Losing a Home, Then Losing Everything That Was Put In Storage

The foreclosure crisis is hitting yet another American locale: the self-storage center.

Nearly non-existent 35 years ago, self-storage has become ubiquitous, with 51,000 facilities nationwide. Even as the larger economy falters, the industry is flourishing. Executives say the mortgage crisis is one reason.

People generally rely on storage when they are dealing with major milestones: marriage or divorce, a relative’s death, a job transfer or, in boom times, remodeling or building new homes. Now you can add foreclosure to the list.

As they lose their homes, people are turning to these humble cinderblock and sheet-metal boxes to store their stuff. But some people cannot keep up with their storage bills any better than they could handle their mortgage payments, and storage companies are auctioning off their property for a pittance.

A cottage industry has developed to profit from these lost and abandoned items.

Read (New York Times)