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Foreclosure rate remains low in Charleston County, up statewide

As the economy continues to recover, the real estate market is following suit. However, it appears as though the economic resurgence isn't impacting all corners of the country equally. In fact, as the national foreclosure rate hit a six-year low in April, the rate of foreclosures in South Carolina edged upward.

In a comparison to April 2012, home foreclosures were up by a total of 20 percent. This increase caused South Carolina to rank fifth in terms of states with the highest foreclsoure rate. Interestingly enough, however, Charleston County had the lowest number of foreclosures statewide in April 2013, which may be a signal of recovery in the local real estate market.

This latest foreclosure report is a mixed bag. While it's encouraging to see that the national picture seems to be improving, a number of families in our state continue to deal with the burden of mortgage debt and inadequate real estate values. Until the conditions improve, many people may be looking for a way to avoid foreclosure and have the opportunity to improve their financial picture.

Although receiving a notice of default from a mortgage lender can be an intimidating and confusing experience, there are solutions to avert repossession. Some alternatives to foreclosure include short sales and renegotiating the terms of a mortgage. Although lenders might be willing to move forward with one of these options, the process is still immensely complex to navigate alone.

As financially distressed homeowners look to avoid the negative effects foreclosure has on personal credit, the important thing to remember is to look for solutions that really work. A person in this position shouldn't have to worry about a temporary solution, but can look forward to the relief provided by pursuing options that will provide longer-term stability.

Source: Charleston Regional Business Journal, "April foreclosures hit 6-year low nationwide, increase in S.C.," May 9, 2013

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