September 23, 2010 11:51 PM
There are many reasons, happy and sad, to become a self storage tenant, but one of the saddest must be to have to put belongings in self storage because your home has been foreclosed on. But in a recession economy, foreclosures seem to have become the new American experience, with millions of Americans from all walks of life losing their homes. Self storage companies have stepped up to the plate, offering storage to families who are going through a transition from one home to another, providing the first month or two of storage at a discount while families struggle to get back on their feet, and providing discounts to families with special circumstances, such as military families. Families who use self storage typically do so temporarily, while they are in transition, with the average self storage tenancy for an individual or family lasting about 11 months, according to industry statistics published last May in NuWire Investor.
Now it is becoming clear that one subset of self storage customers -- families who have lost their homes to foreclosure -- may have been improperly evicted from their homes in a deeply flawed foreclosure process that does not allow for careful and thorough review of mortgage documents and records to occur before the eviction process begins. Some bank employees are signing off on foreclosure documents without first going through the documents to make sure that the foreclosure is truly justified. Some of the foreclosures that have been processed over the last few years not only were processed far too quickly and sloppily, but are not even legal, because some files contained documents that were forged, signatures that were forged, names of made-up companies and employees from those companies, and affidavits that were signed without the presence of a notary (or that were signed by a notary several days after the initial signature that the notary was supposed to have witnessed). [More]
February 3, 2010 11:51 AM
Maine's legislature is one step closer this week to passing the state's new law protecting personal financial records that are abandoned in self-storage units. The bill, LD 1499, is under final review by the Business Research Economic Development Committee. It was drafted by the Maine Self Storage Association together with the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, and is expected to pass in both Maine's House and Senate this spring. The bill was sponsored by Maine State Senator Peter Bowman.
Under Maine's current law, items in self-storage units may be sold if rent for the unit is 45 days or more past due. The self-storage operator is not required to inventory the unit for personal records, or to notify any regulators if personal records are found or believed to be present, as often happens when mortgage companies that keep their records in self-storage go out of business. [More]