How to Reclaim Your Storage Unit & Unpaid Rental Fees

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Before the coronavirus pandemic, self storage was a great business investment. The industry raked in $39 billion in annual revenue. In 2017, nearly 10 percent of Americans owned a self storage unit and spent an average of $87.89 each month to store their belongings.

Business was booming only a short time ago, but how are things in 2020? It may be too early to tell how the lockdown has affected the self storage industry specifically. But if initial reports on the economy are anything to go by, rocky times may be ahead.

The country as a whole is earning less with record-breaking numbers applying for Unemployment Insurance. Now that people are worrying about making their mortgage payments or rent, paying their monthly storage fees may slip their minds.

At some point in time, you might run into delinquent accounts and evictions, but we don’t believe they should undercut your bottom line.

If you’re struggling to recover lost revenue from overdue accounts, you’ve come to the right place. We know recovering debt in unprecedented times may be an overwhelming prospect, but it’s possible with our team of self storage collection experts.

What Are Self Storage Collection Services?

Self storage collection services help you recover overdue debt from delinquent customers. It’s one of the specialized debt collection services we provide as a national collection agency.

While the cost to rent a self storage unit may pale in comparison to the average apartment or house, it’s still rent in our books. So, we treat it as seriously as any other tenant debt collection. Our team of experienced debt specialists work hard to track down unpaid rental fees, fair and square. 

Why? When a delinquent customer fails to pay their rent, they get to use your self storage locker for free. And here at Summit A*R, we don’t believe that’s fair.

We understand how even one delinquent account can eat into your bottom line. You’re not only out this income, but you’re also holding onto their junk. You won’t be able to rent out this unit again until you take the time to empty it. And with landfill tipping fees rising each year, the cost to dispose of their items adds insult to injury.

Why Enlist a Debt Collection Agency for Help?

Reality TV shows like Storage Wars paint an exciting picture of abandoned self storage units. Overdue accounts turn into an opportunity to auction the belongings left inside.

On TV, these auctions attract a good crowd, and treasure hunters bring up the price as they attempt to outbid each other.

Otherwise known as a lien sale, these auctions can make for good television, but they aren’t an effective way to recover your losses. A quick auction rarely generates enough to cover your overdue rent or cleaning and disposal fees.  

You’re far more likely to recover your costs after hiring a collection agency. Our experienced debt recovery specialists know tried-and-true methods that get results. That’s how we boast a collection rate that’s double the national average.

A Better Way to Do Self Storage Collections

Here at Summit A*R, we believe in doing debt recovery better. Our “P.H.D. Philosophy” (Preserve Human Dignity) means we treat each account with compassion and respect.

We never rely on threats to get the cash you’re due. Aggressive collection tactics go against the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which we take seriously. Summit A*R ensures strict adherence to all federal, state, and local regulations.

More than being illegal, collection strategies built around intimidation are simply not necessary. In many cases, people experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 want to pay their debts; it’s our job to facilitate these payments in a way that works for both of you.

Our kind and respectful approach to debt recovery preserves the relationships you’ve built with your customers. They may even continue to rent with you once they’re back on their feet.

Tracking Down Customers Who Skip Town

Most of the time, people are happy to settle their debts. But sometimes, uncooperative people will stubbornly refuse to clear their accounts. Others will simply vanish one day after unloading their junk in one of your units.  

MIA customers are one of the biggest barriers to recovering debt. These inconsiderate people skip town without a forwarding address, but not before they rack up several unpaid rental fees.

By the time you pass on their account to a collection agency, they may have relocated more than once. Hard-to-pin-down customers are a challenge for smaller collection agencies, but they’re a piece of cake for us here at Summit A*R. As a national debt collection agency, we can search for your debtor in every state.

We are one of the few agencies to boast a licensed private investigator heading our skip tracing department. This experienced professional has access to industry-specific tools, including leading locate databases. As a result, our locate rates are higher than those agencies that rely on free searches.

Having a private investigator comes at no extra cost. While the rates you pay for our self storage collection services depend on the nature of your debt, we won’t charge you more for using our skip tracing.

The same goes for any time we need to rely on more hard-hitting techniques to motivate your customers to pay. Our inventory of collection tools includes reporting unpaid accounts to the major credit bureaus and full-service litigation.

  • Credit Reporting. Unlike the typical in-house collections department, we can report delinquent accost to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Delinquencies can damage their credit score, so we use our ability to report as leverage with stubborn cases.
  • Litigation. In a small minority of cases, some accounts require our full-service litigation program. Once we exhaust all other options, our licensed private investigator will determine if taking your customer to court is financially feasible. If our affiliated attorney files a lawsuit, your customer may be held responsible for this fee on top of paying the overdue rent.

Summit has been in business for 24 years, and our debt collection professionals have 10+ years of experience. So, we’ve seen it all. Even though most self storage collections are relatively straight forward, we’re prepared for the toughest cases.

Has the fallout of the lockdown affected your business? Get in touch — whether you’re dealing with just one overdue account or several. A quick call with one of our representatives will show you what a trusted collection company with a P.H.D. can do for your self storage business.