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What's the point of having lien laws if they aren't enforced?

Offline Travis

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What's the point of having lien laws if they aren't enforced?
« on: August 05, 2013, 03:13:36 PM »
What's the point of having lien laws if they aren't enforced?

In my state, if a storage facility violates a provision in our lien law, there is nobody there to enforce it. A few months ago I contacted our state's self storage association to inquire about this and they informed me that there is no government agency responsible for enforcement. I was told that my only recourse was to file a complaint with the state's attorney general's office or file a lawsuit. I contacted the attorney general's office and they didn't even bother investigating.

A storage facility's only incentive for honesty is the threat of a lawsuit from the delinquent tenant. But let's face it, storage facilities can afford legal challenges and people who can't even afford to pay for their storage aren't going to be able to afford an attorney, so the risk is minimal.     

Re: What's the point of having lien laws if they aren't enforced?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 04:31:27 PM »
That's why there's always shennanigans being played with these units at some facilities. Typically, the corporate chains will play by the rules, because their name in the press for breaking lien laws is much more harmful than the lawsuit settlement. For the privately owned facilities, there really is no punishment for breaking the law. The court of public opinion only lies in their hometown.. and soon enough, people will forget.

Offline alloro

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Re: What's the point of having lien laws if they aren't enforced?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 05:11:24 PM »
What's the point of having lien laws if they aren't enforced?

It's the same point as having a U.S. Constitution when the Commander-in-Chief doesn't follow it.

Re: What's the point of having lien laws if they aren't enforced?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 08:03:37 AM »
I'm sure anyone who is going to read this has read the book thread I started. I also commented on how my last locker purchase was an odd combo of items, from boxes of books to store displays. Since I've been going through my books and researching them, it has become obvious the locker was set up. The storage place in question was tied to another business, Gullys Garden Center, run by an old couple. Well the boxes of books had to have been theirs, because I've been finding their mail being used as bookmarks in a few cases. Some mail marked from as old as the 90's.

Now this wasnt a bad locker, I stand to make a grand at least off $200. But it still leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and unlike most people who may feel their locker has been set up, I actually have proof in the form of the owners mail! This most likely isn't so different than what Travis has been doing on VSA, but you still hate to think your just buying the owners old stuff! These old swindlers need to be called on their indiscretions and I'm going to explore the right avenues to do that.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: What's the point of having lien laws if they aren't enforced?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 08:19:46 AM »
This most likely isn't so different than what Travis has been doing on VSA, but you still hate to think your just buying the owners old stuff! These old swindlers need to be called on their indiscretions and I'm going to explore the right avenues to do that.
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When it comes down to getting justice on something like this there's not much that will be done by any agency. This is at the worst a white-collar crime (though a dirty white collar) without too much loss (if any) on the part of the person who got stung. 

District attorneys aren't going to explore something so small....even if was an on-going enterprise by a facility it would be difficult to prove multiple instances....many buyers wouldn't even know they got hit by a setup.

Now pressure from customers might put a facility on notice, and an aggressive buyer who got stung might get satisfaction from the facility and the auctioneer if enough pressure was brought to bear. To wit:

Several years ago a buyer bought a beautiful looking locker for $4,000. Turned out the new, brand-name cardboard tool boxes were ALL empty!  He screamed enough that the got the $4k back and the facility got a bad rep which is only now coming back around due to new management.

But getting any government agency involved...IMO...it isn't going to happen with any ease or regularity....there are bigger fish to fry...violent crime, drugs, etc which will take priority. A car repair shop which is defrauding customers would be much easier to catch as an example.

Re: What's the point of having lien laws if they aren't enforced?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 08:53:55 AM »
I agree with pretty much everything you said Movieman, and wouldn't bother involving the police or DA or anything of the sort. My plan is to confront the owner directly with his small stack of mail and ask why it was scattered through out the books of my locker purchase.


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