South Carolina foreclosure is handled through in-court proceedings; this is called a judicial foreclosure. The South Carolina foreclosure process timeline is approximately six months.
Once the lender has decided to foreclose, they file a lis pendens, (LIS), or pending lawsuit, which announces their intent to foreclose. Within 20 days, the lender must file and personally serve a Notice of Foreclosure to the borrower.
If the borrower cannot be located, the lender is allowed to notify the borrower by way of publication for three weeks in a local newspaper. The borrower has 30 days from service to file a response to the foreclosure notice with the county court. If the borrower does not resolve the default, the case is referred to a hearing officer, and another notice sent to all relevant parties. This officer of the court orders the property to be sold.
South Carolina has some help for borrowers in default. The South Carolina foreclosure intervention process is very similar to any other loss mitigation process: the borrower submits an application, and the lender determines whether the borrower qualifies for any alternatives to foreclosure. The main difference with South Carolina’s foreclosure intervention process is that the lender’s attorney must thoroughly document each step in specific ways before the lender can proceed with the foreclosure.
A borrower may use the South Carolina foreclosure intervention process if:
- they live in the home, and
- the home is their principal residence.
Notice of Sale & Auction
A Notice of Sale, (NOS), containing a description of the property, the time and location of the sale, and the borrower and lender’s name must be posted at the county courthouse. The NOS must further be published in a local newspaper three weeks before the sale date. A court officer or special referee appointed by the court conducts the sale. Sales are usually conducted at 11:00 a.m. on a Monday unless otherwise directed by the court. The winning bidder must provide 5 percent of the winning bid at the sale and usually has between 20 and 30 days to submit the remaining bid balance.
Under South Carolina law lenders have a right to seek a deficiency judgement after a foreclosure sale. This means that regardless of whether the property sells for what is owed or not, the lender can still get a judgement against the borrower.
South Carolina Follows the “Hammer Rule”. Some states give borrowers a “Right of Redemption” after the sale. Redemption is the ability of a borrower to buy back a property that has been foreclosed on, even after the foreclosure sale has already been completed. This right lasts for a pre-specified period of time. There is no right to redemption in South Carolina. Once a property is sold at auction, the borrower has completely lost it.