File under "It’s worse than I thought": There’s an article in Sunday’s New York Times, "Losing a Home, Then Losing All Out of Storage," about how folks about to lose their homes put their stuff in storage… but then lose that, too.

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. The other day in this Chicago suburb, Stephanie Donahou and her son Marcus had only a moment to decide whether to bid on a unit in default. They could see a couch, a sewing machine, a fish tank, a washer and dryer, lots of Christmas wrapping paper, a television and other trappings of daily life.

"This is someone’s house,” Mrs. Donahou said.