Foreclosures on Rise in South Carolina

According to recent reports by a foreclosure research firm, the national foreclosure activity was the lowest during the first quarter of 2012 as compared to the last quarter of 2009. The national records show that around 537,858 properties are facing some form of foreclosure and this figure was down by 18% since the first quarter of 2011.

However, unfortunately, South Carolina is facing a slightly higher rate with one in every 200 homes facing some form of foreclosure activity and people are massively delinquent on their mortgage loans. The falling numbers don’t indicate a better real estate market, but imply a dam that is holding back the flood of short sale and foreclosure activity. Among some of the states, South Carolina is one of them, where the judicial foreclosure activity saw a rise of 27% over the last quarter of 2011. Throughout the month of March, 2012, Charleston and Richland counties had the highest number of foreclosures with one in 117 homes in some form of distress.

Compared to February, 2011 South Carolina saw an increase of 58% in mortgage default notices.  This makes South Carolina one among the 9 states that saw such a huge increase. South Carolina even saw a huge number of scheduled auctions, (an increase of 28%), compared to February, 2011. This is in marked contrast with the national trend in which foreclosure actions dropped by 2% from January, 2012 and 15% from the previous year. There was an increase of 87% of bank repossessions, but the nation saw 4% fewer bank repossessions in January, 2012.

Beware of the foreclosure scams prevalent in South Carolina and other states

When you’re on the verge of losing your home to a forced foreclosure, it is most likely that you ll be looking for some alternatives to foreclosure. Loan modification is the most common alternative chosen by the struggling homeowners in South Carolina.  However, you need to beware of scams associated with loan modification. Here are just a few to watch out for:

  • Foreclosure rescue scams or telephone counseling: In such cases, a counselor over the phone will pose to negotiate with your lender and help you modify your home loan and save your real estate property from a foreclosure. He may even insist you to make the monthly mortgage payments to him and when the time comes, he will probably run away with your money. Avoid such phony counseling and help.
  • Fake government modification scams: There are even scammers who may claim to be associated with the government and they may ask you to pay high advance fees to qualify for the government modification programs. Beware of such scams too as this will make you lose a huge amount of money.
  • A bait and switch: The scam artist may convince you to a loan modification agreement that can make your present mortgage current. Remember that this is nothing but a trick and you shouldn’t surrender the deed to your home to anyone without consulting with a lawyer. And make sure to read everything!