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  • Auction question

    Hi Everyone! I am having an auction soon on a unit where the lady always tells me she is coming in but never does. The items belong to her deceased spouse and she is very attached to the stuff. The last time her unit was up for auction she convinced the fire department to pay all monies owed so she could keep it. Well it is back in arrears and here we go. The auction is next week and she owes over 400 on it. I do on line auctions and my question is what can I do, if anything, if the auction does generate much money? I did not set a minimum bid on the unit as the software I use will not let me. I have just spent so much time on this tenant I would like to get what she owes on it, but am not sure if there is anything I can do. I just wanted to see if any of you have been in this situation with the same tenant before. Thanks for any feedback.
    "A Dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself".

  • #2
    Lordy-yes. Here's lesson I learned the hard way-You, as a manager and as a nice person, cannot love their stuff more than they do.
    If she wanted it she'd pay or move out. And without meaning to sound harsh, her stuff ain't your problem-unless she doesn't pay.
    You might have seen the post I made about a similar situation. Your job is send out notices, try and make contact (over and over), follow the lien laws and if she doesn't pay, it's gone.
    And when it's gone-it's over.
    You can feel for her but there is truly nothing you can do.
    Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

    WA State

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    • #3
      Hi KrisinWA, actually I do not feel bad for her, I am just over her drama and I either want her to pay on time or get out!!! Dealing with her stuff is so time consuming. I just want to get the money that she owes on the rent but I am afraid that the auction may not generate that much and I am not sure if I should pull the plug on the auction, if it doesnt generate the money she owes, or just let it go...
      "A Dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself".

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      • #4
        With many units, unfortunately we do not recoup what we've lost and our effort put into everything (especially difficult tenants). I'd say whatever you get from it, move on from there and add her to your do not rent list. It's only going to get you more worked up and consume more of your time and energy to keep pulling it from auction and putting it back. If you're not sure it will bring in much, another option would be to offer her a deal to pay 75% of what's owed and move out before the end of the month. If you choose that route, you'll at least know you set an expectation of what you will bring in from the unit and she will be gone. Make sure you put in the payment agreement, if allowed, that if anything is left behind after the agreed upon move out date, is considered abandoned and then you can do with it what you want...providing you state laws, etc. Good luck and I'm interested in a follow up!

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        • #5
          Hi Angela, thank you for your reply. That is good idea to offer her a % to get out. May use that one in the future. I will surely post how it goes. Thanks again.
          "A Dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself".

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          • #6
            Get it sold, collect the money and apply to account, write off the difference and move on and rent that unit. Your niceness is stressing you out. I can see that in your post. Like Kris said, you cannot care more than her for the items in the unit. You can bet that she told the fire department that if they pay "just this once" she will get the items out or keep the rent current. SHE DID NOT!
            "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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            • #7
              You can definitely do like Angela suggests-tell her, "Ma'am, you give me HALF of what you owe, IN CASH and come with a moving truck and move everything out before I close and we'll call it square."
              Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

              WA State

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              • #8
                If its already at auction, just let it go for what it sells for and cut your losses. Let the auction buyer deal with cleaning it out. Trying to offer her a deal at this late hour is only going to prolong things and cost you more money.
                You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....

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                • #9
                  In my over 35 years I've only had 2 auctions where I got what the tenant owed. If you have followed all the correct procedures in your state to auction her contents, I wouldn't waste any more of my time contacting her. If she didn't come in on her own I would follow through with the auction, collect the proceeds and write off the balance (if any) and move on.

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                  • #10
                    At this point, the best thing you can do is just let it go. If you pull from auction now and reschedule, the balance owed is only going to get higher. Don't try to contact her anymore. If she wants her stuff, she'll find a way to pay for it. If not, not your problem.
                    Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jewelgreg View Post
                      I just want to get the money that she owes on the rent but I am afraid that the auction may not generate that much and I am not sure if I should pull the plug on the auction, if it doesnt generate the money she owes, or just let it go...
                      Pulling the plug on the auction will only delay the process and run up more of a balance due for the next auction. If you don't get her to agree to a deal to pay a portion and move out, just take what you get at auction and be happy to be done with her. This is, unfortunately, part of this business.
                      MamaDuke

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                      • #12
                        If you think she can come up with some of the money and move out, then do so to save you the extensive paperwork, costs, and time of having an auction. I have customers who tell me that they "can't live without that stuff" "Well, it's been in storage for over two months' and you've lived without it" is what I want to say, but I tell them a set price and a specific date! If they pay by that date and move all of the product out by close of business on that date, then we are square and I don't send them to collections. Using the "C" word sometimes will get their attention. Technically since the unit is in her husband's name (i'm assuming) going to collections won't affect her or him as he is deceased. Making this buyout offer doesn't stop the auction process unless she pays the buyout payment, then it stops the auction as if she paid it in full. You have to have her sign the documents that anything left inside of the unit at the end of the business day - or whatever day you agree to, is abandoned property for you to do with as you wish.

                        You are dealing with someone who is in mourning. There is such a thing as widows brain. They used to be highly functioning and now that their spouse is gone, they feel lost, no longer sure footed and insecure to make any type of decision. This doesn't make your situation any easier, but it may help you understand that she may not remember that she's ever spoken to you.

                        Give her your condolences, then tell her that she needs to understand that without the payment opportunity that you offer her, the property will be sold to the highest bidder and you will ask for her personal items to be returned but you can't guarantee that this will happen as it is up to the person who wins the bid. You can also let her know, if this is your company's stance on auction units, that any monies owed that are not collected at auction will be sent to collections.

                        IF the contract is in her name, then it will go to collections and can be reflected on her credit history. Sometimes, this will get people motivated to come up with the $$ to close out their account.
                        Throw kindness around like Confetti - But don't get glitter in your eyes!

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                        • #13
                          Hi Terri, thank you for your response. The Unit is in her name, her husband has been gone for 2 years and she sends her money to an on line boyfriend that she has never met, per her daughter.. Her kids have bailed her out multiple times and they are sick of it too even though they would like to keep their father's stuff. I think she takes advantage of people however she probably is lost without him. But come on.. I have stopped trying to contact her, she knows when the auction is and I am ready to just let it go for whatever about it brings in. What irritates me is that she says she cannot part with the stuff but then doesn't pay her rent. I would just like to get what she owes for it at this point but that may not happen. You guys are all great, I love this forum and have gotten some great ideas from here. So glad I found it.
                          "A Dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself".

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