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South Carolina Foreclosure Laws

South Carolina foreclosures must be pursued through judicial procedures. The process begins when the lender files a suit against the homeowner in default. The lender then issues a Notice of Default and provides it to the homeowner within 20 days. The court holds a hearing thirty days after the default is registered at which the homeowner may contest the default. If the court finds that a default has occurred and a foreclosure is warranted, an order for the public sale of the homeowner's will be issued.

Before the sale, a Notice of Sale must be published in a local weekly newspaper for three weeks leading up to the day of the sale. Copies of the Notice must also be posted in four public places, one of which must be the courthouse door.

On the day of the sale, a court officer auctions off the property to the highest bidder. The sale generally begins at 11 am and ends at 5 pm. The winning bidder provides a ten percent deposit and agrees to pay the rest within 30 days. During this period of time, the auction is still open to "upset bidding", meaning that anyone may decide to outbid the winning bidder. If this happens, the original winning bidder may decide whether to bid higher or simply have their deposit returned and forfeit the property.

If no objection to the sale or sale price is raised for three months after the close of the initial sale, the court will register a confirmation and award the property to the highest bidder. The lender may seek a deficiency judgment against the homeowner if the sale price does not exceed the amount of the loan, but the homeowner does not have any rights to redemption of ownership of the property.

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