Missed Storage Payments: Consequences and Family Solutions

Published: 01 May, 2023

Last Updated: 01 May, 2023

Serik Baimoldayev

Serik Baimoldayev

Missed storage payments can lead to a series of unfortunate events, potentially resulting in the loss of one’s possessions. As a married individual with children, understanding the implications of defaulting on your storage unit rental agreement is crucial for avoiding unnecessary stress and financial strain.

In this blog post, we will delve into the initial consequences that follow missed payments, such as being locked out from your property and attempts by facility managers to contact you. We will also discuss the importance of maintaining open communication with storage facility managers and negotiating payment plans or deals when needed.

Furthermore, we’ll explore the auction process timeline associated with self-storage units – including last-minute options for settling debt – as well as legal requirements for publicizing auctions and sending certified letters as final notice. Although attending your own auction may seem like an option worth considering, we strongly advise against it; instead, seek alternative solutions or legal advice.

Last but not least, we will examine long-term consequences of defaulting on storage payments that could impact your credit score and make securing housing or other services more difficult in the future. By gaining comprehensive knowledge about missed storage payments now,

Table of Contents:

Initial Consequences of Missed Storage Payments

When you miss payments for your storage unit, the facility will lock you out of both the property and your unit. This can be a stressful situation for any family, especially when important belongings are stored inside. Understanding the consequences and steps taken by the storage facility is crucial in order to prevent further complications.

Lockout from Property and Storage Unit

The moment you default on your storage bill, expect to be locked out of not only your storage unit, but also the entire property where it’s located. The facility manager will replace your lock with a special red one as a warning sign that access has been denied due to missed storage payments. Additionally, they’ll post a letter cautioning against attempting entry into the restricted area.

Facility Manager’s Attempts to Contact Tenant

  • Email: Check your inbox regularly for any emails from your storage company regarding payment reminders or notices about missed payments.
  • Phone call: Make sure that all contact information provided during registration is up-to-date so that managers can easily reach you via phone calls if necessary.
  • Mailed notice: Keep an eye on physical mail delivered at home since some facilities may send letters through postal services informing tenants about their overdue bills and potential actions taken against them.

In case these attempts fail because of incorrect contact details or unresponsiveness from tenants’ end, it becomes even more critical for individuals facing such situations to take proactive measures before losing access permanently along with their possessions stored within those units. To avoid reaching this point altogether, consider setting up automatic payments for your storage unit or closely monitoring due dates to ensure timely payment.

It is important to note that missed payments can have serious consequences, such as a lockout from the property and storage unit. Therefore, it is essential for tenants to maintain open communication with their facility manager in order to discuss payment plans or deals.

Key Takeaway: When you miss payments for your storage unit, the facility will lock you out of both the property and your unit. The facility manager will replace your lock with a special red one as a warning sign that access has been denied due to missed storage payments. To avoid this situation, consider setting up automatic payments or closely monitoring due dates.

Communication with Storage Facility Manager

If you’re in default on your storage bill, it’s crucial not to ignore any communication from the facility manager. Reach out proactively and negotiate a deal before things escalate further. Keeping an open line of communication can help avoid worst-case scenarios like having your belongings auctioned off.

Importance of Maintaining Open Communication

Maintaining open communication with the storage facility manager is essential for resolving missed payment issues. Ignoring their attempts to contact you will only make matters worse and increase the likelihood of losing your possessions at an auction. Be proactive by responding promptly to emails, phone calls, or letters from the facility manager regarding missed payments.

Negotiating Payment Plans or Deals

In many cases, storage facilities are willing to work with tenants who have fallen behind on their payments if they demonstrate a genuine effort to resolve the situation. This may include negotiating a payment plan, requesting additional time to pay off outstanding balances, or discussing other possible solutions that could prevent your items from being auctioned off.

  • Payment Plan: Work out a mutually agreeable arrangement where you can pay back what you owe over time instead of all at once.
  • Additional Time: Request more time to gather funds needed for paying off outstanding debts while keeping up-to-date on future payments.
  • Possible Solutions: Discuss alternative options such as downsizing your unit or transferring ownership temporarily until financial stability is regained.

To ensure success in these negotiations, be honest about your financial situation and express willingness to cooperate fully with management throughout this process. Remember that both parties share a common goal: to resolve the issue without resorting to an auction.

Maintaining open communication with the storage facility manager is essential to ensure that you are aware of all payment options and deadlines. Therefore, it’s important to understand the timeline between defaulting on payments and auctions in order to explore last-minute solutions for settling debt.

Auction Process Timeline

Understanding the timeline between missing storage payments and having your items sent off for auction is crucial. This period allows tenants to take advantage of opportunities to settle their debts or make arrangements with the storage management team before losing one’s possessions permanently.

Timeframe Between Missed Payments and Auctions

The exact timeframe can vary depending on local laws and regulations, but generally, there is a grace period after missing a payment during which you can still catch up without any penalties. If you continue to miss payments beyond this grace period, the storage facility will declare your account in default. From that point, it typically takes about 30-90 days before an auction is scheduled.

  • Grace Period: Usually lasts around 5-15 days after missed payment due date.
  • In Default: Account status if payments are not made within the grace period.
  • Auction Scheduling: Occurs approximately 30-90 days after being declared in default.

Last-Minute Options for Settling Debt

If you find yourself nearing an auction date without having resolved your debt situation, don’t panic just yet. There may still be some last-minute options available to help prevent losing all of your belongings at an auction:

  1. Contact your storage account manager immediately: Explain your financial situation and see if they are willing to work out a payment plan or other arrangement that would allow you to keep your items while catching up on past-due amounts.
  2. Seek financial assistance: Look into local charities, non-profit organizations, or even friends and family who may be able to help you cover the outstanding balance.
  3. Consider selling some of your items: If possible, sell some belongings before they go to auction. This can provide you with funds needed to pay off your storage debt and prevent losing everything at once.

Do not disregard the issue and expect it to disappear without any action. Proactively addressing the issue by communicating with the facility manager or seeking outside assistance is crucial in avoiding a worst-case scenario where all of your possessions are lost at an auction. For more information about dealing with missed storage payments and navigating through this challenging situation, check out our guide on how to handle missed storage payments effectively.

The auction process timeline is an important factor to consider when dealing with missed storage payments. To ensure the proper legal steps are taken, it’s essential to understand how publicizing a storage unit auction works.

Key Takeaway: When a storage payment is missed, there is usually a grace period of 5-15 days before the account goes into default. After that, an auction may be scheduled within 30-90 days. However, it’s important to communicate with the facility manager and seek financial assistance or sell belongings to prevent losing all possessions at once.

Publicizing Storage Unit Auctions

By law, storage facilities are required to publicize upcoming auctions in newspapers or other publications for two consecutive weeks prior. As part of this process, they must send certified letters notifying affected tenants about these events so that they have one last chance at retrieving their items before being sold off publicly.

Legal requirements for announcing auctions

In order to ensure a fair and transparent auction process, storage companies must adhere to specific legal guidelines when it comes to announcing the event. This includes publishing notices in local newspapers or online platforms where potential bidders can easily access the information. For example, websites like StorageTreasures and Lockerfox allow users to search for upcoming storage unit auctions by location.

Certified letters sent as final notice

Besides public announcements, storage managers are also obligated to send out certified letters directly addressing tenants who have defaulted on their payments. These notifications serve as a final warning before your belongings go up for auction. It is crucial that you keep your contact information updated with the facility management team so you don’t miss any important communications regarding missed storage payments and impending auctions.

  • Action Item: Make sure your contact details (mailing address, email address, phone number) are up-to-date with the storage management.
  • Tips:
    • If possible, provide an alternate contact person’s details in case you cannot be reached during critical times such as payment default situations.
    • Add reminders on your calendar or set up automatic payments to avoid missing payment deadlines.

By staying informed about the auction process and keeping your contact information current, you can take proactive steps to prevent losing your belongings in a storage auction. Take prompt action to ensure you don’t miss payment deadlines – contact the facility management team immediately if you require any assistance.

It is important to be aware of the legal requirements for announcing auctions and sending certified letters as a final notice. Attending your own auction, however, should be avoided if possible and tenants should seek alternative solutions or legal advice instead.

Key Takeaway: Storage facilities are required by law to publicize upcoming auctions in newspapers or other publications for two consecutive weeks prior. They must also send certified letters notifying affected tenants about these events so that they have one last chance at retrieving their items before being sold off publicly. It is crucial to keep contact information updated with the facility management team and set up automatic payments to avoid missing payment deadlines.

Attending Your Own Auction – Not Recommended.

It may be tempting, but attending an auction where your own belongings are up for grabs isn’t a wise move. Instead of putting yourself in an uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing situation, it’s better to focus on resolving the issue with the storage facility beforehand or seek legal advice if necessary. Trying to attend or disrupt an auction could lead to further complications and even legal consequences.

Avoiding auctions as a tenant

If you are at risk of having your possessions auctioned off due to missed storage payments, it is essential that you act quickly and contact the storage manager to explore payment plans or other solutions. Reach out to the storage manager and discuss potential payment plans or other solutions that can help prevent your items from being sold at auction. Remember, communication is key when dealing with any financial issues.

  • Contact the storage manager as soon as possible.
  • Negotiate payment plans or alternative arrangements.
  • Maintain open lines of communication throughout the process.

Seeking alternative solutions and legal advice

In some cases, tenants might need additional assistance beyond negotiating directly with their storage managers. Seeking professional guidance from a lawyer who specializes in debt management can provide valuable insights into your rights and options during this challenging time. A qualified attorney will be able to advise you on how best to proceed in order not only to save your belongings but also to protect yourself legally.

To find reputable lawyers specializing in debt management near you, consider using resources such as the The NACBA (National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys) can provide assistance in locating reliable legal professionals with experience handling debt-related matters. Justia Bankruptcy Lawyer Directory, or Avvo Find a Lawyer.

Remember, missed payments can lead to abandoned storage units and losing one’s possessions. Don’t let it get to that point. Take action and communicate with your storage company to avoid losing your storage unit altogether. Make sure to review your rental agreement and understand the consequences of not paying on time, including being denied access to your storage facility.

Going to an auction in person is not recommended, as it can be a highly demanding and intense situation. Instead, seeking alternative solutions or legal advice may help to avoid the consequences of defaulting on storage payments in the long-term.

Key Takeaway: If you miss storage payments, attending your own auction is not recommended as it could lead to legal consequences. Instead, reach out to the storage manager immediately and negotiate payment plans or alternative arrangements. Seeking professional guidance from a lawyer who specializes in debt management can also provide valuable insights into your rights and options during this challenging time.

Long-Term Consequences of Defaulting on Storage Payments

Missing storage payments can have lasting effects that extend beyond the loss of your possessions. These consequences can impact various aspects of your life, such as future rental applications, home purchases, auto insurance rates, and even attempts at renting self-storage units in the future. To avoid these negative outcomes, it’s essential to keep up-to-date contact information and read lease agreements carefully.

Impact on Credit Score

One’s credit standing is an indispensable element when submitting requests for loans or other fiscal facilities. When you default on storage payments, this information may be reported to credit bureaus, which could negatively affect your credit score. A lower credit score makes it more challenging to secure favorable interest rates or obtain approval for loans and lines of credit.

Difficulty Securing Housing or Other Services

A history of missed storage payments can raise red flags for potential landlords or service providers who review your background during their decision-making process. This may result in being denied an apartment lease application or facing higher security deposits when renting a new place to live. Additionally, some auto insurance companies use credit scores as part of their risk assessment process; thus having poor payment history might lead to increased premiums.

  • Maintain open communication: Keep in touch with the storage manager if you’re struggling with payments so they are aware of any issues before things escalate further.
  • Negotiate payment plans: Reach out to the storage facility and discuss possible payment plans or other arrangements that could help you avoid defaulting on your payments.
  • Update contact information: Ensure your contact details are up-to-date with the storage facility, so you don’t miss any important notices regarding missed payments or impending auctions.
  • Read lease agreements carefully: Familiarize yourself with all terms and conditions of your storage unit lease agreement to understand potential consequences in case of non-payment. If necessary, seek legal advice for clarification.

In order to prevent long-term consequences from defaulting on storage payments, it’s crucial to stay proactive about managing your finances and maintaining communication with the storage facility. By taking these steps, you can safeguard both your possessions and future financial opportunities.

Key Takeaway: Missing storage payments can have long-term consequences such as impacting future rental applications, home purchases, and auto insurance rates. Defaulting on payments may also negatively affect credit scores and make it difficult to secure housing or other services. To avoid these outcomes, maintaining open communication with the storage manager, negotiating payment plans if necessary, updating contact information regularly, and reading lease agreements carefully are essential steps to take.

FAQs in Relation to Missed Storage Payments

What Happens When Storage Payments Are Missed?

When a tenant misses a storage payment, they may be denied access to their unit and face late fees. The storage facility manager will try to contact the tenant to resolve the payment issue. If the tenant is unreachable or unable to make payments, the contents of the storage unit may eventually be auctioned off after a legally mandated period.

How Long Before a Storage Unit Is Auctioned Off in California?

In California, a storage unit can be auctioned off 14 days after the rent becomes due if no payment has been made. However, facilities must send written notice to tenants at least 10 days before the scheduled auction date. StorageTreasures provides information on upcoming auctions in California.

Does Defaulting on a Storage Unit Hurt Your Credit?

Defaulting on a storage unit can negatively impact your credit score if the facility reports unpaid debts to collection agencies or credit bureaus. This could make it difficult to secure housing or other services that require good credit standing.

When Can a Storage Unit Be Auctioned Off in Michigan?

In Michigan, once rent is overdue by more than 30 days, facilities must provide written notice via certified mail with return receipt requested. Auctions cannot occur until at least 15 days have passed since mailing this final notice. You can find more information on the Michigan Self Service Storage Facility Act.

Abandoned storage units can be a headache for both the tenant and the storage company. It is important to make payments on time or communicate with the storage facility to arrange a payment plan. Otherwise, you risk losing your possessions and damaging your credit score. Always read and understand the rental agreement before signing up for a storage unit altogether.


In conclusion, missed storage payments can have serious consequences such as being denied access to your unit and losing your possessions through an auction process. It is important to maintain open communication with the storage company’s manager and negotiate payment plans or deals if necessary. If you do end up defaulting on payments, be aware of the timeline for auctions and legal requirements for announcing them.

At SEKA Moving, we understand that life happens and unexpected financial situations can arise. That’s why we offer full-service moving and storage solutions in New York, New Jersey, and Los Angeles. Contact us now and we will handle your moving and storage needs with attention to detail!

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