LJ LOCH thought her sentimental antique furniture was safe as houses until she learned the storage company had gone bust – only 18 months after liquidators took over the Wagga-based business.
The former Wagga woman put her great-aunt’s treasured antique table and six chairs, which were gifted to her on her 21st birthday, into Fitzpatrick’s Removals and Storage eight years ago.
She paid between $600 and $700 each year to store the table and chairs – that took her back to every Christmas meal growing up – along with a close friend’s grandmother’s antique sideboard she inherited.
With no correspondence from the company in close to two years, Ms Loch attempted to contact the business to discover two phone numbers had been disconnected and the former Parry Street address belonged to a transport company.
She also contacted Fitzpatricks Real Estate, who have no connection to the storage company of the same name, but admitted they had fielded similar inquiries.
Ms Loch phoned other storage companies in Wagga to make headway in the search for her furniture, but all knew nothing of any changes to the company, which was notoriously slow to issue invoices.
Further investigations revealed the company entered liquidation last year, leaving clients like LJ to only now realise their irreplaceable items could be anywhere.
“I’m obviously dismayed (to discover it entered liquidation), especially given I don’t appear to be on the list of clients, given I’ve not been contacted,” Ms Loch said.
“The items are of great sentimental value and are not an insignificant amount of money. I’m desperate to get them back again.”
Chamberlains SBR partner Steven Priest confirmed they took over as liquidators in April 2014.
He said company records on file revealed Ms Loch’s account, listed under her husband’s name, had money owing and that correspondence emailed to the account holder advising items must be collected went unanswered.
Mr Priest, however, admitted previous records were disorganised and questionable.
“The records were completely ordinary to say the least,” he said.
“The list of clients were all contacted.”
Mr Priest advised Ms Loch to contact the real estate company responsible for the sale of the Sturt Highway site – a move she hopes will yield answers and behold her treasured furniture.
“I’m going to hope they are still in storage until it’s proven otherwise,” Ms Loch said.
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