South Carolina Home Foreclosure Laws

Get the basics on the laws governing the foreclosure process in South Carolina.

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When looking for information about foreclosures, keep in mind that every state has its own laws that must be followed. What is true in one state may not be true in another. If you do not plan to hire a lawyer, or simply want to find out first-hand what the law is in your state, the best place to look is in your state’s statutes.

Below is a guide to finding South Carolina’s foreclosure statutes online, followed by a summary of South Carolina’s foreclosure law.

Finding South Carolina’s Foreclosure Laws

The citation to South Carolina’s foreclosure law is South Carolina Annotated Code, Sections 15-39-610 through 15-39-900 and 29-3-610 through 29-3-790.

Take the following steps to find these statutes online:

  1. Start at the website of the South Carolina Legislature: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/.
  2. Select the “Code of Laws” link under the heading for “South Carolina Law.”
  3. Select the link for “Title 29 – Mortgages and Other Liens.”
  4. Select either the “HTML” or “Word” link found to the right of “Chapter 3 – Mortgages and Deeds of Trust Generally” to view the preferred version of the text of the chapter.
  5. Scroll down to “Article 7. Foreclosure.”

You should see the text of each of the sections in Article 7, which include Sections 29-3-610 to 29-3-790. Scroll down to the section you’re interested in to read the text of that section.

To find Sections 15-39-610 through 15-39-760, follow steps 1 and 2 above, select the link for “Title 15 – Civil Remedies and Procedures,” select either the “HTML” or “Word” link found to the right of “Chapter 39 – Executions and Judicial Sales Generally,” and scroll down to “Article 5. Judicial Sales Generally.”

Summary of South Carolina’s Foreclosure Law

Read on for a summary of South Carolina’s law governing foreclosures.

Judicial Foreclosure

In South Carolina, judicial foreclosures, in which the lender must go through the court system and prove the amount of the debt in order to obtain a judgment for foreclosure and an order of sale, are the norm. In fact, these judicial foreclosures are required unless the borrower consents, in writing, to the amount of the debt within 12 months before the foreclosure sale and the debt has matured. In the case of such consent by the borrower, a lender may sell the property under a power of sale given in the mortgage. S.C. Code Ann. § 29-3-630. Because judicial foreclosures are the most common in South Carolina, this article focuses on the rules governing judicial foreclosures.

When a foreclosure sale does take place in South Carolina, the sale is conducted by the sheriff at the courthouse in the county where the land is located, and is held between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 15-39-630, 640, 690, 700.

The bidding for a foreclosure sale remains open for 30 days after the initial sale date, so that others may submit a higher bid during that time. The lender, however, may only bid on the initial sale date. S.C. Code Ann. § 15-39-720. This rule does not apply if the lender waives the right to a deficiency judgment against the borrower (see “Deficiency Judgments,” below). S.C. Code Ann. § 15-39-760.

Notice Requirements

Aside from the service of the foreclosure complaint on the borrower, publicly advertised notice is required before a foreclosure sale can take place. The sheriff must advertise the sale for three weeks immediately prior to the foreclosure sale date, both in a newspaper printed in the county where the land is located and by posting the notice in three public places in the county, one of which must be the courthouse door. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 15-39-650, 660.

Right to Cure

Any property which is taken under execution of a judgment for foreclosure is to be sold at auction unless, within five days of the taking, the borrower pays the amount due on the mortgage plus interest and costs. S.C. Code Ann. § 15-39-610.

Right of Redemption

South Carolina law does not provide a borrower the right to redeem the property after a foreclosure sale.

To find the law in your state, see Right of Redemption Laws and Foreclosure.

Deficiency Judgments

The court may order a deficiency judgment against the borrower for the amount remaining on the debt after the foreclosure sale. S.C. Code Ann. § 29-3-660. If the lender purchases the property at the foreclosure sale, the right to a deficiency judgment is not affected. S.C. Code Ann. § 29-3-670.

Once the lender has obtained a deficiency judgment against the borrower, the borrower can apply to the court within 30 days of the judgment for an appraisal of the property in order to potentially limit the amount of the deficiency judgment. If the appraised value is greater than the amount of the foreclosure sale price, the judgment will be extinguished or reduced so that the deficiency is capped at the difference between the debt owed and the appraised value. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 29-3-680, 740.

For a summary of your states’ law, see Anti-Deficiency Laws by State.

by: , J.D.

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