People lose their houses and move all their stuff into self-storage, where the first month is often free. Then it turns out they can’t pay their self-storage bills any better than their mortgage. However, the number of defaults are down from a year ago, suggesting that the worst is over. [NYT]


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  1. samurailynn says:

    This is why I think storage units are a waste of money for most people. If you really don’t need to see that stuff for next 6 months, maybe you’d be better off selling it.

  2. u1itn0w2day says:

    Self storage can turn into one of the biggest scams in a hurry.First month free,2nd month regular rent and after the first of the year another INCREASE in rent.And big national corporate storage companies are the worst.Their whole theory is raise the rent as much as possible-they even tell you that in their corporate literature:profit based on the ability to raise rent.

    They’ll even raise rent to tell their corporate bosses they raised the rent-even though vacating tenants offset that increase.Extra Space Storage is a prime example of a national corporate storage company that does this.

    Deal with a smaller storage company if possible,the big national companies are greedy morons that don’t realize the value steady income from steady occupancy

  3. marsneedsrabbits says:


    If they can’t add well enough to know whether they can afford something or not, nothing I can do or say will fix them.

    That’s an epic level of fail.

  4. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    Can you spell R-E-C-E-S-S-I-O-N?

  5. u1itn0w2day says:

    One of the big mistakes people make when using storage is not having it claen & ORGANIZED.USE shelving and cabinets and make sure it’s walkable.The more accessable your stuff is the easier it is not to forget what you have or where it’s at.EASY ACCESS,some of these toads are charging almost 200$ per month for indoor units with no lighting.

    And see if your landlord will negotiate on any increases;my old landlord in a smaller storage company would always negotiate come rent increase time-they realized the value of steady income from steady occupancy.Extra Space Storage did NOT.

    I made the mistake of taking too much furniture and houseold stuff during a move.Best bet is to keep the sentimental or irreplaceable stuff but you should try to avoid storing common household stuff.

  6. homerjay says:

    And as soon as you default on your storage fees and they auction the thing off, I’m right there buying your entire life for $100.

  7. u1itn0w2day says:

    And remember unlike a foreclosure or residential eviction that can take almost a year most storage places only give you 2 months to catch up before it goes to auction.Keep in mind that a storage lease or contract is very ‘loose’ compared to a mortgage.

  8. valthun says:

    i worked a job where part of it was maintaining the storage lot. Sweeping the gutters and what not. Eventually we have to clear out the storage and take them to auction. A fair few of those are a dump site, because you can get in the first month free, then never worry about it again, someone else will clean up the mess. Whereas taking it to the dump yourself costs money when you go to the dump.

  9. u1itn0w2day says:

    Some treat storage like a deposit on an apartment-many don’t even try to get it back or maintain the unit they’re like here;you have my deposit.

    It’s too bad people use storage like that not even paying the 2nd month-but these companies wouldn’t use it if didn’t work.Once you start paying regulary many just consider it another bill rarely going to their unit and forgeting what they have.I think businesses are the only renters that go into their unit regularly.One thing I noticed many storage units don’t even offer discount for paying ahead which is crazy.

    I think a dump is a good analogy.There might be some intention to keep renting but after most have TIME to think what they have vs costs many will HAVE to abandon it.Just switching to cheaper company is frequently a large truck rental/costs,time and more paper work/moving in fees.

  10. I had a storage unit go into default and then to auction while I was laid up in the hospital. It was totally an oversight on my part. I owed about $200, and they sold all my items for $300. Then they hit me with bill for the $200 I originally owed! Erm… you got your money and then some, why am I being billed? After about 2 years, it finally got straightened out. Screw you Extra Space Storage!

  11. B says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: R-E-C-E-Q…

  12. heavylee-again says:

    All you junk are belong to us.

  13. geoffhazel says:

    @valthun: Wow, a free run to the dump! I never thought of that.

    That could be worth 50-100 dollars depending on how much junk you had to throw away.

  14. mmmmna says:

    From a ‘small business’ perspective, self storage is a goldmine: you either get the rent for the storage unit, or you get the items being stored. I know this because I signed a contract for a storage unit, a few years back. Some people store cars, motorcycles, you name it.

    If the cost of self storage is too much (I believe storage fees for a household of furnishings could easily exceed some mortgage rates), then the situation was too close in the first place, IMO.

  15. jdfalk says:

    Last time I signed up for a storage unit (long story, but it was necessary for a few weeks while moving between houses), I noticed an odd addendum to the contract which basically stated that the storage company isn’t liable for any damage, even if it’s provably their fault.

    I didn’t sign the addendum, of course. Who would?

  16. laserjobs says:

    Need to clean out a home of all the stuff and don’t want to go to the dump.

    Find a storage place that provides moving. Collect all your crap, pay for a couple months of storage and then stop paying. Problem solved.

    This is one reason moving companies ask for credit cards and a deposit. People use to give addresses for a place that they did not live in and the moving company was stuck with the crap.

  17. JohnMc says:

    Actually the worst of the default rates won’t be over till end of July. That’s when the number of ARM resets trends downward. Till then the number of defaults will continue unabated.