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Lien Sale Requirement Bill Passes House

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  • Lien Sale Requirement Bill Passes House

    A bill that would decrease the requirement for facilities to print lien sale notices in newspapers (from twice to once) has passed the state House of Representatives and faces little opposition in the Senate.

    If you're in Wisconsin, how do you feel about this bill?
    John Carlisle
    Community Manager Emeritus
    Still a Big Fan of Self-Storage!

  • #2
    John, although I am not from Wisconsin, here is my thought. North Carolina has a new statute that says that we can begin lien processing at 15 days past due. My whole career in storage has been in states that require a minimum of 30 days to begin. I am much more comfortable using the 30 days position that the 15 day one. Even if we were allowed to mail only once, I believe that I would still advertise twice. I don't want to be the test case.
    Bob Taylor (Astro)
    Blue Ridge Self Storage
    Cashiers, NC

    Disclaimer: What Gina said....'cause the the cheese fell of my cracker.


    • #3
      Leave the laws alone

      I am not from Wisconsin, however, I have noticed that many of the State associations attempt to make their mark by tinkering with their states lien laws. While this may be a perceived victory, the reality is that many of these changes only further complicate the lien foreclosure process. For example, Wisconsin has now degraded the ability of the consumer to learn of pending lien foreclosures by reducing the publication requirement to only one day? By the way, this is a State that gave us Cook v. Public Storage.

      The State associations, well meaning as they may be, are making changes that only benefit self storage owners at the expense of consumers. This strategy only invites greater oversight, regulation and taxation (sales tax). Every time we go to the great Government trough, we must give something up. Every time we lobby our legislators to make these trivial changes, we raise our hands and say "tax us".

      Let's stay away from legislators and if your going to make legislative changes, make the fair, significant and beneficial to everyone.


      • #4
        Be careful, you will upset the owners.
        The End Is Near!


        • #5
          Updated ranting about upset owners....sorry

          Maybe the owners need to understand that this is not the time to be removing consumer protections unless we give some additional protections back. For example, Michigan recently changed their lien law to allow for website advertising, yet, to my knowledge, no website exists that allows Michigan facilities to post advertisements, meet the requirements of the code section and most importantly, retain the postings for any significant period of time so that proof can be presented in the event a conversion claim is filed by an aggrieved plaintiff. In other words, the solution has now created a problem. Crazy ideas like, reducing the number of publication dates to one instead of two? Self storage facilities already have the ability to sell upon short order, the entire cadre of worldly possessions that a person owns, by only sending a few letters, now by regular mail, a single newspaper ad and hopefully a few phone calls. So much for due process according to the Constitution. Once again, almost all of the changes that these hardworking, volunteers involved in State associations work hard to pass, only benefit self storage owners at the expense of consumers. The late fee legislation that has now swept across the landscape got its start in North Carolina when a State congressman's son has his unit foreclosed upon by a self storage facility. We are living in a "nanny state" political climate, do we really want politicians determining our future?

          Washington has also created yet another clunky, ill conceived definition of "personal papers" and ostensibly requires self storage owners to discover, remove and NOT SELL personal papers. No one complies with this language, instead everyone in Washington pretends that it doesn't mean what it means.

          California recently made legislative changes that allows California operators to send a preliminary lien notice by regular mail with a proof of mailing receipt rather than verified mail which would have been much better. Managers must now differentiate between the two different letters and treat each accordingly when the law could have been simply changed to provide for "verified mail" as is the case in a recent Arizona change. This change is of no value if the tenant resides outside the United States, whereas in Arizona, a self storage owner could use registered mail which would comply if the tenant is not residing in the U.S.

          The problem in all these instances is that legislators are not very good at crafting legislation that works well for business and self storage spokespersons don't always understand the implications of wordsmithing. And once again, when you keep going back to the trough, you will eventually get muddy, hence the resurgence of a sales tax on self storage being contemplated again by some burearcrat in Michigan.

          Self storage is developing an image problem. It is an industry that is viewed as being highly profitable and thanks to Public Storage, an industry that sorely needs more regulation. If you don't believe me, check out Ripoff Report | Scams, consumer complaints, and frauds reported. and type in "self storage" or "public storage" in the search field. Public Storage also produces the bulk of our noteworthy, apellate court decisions that we all must adjust our policies by. When well meaning State associations continue to hire lobbyists, make tweeky changes that only benefit self storage owners and then fail to comply with already existing lien laws, then our industry loses its ability to "bitch and complain" when political hacks butcher our lien laws and hand them over to managers who must navigate the mine field.

          My unenlightened opinion about angry owners....
          Last edited by StorGirl; 6 April 2010, 12:56 AM. Reason: grammar


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