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Can I sue a storage facility for auctioning off my belongings when I told them I could pay my bill that day. Ans. 12:00or gone

Santa Fe Springs, CA |

I lost everything I owned by the storage facility auctioning off my only possessions. I am a senior citizen who, in 2011 lost my job, had my car totalled, lost my house and contracted pneumonia. From March of 2011 This put me in a position of almost being totally homeless. I informed the storage company of my delema. By that time I was told that they had already cut my locks of and over locke my ubits with their locks. I told them that I needed afew things from my units to sell so I could pay the rent. I paid the rent. This happened a couple of times and each time I paid the rent. In december, I called and was told my unit was up for auction.the next day. The next day when they opened, I was there and said I could pay that afternoon. They said noon or nothing. They auctioned off.

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Attorney answers 3


The important facts regarding your agreement with the storage facility are not included in your post

What was your agreement?
How much were you in arrears?
When was it due?
Did you ever receice notice of missed payments or of the sale itself (or does the facility have documents they claim they did notice you of)?

If you were properly noticed, and you were in arrears, and your contract explains the consequences of failing to make payment, I think you're out of luck.

That being said, gather your facts together and repost your question with the additional data.

As a general observation--these national chain storage facilities can usually document that they gave proper notice and they don't auction off the items until well after the deadlines for payments have passed. They would be under no legal obligation to hold off on an auction because you asked them to. They do make mistakes sometimes, maybe this action cannot be justified, but its too hard to make a call on the facts you provided.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, addressing your issue does not create an attorney-client relationship and I AM NOT providing you legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.


I'm very sorry to hear of your troubles. The answer to your question is very dependent on whether they followed the correct legal procedure. Storage facilities are regulated by the California Business and Professions Code section 21700.

You need to provide some more facts to know if they followed the correct procedure.

Prior to your property being sold, he would have been required to send you 14 day notice saying that you are in breach.

The notice must contain:
1) An itemized statement of the owner's claim showing the sums due at the time of the notice and the date when the sums became due.
2) A statement that the occupant's right to use the storage space will terminate on a specified date (not less than 14 days after the mailing of the notice) unless all sums due are paid by the occupant prior to the specified date.
3) A notice that the occupant may be denied access to the storage space after the termination date if the sums are not paid and that an owner's lien, as provided for in Section 21702, may be imposed thereafter.
4) The name, street address, and telephone number of the owner or his or her designated agent whom the occupant may contact to respond to the notice.

“If the notice has been sent as required by Section 21703 and the total sum due has not been paid within 14 days of the termination date specified in the preliminary lien notice, the lien imposed by this chapter attaches as of that date”

Then section 21705 then provides that a notice of lien sale stating that “the property will be sold to satisfy the lien after a specified date that is not less than 14 days from the date of mailing the notice, unless the occupant executes and returns by certified mail a declaration in opposition to lien sale in the form set forth”

If the owner didn’t get your opposition to the lien sale, executed under penalty of perjury, then they can sell the items as per section 21706.

Scott Rights, Esq.


I agree with my colleagues. There are missing facts regarding whether the storage facility complied with California procedure.

As Attorney Rights indicates, the California Self-Service Storage Facility Act, found in the California Business and Professions Code, regulates lien sales. Did the storage facility provide proper notice?

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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