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In NY, I have a storage rental unit in a storage facility.. However, I am about 2 months behind and was told that my lock would

Pound Ridge, NY |

be cut and aside from my 185 previously owed..( The storage co will add an additional 110 fee) I have my important personal possesions and MORE IMPORTANTLY some important document such as my passport and or P.R. card..(Federal and or important documents/cards) . I am almost sure it is inside my storage unit because I can not find at my home. What can I do to either postpone, or completely avoid auction of my unit ..(At the moment I can't afford it) aside from losing my posessions I CAN NOT LOSE MY IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS, FOR IDENTITY ETC.. Obviously aside from paying what I owe (which I do not have at the moment) What way(s) can I avoid or have the auction postponed..I NEED my documents, for sure. Any way I can retrieve my government i.d. items etc, at least?

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Attorney answers 3


You need to read your contract to see what the facility's remedy is when someone falls behind on payment. If they are within their right to sell the contents there is no much you can do other than ask if they will let you get your passpart. You could try filing an Order To Show Cause in court to stop the sale or at least allow you to retrieve your ID but it would cost you more than what you owe.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 17 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


Dear Pound Ridge Property Owner:

New York State law provides an operator of a self storage facility powerful tools to ensure that the rent due for the use of the storage is paid. There is almost no wiggle room. Falling behind in rent allows the owner to begin the process to sell the stored property at auction. It is almost always less expensive for the property owner to pay the past rent as swiftly as possible than to secure an attorney to postpone the sale or to run around on his own to a court to try to obtain a stay.

Read the Lien Law here:

Read your contract and the statute. You have so much at risk (how you could put such important personal documents into a storage locker is another matter altogether) that if you have any friends or family, borrow now to avoid a horrible loss, and then figure out how you will go forward.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


If the lock has not already been changed by the storage company, get your stuff out of the unit.