Going through a foreclosure is a homeowner’s nightmare. If you find yourself at risk of foreclosure or you have received a summons for a foreclosure hearing in South Carolina, you may feel scared and even hopeless. The first step to taking control of the situation is becoming educated about how to prevent a foreclosure and your rights in the foreclosure process. Take a deep breath and a minute to review the points below, so you can begin to take back control.
Prevent a foreclosure
If you know that you will not be able to make a scheduled payment on your mortgage, it is important that you contact your loan provider right away to discuss your options. Most mortgages have “acceleration” clauses, which allow the loan provider to demand payment of the full amount of the loan once a single payment is late. You may qualify for a repayment plan or loan modification, but you must contact your loan provider immediately.
If you are having trouble making your monthly payments, you might consider refinancing your home and extending your repayment period to lower your monthly payments.
While this suggestion might sound easier said than done, coupled with our suggestions above, you might find ways to cut back your expenses in other areas to cure your default or avoid missing a monthly payment. Steps like cooking at home, buying generic products in bulk, and even canceling cable and internet can help to bridge the gap and avoid a foreclosure.
You might consider selling your home to avoid a foreclosure. If you owe more on your mortgage than the market value of your home, the sale will be called a “short sale.” In a short sale, your lender must agree to write off the remaining amount owed. If you decide to sell, please obtain a Realtor who has knowledge and experience in short sales.
As a last resort, you might consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, you should consult an attorney and financial adviser before doing so, as there are significant legal and financial consequences to this decision.
Your rights in the foreclosure process
After receiving notices of missed payments, the lender will send a Notice of Default, which will outline how much you owe and the deadline for payment.
South Carolina is a judicial foreclosure state, which means that a lender must sue you in order to foreclose on your home. The burden of proof will be on the lender and you will have an opportunity to present your defenses.
If a South Carolina court issues a Judgment of Foreclosure, you will have 30 days to appeal the judgment.
While some states provide a redemption period after a foreclosure, if a Judgment of Foreclosure is issued in South Carolina, you will not have a statutory redemption period in which to pay the default amount of your mortgage after the judgment is final.