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In considering a topic for this storage blog, I questioned whether the topic of “storage auctions” might be too negative. An overview of the process that ultimately leads with the sale of a storage renter’s stored goods via auction? I thought maybe it would be better to distance ourselves from the issue. However, the reality is that storage auctions are a standard part of the self-storage business. Additionally, they’re also becoming increasingly well known thanks to the various TV shows that have popped up over the last year trying to portray an entertaining side to them. While the shows themselves can indeed be quite entertaining, the reality is that most storage companies (Big Box Storage of San Diego certainly included) do everything they can to avoid selling a customer’s goods.
The standard storage delinquency process of most storage companies around the country (varies according to state) is one in which the renter is sent multiple notices, informing them of their delinquency and the potential consequences. In San Diego (and throughout California), most self-storage companies start the process with a late letter that is sent out 5 to 15 days after the rent due date. Basically, this is just a courtesy letter reminding the customer of the payment obligation. It also is typically accompanied by a nominal late fee. In the event payment isn’t received within the couple of weeks that follow, the company will then mail out a preliminary lien letter (commonly referred to as a pre-lien letter in the industry). This letter takes a somewhat stronger approach and warns the renter that if payment isn’t received by a particular date, a lien will be placed on the stored goods in accordance with the particular state laws and rental agreement. Should payment still not be forthcoming, a lien letter is sent to the renter in the weeks that follows. The primary reason for the lien letter is to inform the renter that the stored goods will be sold at auction if payment isn’t received by a particular date. Of course, most storage companies will also ensure that the letters are interspersed with telephone call attempts to the storage renter.
Should a San Diego self storage company opt to proceed with an auction sale as expeditiously as legally possible, the total duration of the delinquency process (from the initial delinquency date to the sale) is between 2 to 3 months. However, most storage companies are a bit more flexible with the time line.
Just as with every storage company across the country, Big Box Storage has a percentage of its customer base (albeit a small one) that is late in paying its monthly rent. However, the company truly views an auction sale as a last resort. Customers willing to communicate with the company and make even good faith payments can often avoid such a fate. The bottom line is that if you’re a customer of Big Box Storage in San Diego currently behind on your monthly rental rate, call us at 1-800-391-4890. You’ll find us to be quite flexible and accommodating when it comes to trying to avoid auction sales.