Effective 6.2.2014 (Bill H. 4670)
The South Carolina Code was amended to add a new section for the stated purpose of creating an “expedited foreclosure process” for abandoned properties. While it remains to be seen how this process will be implemented by the courts, a strict reading of the statute appears to create additional steps to obtaining a judgment of foreclosure.
To obtain the expedited foreclosure and sale: 1) submit a motion for expedited status with a supporting affidavit regarding the property being abandoned. 2) hearing on the motion at which time the court must find by clear and convincing evidence that the property is: abandoned and the pleadings, documents filed with the court, and testimony supports the entry of a final judgment of foreclosure an sale.
A foreclosure is also ineligible for expedited status if a defendant has filed an answer or other written objection that provides cause to preclude the entry of a judgment of a foreclosure and sale.
It remains to be seen how this law will be implemented. No courts have adopted specialized policies in reaction to it.
Also the primary author of the bill, Rep. Weston Newton, is a lawyer in Hilton Head Island and a significant part of his practice is based on homeowner association’s foreclosures and collections so it is very possible this bill was tailored to address problems encountered by homeowner associations when attempting to foreclose.
S.C. Code Ann. §29-3-625(2014)