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Self-Storage Auctions/Storage units sold without our knowledge


We are looking for an attorney referral in Southern CA.
To be brief, the contents of two storage rental units were sold without our knowlege on Nov. 15th, 2012.
We had auto-pay set up and have had these units since Feb. of 2009.
The storage facility as we have been told was sold/purchased by a large Storage Company.
We were not notified of the sale of the facility.
The new company claims they had sent notices to us, but this was an old address.
They also claim that our auto-pay through our bank was declined. Our bank says otherwise. They say no charges were submitted.
Our first knowledge of this was on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012
I have been in phone contact with the Storage Company District Manager, in a Very Polite Fashion, in hopes of recovering any part of our lives that has not been already disposed of. she, has been quite polite, but we have made no headway.
We really need some leagl help here, Please!

Thanks in advance,


1) I am not an attorney, so this advice is not legal.

You might have a claim if your CC was valid and the facility did not try to charge your card. This would be highly unlikely though. My guess is that you changed addresses and the charge was denied bc you probably updated the information with the CC company and not your storage facility.

ALWAYS make sure your storage company is updated when you move or change ANY information. Please give the facility every possible contact you can -  they will use them to connect with you. Storage facilities hate selling property - they are in the business to store your stuff not sell it.

It is highly unlikely you will recover any property from the auction.

You should have no problem finding an attorney who will represent you, but please take the time to understand the lien law in the state which you live and make sure you have a claim before spending the money on an attorney. You could easily spend more money with the legal system then the value of the lost property.

It sounds like a large operator bought the facility you rented with...normally they error way on the side of caution before auctioning property. I think you might find they took the correct steps, but you had become unreachable.  

Here are the state laws for you to read:

We hate hearing these stories about people loosing property. If the facility incorrectly sold your property we hope you win your claim. Please make sure you read your lease (rental agreement) as well for the facility you contracted to rent. Most facilities will limit the value of the items you store. Maybe $2,500 per unit. Therefore it will be very difficult for you to go to court for 10k or something bc you might have agreed in writing not to store 10k worth of property.

Lance Watkins

Self-Storage Auctions

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Lance Watkins


Any questions related to self storage, self storage auctions or the self storage lien process.


15 years of owning and operating self storage facilities in California and developing the largest storage auction information system on the internet.

Self Storage Association

Mini Storage Messenger and Globe Magazine

Graduated George Mason University 1995.

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