Time Matters

If you are facing a foreclosure in South Carolina and want to try to keep your property, you must act immediately. Please don’t wait.  Time is working against you now.

If you don’t file a response with the court when the paperwork is delivered to you or if you don’t request foreclosure intervention options or if you don’t appear at hearings, you lose the ability to try to keep your property.

And most important of all, if you don’t file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case BEFORE a foreclosure sale, you lose the option to try to keep your property.

But the good news is that the judicial foreclosure process in South Carolina is predictable and works fairly slowly. So, if you are at the beginning of the foreclosure process, you do have time to try to keep the property.

You May Be Able to Stop the Foreclosure

There are ways to try to stop foreclosure in South Carolina, but you must start now:

ONE OPTION: may be to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to try to stop the foreclosure process and (1) force the mortgage company to let you start to make your regular house payments again and (2) force the mortgage company to give you up to five years to pay back the past due house payments.

Filing for bankruptcy temporarily stops a foreclosure lawsuit on your home or property. . Whether a Chapter 13 repayment plan will help you keep your home will depend on your individual situation.  An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you weigh your options to determine the best way to try to save your family home or other property.

A foreclosure notice does not mean that you will be immediately evicted from your home. At Gaffney Law Firm, P.A., we help clients across South Carolina try to save their homes.

If you are facing the prospect of home foreclosure in South Carolina, it is important that you contact me quickly. I understand the uncertainty and fear that goes along with the threat of foreclosure. I will personally provide you with a strategy that is best suited to your personal circumstances. With my assistance, you may be able to stop the foreclosure, force the mortgage company to let you start paying again and keep your home.

What is Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is the court supervised process that your mortgage lender must use against you to eventually get permission to have your property sold. The house will be sold by the lender to pay the balance of the loan and you will be evicted if you don’t voluntarily move out. If the house sells for less than the amount due on the mortgage, the homeowner may still owe the remaining balance, known as a “deficiency”. So, if the homeowner owes $150,000 on the property, but at the foreclosure sale, the property is sold by the lender for $125,000, the homeowner may still owe $25,000.  That $25,000 deficiency would be a judgment lien that can be collected from you for the next ten years.

In South Carolina, the lender must sue the borrower and prove the lender is entitled to foreclose. The homeowner has the right to defend the foreclosure. Defending a foreclosure is very hard to do if you are behind on your payments.  An experienced attorney can help you try to defend against a foreclosure sale if you are not behind on your payments.

Alternative to Bankruptcy: Mortgage Modification

A mortgage modification changes the terms of your original mortgage agreement. I will work with you and your lender to try and find a way to lower your monthly mortgage payment, by adjusting the terms of your current mortgage. A mortgage modification can restructure your loan to make it more affordable with a lower payment, longer term, or better interest rate. The goal of a mortgage modification is to help you get back on track with payments that are easier for you to make. I can help determine if a mortgage modification is the best option for your individual circumstances.

How Long Does Foreclosure Take in South Carolina?

There are several steps to the foreclosure process in South Carolina. If you don’t fight the foreclosure, the foreclosure process typically takes a few months. Cases in smaller counties move faster and cases in larger counties move slower.  There is no way to know exactly how long your case will take to finish.  If you try to fight the foreclosure, the process can take much longer and be very expensive.

How Does Filing Bankruptcy Stop a Foreclosure?

Filing for bankruptcy can temporarily stop the foreclosure case and any other collection efforts against you, which gives you time to file a proposed Chapter 13 repayment plan with the bankruptcy court spelling out whether or not you can afford to start to make the regular house payment and also make a monthly bankruptcy payment to start to pay back the past due house payments.  For the Court to be allowed to approve a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you need to be able to show the court whether you can afford to pay (1) your regular house payment again every month, (2) all your monthly living expenses again and (3) a monthly bankruptcy payment for 36 to 60 months depending on your situation.

How Can a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Assist a Foreclosure?

For some clients, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you may have years (anywhere from 3 to 5 years), as opposed to weeks or months, to pay your back your past due mortgage payments. In Chapter 13, there is an automatic stay. The automatic stay stops the foreclosure case, and you get a 3-to-5-year repayment plan to pay back the past due house payments, rather than having the come up with the past due balance all at once.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Foreclosure

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may temporarily stop a foreclosure case, but Chapter 7 WILL NOT give you more time to pay back the past due house payments. If you are trying to keep your home or other property, Chapter 7 won’t help because it does not include the repayment period that is only possible in Chapter 13.

Determining What Is Right For You

I am offering a FREE consultation so that you can thoroughly understand your options. I will personally take your call to explain the bankruptcy process and costs so you can make an informed decision for your future. You are not hiring me with this call. You are simply learning more about your options. Our discussion will be fully confidential.