Q: Can I sue a storage unit company for selling my property even tho the payments were being automatically paid monthly?
Before the sale of the contents in the Unit payments were being taken out of my account and several months AFTHER the sale of the unit contents payments were being taken out of my account monthly ..I contacted the owners they said it was a "Fluke" and offered me 660.00 dollars for my property . Requiring that I make the trip ( over 100 miles) there and sign forms releasing them of all responsibility. If I did NOT have the money in the account and was not able to pay a payment I would ALWAYS inform them when to expect it and to take it out. Not once in the 7 years I have been with them have I ever left them in the dark on anything like they have me in this issue.. I am very saddened by the sale of my PERSONAL property that can NEVER be replaced and was sold over what the owner calls a "Fluke" .. ** It was several months after the sale before I found out about the sale; Is there a statue of limitations on this issue taken place in Surry Co. North Carolina?
A: Yes, there is a statute of limitations. It is three (3) years for most things in NC. Your ability to prevail in a lawsuit here is problematic (note I did not say impossible - I said problematic). (1) Contracts by storage facilities generally allow the storage facility owner to enter a storage unit and sell the contents if payments are not made. You indicate payments were made timely. If so, then these should be showing up on your bank statement. (2) the contract should spell out what happens if a payment is not made and notice provisions. What does the contract say? What did the storage facility do? Did they notify you of the sale? and (3) assuming that you are not barred by the statute of limitations and that you can prove, based on the lease and lack of notice and bank statements that the sale was wrongful, then what are your damages? if you had irreplaceable stuff in the warehouse, that was on you. Its going to be very difficult to establish values for items that are one of a kind or of sentimental value. I am willing to bet you did not keep a list of what was there, or photos of it. And values for used items are not what they would be for new. Unless you can document the value then its going to be hard to recover anything more than a nominal value.
Your biggest hurdle though is going to be timing. When did this sale of your property occur and when did you learn of it? How long ago was that? The other hurdle is where are you now? You will have to sue them in Surry County. If your damages are less than $10,000 you can sue in small claims court but you will have to be here to file forms and attend the hearing. If you wish to sue in regular court you will have to get an attorney.
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