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South Carolina group aims to help those facing foreclosure

South Carolina currently ranks fourth on the list of U.S. states with the most home foreclosures. While foreclosure rates have generally been dropping all around the country, they are still a big problem facing many South Carolina families. On the plus side, however, over half of the $295 million that was provided to South Carolina by the federal government in 2010 is still available. The money is specifically intended to help families mitigate foreclosure proceedings. A group known as SC HELP aims to help get that money to qualifying families.

A spokesperson from the organization stresses that the program is not giving handouts. The program is intended to help people that have been generally reliable in making their house payments but have recently suffered a setback. He stated that SC HELP intends to help families that will eventually come out of their financial troubles and start making regular payments again. When foreclosure is stopped, it preserves communities, tax revenue and home values, he said.

One of the specific criteria that a homeowner must meet includes having a qualifying hardship. A homeowner must be a responsible borrower that is facing foreclosure because of a situation that is outside their control. The mortgage in question must be fixed-term and the original amount of the loan must be less than $729,750. The home must be the owner's primary residence in South Carolina, and he or she must not be going through bankruptcy.

There are three basic programs that SC HELP provides. The first allows a homeowner to receive monthly payments up to a combined total of $36,000. This program is usually offered to people that are trying to return to employment. The second program provides a homeowner with up to $25,000 or $36,000 depending on whether or not they're receiving monthly assistance. The third program provides $5,000 to homeowners whose mortgage loan cannot be salvaged.

SC HELP is a great resource for qualifying families. Homeowners that do not qualify, however, should still look into deeds and short sales as possible alternatives to foreclosure. Attorneys experienced in real estate law can help provide valuable information for homeowners facing foreclosure.

Source: scnow.com, "SC Help offers financial foreclosure assistance for those who qualify for it" Gavin Jackson, Dec. 14, 2013

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