South Carolina Supreme Court Stays Many Foreclosures

06 May South Carolina Supreme Court Stays Many Foreclosures

On May 4, 2009, the South Carolina Supreme Court took the unusual step of issuing a temporary restraining order to stop foreclosure sales on mortgages owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or that are otherwise eligible for modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program [HAMP]. Blogger Russ Demott points out the importance of the inclusion of HAMP-eligible loans.

Justice Toal’s decision to add HMP-participating servicers in the TRO is a big plus for homeowners who might not have Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loans but who were stuck in the Kafkaesque process of fighting off foreclosure while, at the same time, dealing with a loan modification. In many of these cases, the loss mitigation departments of huge lenders or servicers have promised modification while the foreclosure departments have pressed on with foreclosure leaving home owners with no means of keeping their homes.

The TRO requires the lenders in affected foreclosure actions to send a notice to the homeowners advising whether or not the loan is subject to modification under HAMP. If it is not, or if they say that it is not and the homeowner does not dispute that contention, the foreclosure can continue, so it is important that South Carolina homeowners know their rights and act without delay. Guidelines for the HAMP, including a search feature to determine whether your lender has signed on to the program is available on the Making Home Affordable web site, and information about HAMP and other federally sponsored programs can be found on the National Consumer Law Center web site.

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Däna (pronounced "Donna") Wilkinson, has been a bankruptcy lawyer in South Carolina for 20 years. She is certified as a bankruptcy specialist by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
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