THE TEMS SHE WANTED TO KEEP, AND TRASHED STORAGE UNIT. STORAGE OWNER WENT THROUGH ALL OF MY BELONGINGS & PERSONAL THINGS IN THE UNIT! I asked owner about her cancelling the auction. She said she said, " no, wasnt cancelled, your unit was auctioned off"
I DID NOT BELIEVE THE OWNER! KNEW SHE WAS LYING TO ME ABOUT UNIT SELLING & I WAS RIGHT! Storage owner took new pictures of the only items she left storage unit. Posted them on a different auction site 2 days ago. SO SHE IS HAVING ANOTHER AUCTION RIGHT NOW IN MY STORAGE UNIT!!
ISNT THIS PRACTICE ILLEGAL???
WILL SOMEONE AT YOUR FIRM PLEASE HELP ME STOP THIS 2ND AUCTION & GET OWNER TO RETURN MY BELONGINGS SHE TOOK OUT OF MY STORAGE.

Thank you,

Melissa Emory
919.985.xxxx

Posted by

on
Public Storage in Pasadena auctioned off my unit without ANY notification. At the time I was in between apartments and staying at a hotel and payments became impossible as I was barely able to pay hotel rent. I told the girl at the public Storage facility ( we were staying directly across the street) this and I gave her 2 contact numbers at lease signing, and my eamil address. I received a billing notice december 12 and called 3 days later and asked for an extension until the 28. I called today to make a payment and was told they auctioned rhee property on december 18, 6 days after I made arrangements pay! The girl said NOTHING about the upcoming auction. I received NO notices of an auction in my emails and NO notices in the mail.

Posted by

on
I purchase the biggest unit public storage had. For over two years. I had three bedrooms of furniture along with .livingroom set, dining set etc... I fell behind payments due to lost of income. I never receive any notice from public storage. I called and was told my deadline to make a payment was the 30th of December. I went around 1pm and was told my unit was sold at 10:30am for 200.00. I never receive my children photos, personal documents etc. I was told some buyers return some dont. This was my life in this unit now I have to start all over again.

Posted by

on
My unit was auctioned off for late payments of two months, of which i was hospitalized on two seperate instances during this time totalling ober 3 weeks. The storage facility was aware of it and refused to wait the 2 week extension i requested in which i would have had the funds to do cover past due amount. A friend attempted to purchase the auctuon and won it for 1700 but they would not allow him to run across st to get the cash and redid bidding and disqualified him from rebidding. The unit was 10x20 with a value of 40,000 worth of collectables and possessions

Posted by

on
My storage unit was auctioned off after 29 days. I received NO notices. I called in weekly and was told everything was fine as long as I got my payment in by the end of the month. My whole world was in there and Public Storage does not care. PUBLIC STORAGE also refuses to give me my personal items that was left behind. Their corporate office is HORRIBLE, I have yet to receive a call back. I have left OVER 8 messages at their corporate office. I would like to let the CEO know how they are treating their customers. So if anyone knows how to get through please let me know.

Posted by

on
I rent a space through public storage located on 10915 Canyon Road E, Puyallup WA 98372. I never wanted to use any storage facility, but because I had to move I didn't have much of a choice. I needed space to store my personal items temporary until at least I get settled into my new place. I had been paying for my unit over the phone every month. But my last transaction I had made a payment online, but some how it didn't go through not sure what happen. I was out town and return and I got the feeling that something wasn't right, so I contacted public storage, I never received any notice in the mail regarding my unit. I called public storage on December 28, 2016 I was told that my stuff had been aution off on December 27, 2016. I never received any notice about my stuff being auctioned off. I just want my stuff back that's all, I was willing to pay the extra for my stuff back. I also have the last debit card number of the person who purchase my stuff. But the person in charge says they are not allowed to give me any contact information about the buyer, the buyer purchase my stuff on December 27, 2016 at Public Storage located at 1019 canyon Road E Puyallup, WA 98372. I am willing to pay the extra just to get my stuff back, there are so many memories I left in that storage unit, something that can not be replace I have so many pictures, so many sentimental items that was in my family for the past 20 years, my kids personal items, there artwork and progress through out the school year. There clothes, shoes my kids graduation items and books, pictures when they were kids from elementary through high school. Everything was in that storage unit, and I just want is all back. If I knew public storage is like this I would have never went through them. I never plan on renting there unit that long. All I want for the new is to get my stuff back that's all. I anyone knows anything about this please let me know. Thank you

Posted by

on
Yes,this also happened to us. We were out of state due to a death in the family . When we returned we
tried to enter our storage unit and all was fine, days
later husband couldn't get out key to work and seen
the lock had been changed! While grieving, I made
myself call them until someone responded who was
extremely rude.
We had over $8000 worth of products including the
homemade solid-oak entertainment center made by
our son; large baby pictures in frames which cannot be recovered {kids are now in their 50's}and collecti-
bles of high value.
NO NOTICES or anything of any kind was ever re-
ceived nor posted on the unit!!!
Worse yet, all our receipts were inside the unit and likely now destroyed. I paid by money orders.

Posted by

on
Public self storage told me that if My rent wasn't paid by the 19 of September, witch was due on the 1st and i was informed of this on the 14 of September that if my rent isn't paid by the 19th then on the 20th they will be getting my property ready for auction. I didn't receive any letters or 28 days. I was only inform of this because I was trying to grab my deceased friends belonging out of my storage unit.

Posted by

on
I do have my storage unit in Florida and this is still there.i had my stuff since April 2012 and up to now struggling to pay the monthly payments as they tends to go up every 6 months .i think they should stop all those non sense bills going up high including the charges that is so outrageous. I was billed so many times that's reall high cuz of the stuff and they said they'll put my stuff for auction. I was wondering if they give people some credit for this as I lost my job three years ago and don't have a job up to now and struggling to find the $230 monthly payments. Just want to know why they keep on raising the price plus the charges if they put it for auction and they're the one who benefit on that.pls help me and maybe Oo can file a complaint on them.right not I'm applying for dissability there should be a better way to do. Pls help

Posted by

on
I lost a huge amount of treasured possessions in a Public Storage unit in San Francisco.
They auctioned off all of my own artwork (20 years worth) plus very valuable jewelry and Art prices.
I had left the country and while I was away I had a theft of my credit card that paid for my storage.
I cancelled the card and it stopped payment on the unit (my mistake) however they had seen me as a customer for 6 or 7 years and they did not try to contact me or my family ...they just auctioned away my entire life's wrks,baby film of my son,inherited jewelry and much more.
They were very cold about it when I returned and found it all gone!
The people who had bought it by auction still had my things in the storage and they would not return it to me.
It was a nightmare and I am still sad about my huge losses.
I tried to get a lawyer but they were corrupt too.
I don't know how to get help but I warn anyone not to use this company...ever.
No Public Storage!!!

Posted by

on
Storage facility sold everything. Told me I do not have to pay first. No contract. Knowingly sent letter to wrong address.

Posted by

on
I had a storage unit in Bellevue WA. I paid this storage for almost a year. One time they told me that once they put a new lock on the unit that I'd have to pay next month's payment to put a new lock to replace in order to go in. So when I own again I had the funds but they auctioned off my stuff anyway. I tried paying online and it didn't let me. Told me to come down when they were auctioning but right after said it was already sold. I am a single mom of 3. This was/is one of the worst days of my life!!!!!! I couldn't even go into work. However I went in later that day with a letter explaining what sentimental items (that they can't profit from) along with obvious things like pictures they have to return. A couple days later, after I called back to back asking if the person received my letter has returned anything. And the manager said they returned pictured. I asked to specify but all he said was pictures. So I'll see in a little bit if all the stuff off my list. Pray for me.

Posted by

on
I was PAID IN FULL they made a computer error and mixed up unit numbers ... threw everything in my unit away ...I lost everything

Posted by

on
I am an expert in the Self Storage Compliance field and I can tell you that a vast number of major players do not serve proper notice on delinquent tenants. I am sure you were past due but due process is very defined, with little room for interpretation. You may have a claim. I would enjoy checking the process of these big Self Storage Operators to see how they do this more then we would like to know.

Posted by

on
I lost all. My kids baby pictures, important papers, my moms mural was in the family for a long time.. Im so hurt broken. I was on my way to make the payment n they auctions out my stuff without letting take out what i could take out. I didnt care for materials stuffs all i wanted was my memories of my kids picture n my mom picture. I lost my mom at 9 n thats all i had to remember her by.. I dont understand why would ppl even take someone elses memories like its nothing . all i have are the memories in my mind n my heart..

Posted by

on
For years I had a storage at Public Storage. I was behind 2 months. They auctioned off my storage. I had very expensive items and very personal legal docs. Now they sent me to collections with a bill including a fee for @60.00 to set up the auction and a fee of @160 to go to auction plus the two months rent. I am steaming furious. I want to do something about this. I am in Houston, TX

Posted by

on
I had a storage at north beach storage in San Clemente. I had lost my home and business and all my cloths and families cloths and important items were put here. Yes I fell behind on a payment . I filed bankruptcy and the courts served them the documents so they could appear in court. They auctioned my belongings off anyway. Bankruptcy stops all sell of property. They were given the chance to contest the write off of debt but no one appeared in court. According to the new law they were suppose to release my property within 30 days. They are claiming they were never served. The prove of service to them is on file and the property management for the storage would not return my calls.

Posted by

on
Public Storage PA illegally auctioned my property.

Posted by

on
I had a storage unit that was wrongfully auctioned aecause the customer sevice rep was neglegent. He updated my new number at the in the wrong area. I tried to pay on my storage the night before the auction using the automated system using my debit card and the message said my number wasn't assoiated with the account. I started this storage Oct. 7th 2013 it was wrongfully auctioned Apr. 28th 2015

Posted by

on
We are working with mgr and state mgr,they admit a mistake was made

Posted by

on
Public Storage changed its policy for the period of time it takes for them to place a lien from 60 days to 30 days. I was not adequately notified of this change and ended up losing ALL of my worldly possessions as I am between apartments right now and had everything I own in storage.

Posted by

on
Auctioned off my storage unit in Alexandria, VA, without notifying me of it.

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