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  • I sent a Declaration in Opposition to Lien Sale via certified mail in CA, but it didn't go to court. How can I still find out who the buyer was? Do I sue in small claims court for a wrongful sale? What is the statute of limitations?

Self-Storage Auctions/I sent a Declaration in Opposition to Lien Sale via certified mail in CA, but it didn't go to court. How can I still find out who the buyer was? Do I sue in small claims court for a wrongful sale? What is the statute of limitations?

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Tom Litton wrote at 2012-05-13 00:25:30
California recently changed the lien law to allow self storage owners to sue tenants in small claims court when a tenant files a timely Declaration in Opposition to the Lien Sale that was provided in your Notice of Lien sale that was mailed to you.  Under the new change, the owner can continue with the lien foreclosure if the tenant fails to respond to the small claims summons or fails to provide the owner with any address changes subsequent to the filing of the Declaration in Opposition to the Lien Sale.  When you filed the Declaration in Opposition to the Lien Sale, you asserted your desire for due process.  Under the new change, if you don't cooperate, the owner can continue on without a small claims judgment.  It is possible that an attempt was made to sue you and you did not respond.



If the self storage facility simply ignored your Declaration in Opposition to the Lien Sale, they have conducted a wrongful sale and would lose a court case in any venue.  



It sounds as though there may have been other failures on the part of the storage facility as well.  This would become a triable issue and the determiner of fact (Judge or jury) will make this determination.



As for the premature denial of access, this is a problem for the facility as the B & P Code specifically precludes the denial of access until the perfection of the lien.  Denying access prior to the perfection of the lien is common in California and most facilities ignore this issue, even though they know that it does not comply with the B & P Code.



The statute of limitations for conversion in California is three years unless you agreed to a shorter period via contract.  Once again, many self storage contracts include language that forces the aggrieved party to bring suit in a year.  



Your specific case is wrought with complex issues and therefore, we cannot reach a determination just from your provided information in this post.  



Lastly, if there was a recovery that exceeded the amount of the lien, the owner is supposed to remit that excess to the County Treasurer for disposition.  Once it is remitted to the County Treasurer, one still has another 3 years to claim it.  The excess can be claimed anytime after the sale and up to one year from the facility owner.



Hope this helps.  Feel free to ask other questions if needed.


storagealert wrote at 2013-04-29 06:58:04
Self-storage auctions are devastating and lots of sloppiness in execution - you need private advice based on your contract & factual situation.  Suggest you check www.wrongfulauction.com  


Storagealert wrote at 2013-09-23 22:05:31
See www.wrongfulauction.com they represent California self storage tenants


Ruby wrote at 2013-12-05 02:01:21
You do have a case. I am going thru the same thing.

There r attorneys who will take cases like this. If you want

To contact me we can exchange information and file against these facilities.

Someone has to start cracking down on them.


Bren wrote at 2015-04-16 02:11:54
Hi, I have been dealing with a similar situation except there were never any legal notices filed as required by law, nor did they send me a bill...ever! In fact in my case I know managers have been selling my belongings on the side as well as trading them for their own personal gain. They have also taken whatever they wanted for themselves. As I understand it, due to the fact that it is a secure public storage facility it becomes a federal case, far greater than what would or could be addressed in small claims. I had everything I owned in the sum of around $500,000. We all need to get together and talk soon so that we can share our knowledge and help each other seek justice. It has been just over a year in my case and I have not been able to find anyone that can help me. I don't have the money to hire an attorney. However, I have done a tremendous amount of research. Please contact me.


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