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South Carolina foreclosure rates take a dip

According to recently released statistics, the home foreclosure rate in South Carolina is nearly on par with national figures. As compared with Jan. 2012, foreclosures in our state were down by over 24 percent in Jan. 2013. Foreclosures dropped by 28.5 percent over the same period on a national level.

The local numbers are certainly encouraging, but there are still some South Carolina counties where homeowners are struggling to keep up with mortgage payments, forcing them into foreclosure. In fact, Charleston County showed foreclosure rate of one in every 747 homes. Although this month saw a year-over-year decrease of 13 percent in the Charleston County, the area lags behind other counties with much lower rates of foreclosure.

The reality is that the ongoing economic recovery has not benefited every homeowner equally. Many families accumulated a lot of debt and lost a lot of equity in their home, which has left them feeling like they have few options to keep their home. As these individuals continue to struggle with their finances, they should know that there are ways to avoid the pain of foreclosure. The reality is that no one wants to deal with the implications of losing their home, so it may be helpful to consult with an attorney who can help find viable alternatives to foreclosure.

On a larger scale, real estate analysts estimate that the large drop in national foreclosure rates was due to reform in California, which often accounts for the nation's largest share of foreclosures. In that state, lawmakers passed a Homeowners Bill of Rights designed to prevent unfair foreclosures. At this time, it's unclear whether or not our state's legislature will adopt a similar measure.

Source: Charleston Regional Business Journal, "Foreclosure filings down more than 24% across S.C. for January," Andy Owens, Feb. 14, 2013

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