Sailor: Storage Unit Illegally Auctioned

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — If you stop paying for your storage unit, it can get auctioned off. The whole reality series “Storage Wars” is based on that.

Kirsten Palahniuk says her unit got auctioned, even though she paid for it, and didn’t get any notice.

Palahniuk has been renting a unit at the Stor-All Mini Storage in Springfield for more than two years, since right after her mother unexpectedly passed away when she was just 17.

A couple boxes of keepsakes were the only things not sold out of her storage unit. The highest bidder at the storage auction was required to pull any sentimental items aside and take the rest, but the buyer didn’t notice the rest of Palahniuk’s belongings were even more precious than what she got back.

“Most of it was stuff I inherited. Most of the furniture was handmade by my great grandpa. My whole life was in there. I had things, my mom’s wedding rings, everything,” Palahniuk said.

Management was supposed to give at least a 30-day notice before auctioning any unpaid units, but Palahniuk says she got no notice, and she says had paid through July 1.

“They had posted an ad in the newspaper for me to see to let me know that they were going to auction my stuff, but we don’t get the newspaper in the Middle East,” Palahniuk said.

That’s where Palahniuk was deployed during all this. She was on her Navy ship on the Arabian Sea when she got word from her dad about the auction. With her limited communication, Palahniuk’s dad tried his best to straighten things out.

“When he tried to contact the storage people. They wouldn’t talk to him. They wouldn’t tell him anything. He wasn’t able to try and recover any of my things or even try and pay for it,” Palahniuk said.

Palahniuk says she got a similar treatment from Emerald Property Management who runs the Stor-All units, so she hired a lawyer, who says EPM is in violation the of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that is supposed to protect active military from foreclosures and situations like this. Unfortunately, a lawsuit won’t bring back Palahniuk’s invaluable belongings.

“Best case scenario would be whoever bought my stuff realizes it and maybe gives it back, but I know that’s not possible…I mean I’m out there serving my country and my whole life is sold, and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Palahniuk said.

We spoke with representatives from EPM who did not want to do an interview, but said the auction was a mistake and claimed they did not know Palahniuk was military and they are “trying to do the best we can”.

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