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South Carolina courts oversaw foreclosure backlog in 2012

When banks decide to move forward with foreclosure action, they can either pursue a judicial or non-judicial process, which is often dictated by state or local laws. In South Carolina, the judicial process is used, so distressed homeowners appear in court before their home is repossessed and auctioned off. As many families have learned over the last couple years, going through foreclosure hearings can be emotional and complicated.

Unfortunately, recently released statistics show that many South Carolina residents continue to struggle with an overwhelming home mortgage. Our state, along with 25 others, saw an increase in foreclosure activity during 2012 when compared to the previous year. Interestingly enough, Charleston County saw the smallest increase in foreclosures last year in relation to many other counties.

Real estate analysts point out that 20 of the 26 states with increases in foreclosures use the judicial process, which indicates the complexities of the process. The number of foreclosures has likely hit a peak, even though there was a 19 percent increase in South Carolina foreclosures between 2011 and 2012. Courts were likely trying to catch up on a backlog of cases, which provides explanation for the significant year-over-year increase.

Fortunately, the economy and real estate markets appear to be stabilizing, which could help many families escape the troubling effects of foreclosure. Not only does foreclosure leave families without a home, but it is also very damaging to credit scores. Despite the threat of foreclosure, financially-distressed homeowners can explore options to prevent their lender from repossessing their home. By pursuing a foreclosure alternative, individuals have more control over the future of their property and financial affairs.

Source: Charleston Regional Business Journal, "S.C. foreclosure activity up from 2011," Jan. 17, 2013

  • Our firm has experience helping families uncover their options when confronted with foreclosure. To learn more, please see our Charleston foreclosure law page.

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