Reporting Steve Large
EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) – It’s a different kind of storage war here. It’s a business that thrives on keeping things safe with lock and key, but the people who run this one say their bank is stealing their American dream.
Don Smith isn’t about to roll up and disappear.
“Somebody’s gotta tell this story,” he says.
His story is one for the ages.
“We’re fighting David and Goliath, but what else have we got to lose?”
Don is David. Goliath is his bank, U.S. Bank, which is now foreclosing on the El Dorado Hills self-storage business that has filed for bankruptcy protection.
“In my professional opinion, this is legal thievery,” he says.
Don says they’ve made all the payments the bankruptcy judge determined they should and that the bank has taken their money and now is taking their business too.
“Our government put these programs in place to help small business and homeowners recover in this economy. And what this bank has done is use our own money against us,” he says.
U.S. Bank issued this statement to CBS13: “Foreclosure is a last resort for the borrower and the bank. We only proceed to foreclosure after reasonable efforts to collect on a loan have failed. The bankruptcy court, in conjunction with the rejection of Sundance’s last plan, granted U.S. Bank the ability to exercise its rights and remedies under the law.”
Don has filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop U.S. Bank from auctioning off his business.
“We’re just simply fighting for the opportunity to run a business,” he says.
He’s lost faith in big government but is counting on his day in court.
“We believe we will prevail and get the opportunity to tell out story to a civil judge who will see that there’s wrong here,” he says.
The self-storage manager says the business has lost 40 clients in the past month over concerns about its future.