Contributing Editors

Kind Strangers Rent Storage Unit for Evicted Missouri Family

by Holly Robinson August 23, 2010 11:25 AM
Gladstone, Missouri citizens gave new meaning to the term “good Samaritan” this week. On Thursday, Gladstone city officials told a family that they would have to leave their home, not because of foreclosure -- but because the home was not safe. Early this summer, the home had begun to slide down a hill. The house belongs to Russell and Roberta Sitzman, who had lived there for 35 years and were surviving on disability payments. Yesterday, Gladstone’s city engineers condemned the house, telling the Sitzmans that they would have to leave the house by 6 pm Friday. After the Sitzmans’ story was broadcast on a local news station Thursday night, strangers began showing up at the house to help the Sitzmans to move and pack. They took up a collection and rented a storage unit for the family. [More]

Families Turn to Self Storage After Falling Prey to Loan Modification Scams

by Tony Gonzalez July 7, 2010 3:21 PM
The nation is slowly coming out of the recession, and unemployment rates are starting to drop. But many people, even after getting a new job, are struggling to catch up on their debts -- especially back mortgage payments. Bankruptcy rates are slowly rising. All too many families, seeking bankruptcy protection or trying to avoid foreclosures, have fallen prey to financial scams. One common scam occurs when a company takes money from a family, agrees to make arrangements for a mortgage loan modification with the bank or lender, and then does nothing, letting the property go into foreclosure. Ironically, some people have gone into foreclosure or bankruptcy right after becoming employed again. Many such families have turned to self storage facilities at the last minute, storing their possessions while looking for a place to live. [More]

Waikiki Self-Storage Facility in Limbo

by John Stevens January 25, 2010 10:46 AM
More than 600 customers' belongings are in limbo at Waikiki Self Storage in Honolulu. Early last week, managers phoned customers and asked them to come and collect their belongings as soon as possible, because there was a danger that the company would have to shut down. Hawaii News Now reported that its sources said that the owner owed back rent on the facility.

"There was someone who came in and posted a note on the door," said Waikiki's manager, Jenny Rodrigues. "We were all shocked." Waikiki's corporate office informed reporters that the notice on the door was an eviction notice, and commented that the landlord had raised the rent to an amount that the company could not afford. So, over the weekend of Jan. 16-17, the company asked staff members to clean up and prepare the business to leave the premises. One staff member reported that all the lights were taken from around the walls. Staff began calling tenants and asking them to come in and empty their units. [More]