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South Carolina sees drop in foreclosure rates

According to the reporting service RealtyTrac, which tracks real estate statistics in the United States, South Carolina has seen a reduction in foreclosures of almost 20 percent since 2012. However, the state also moved from ninth in the country for foreclosures to eighth.

A vice president for RealtyTrac indicated that the reason South Carolina moved up in the rankings despite the overall drop in foreclosures may involve the fact that South Carolina is a judicial state. In judicial states, the process of foreclosure must go through the court system instead of being handled administratively. This means that while South Carolina is recovering, its foreclosure policy may cause it to lag behind other states.

In comparison to other judicial states, South Carolina is doing fairly well, however. For example, in fellow judicial state Maryland, foreclosures were up 117 percent in 2013. One of the things that might be helping South Carolina involves the large number of coastal retirement homes that are now selling more quickly due to the recovering economy.

On the national level, foreclosures fell 26 percent. While the foreclosure rate has not yet returned to levels that are consistent with pre-recession numbers, they are at their lowest since 2007. One economist from the University of South Carolina indicated that the signs for real estate recovery have been becoming clear. Lower unemployment, more disposable income and more economic stability have allowed many people to confidently pursue a home purchase.

Despite the fact that the real estate atmosphere seems to be improving across the country, thousands of people will still be facing foreclosure every year. In South Carolina, the two counties that saw the most foreclosures in 2013 were Dorchester and Berkeley. Struggling homeowners, especially in these counties, will likely still be in need of foreclosure strategies in the near future and a qualified real estate attorney may be able to help.

Source: thestate.com, "Foreclosures drop in SC" Jeff Wilkinson, Jan. 23, 2014

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