*Note, this blog has been updated 5/6/20 based on the SC Supreme Court order requiring Certifications for all evictions and foreclosures.
The Supreme Court announced on April 30, 2020 that evictions and foreclosures will resume May 15, 2020 across South Carolina.
Hearings may be held remotely (via video conference or phone conference), or in person. Before proceeding, however, lenders and landlords must certify that the CARES Act does not prevent the foreclosure or eviction. If your eviction or foreclosure is already pending, you simply file a signed, original Certification of Compliance with the CARES Act. If you commence a new action, you must include the Certification of Compliance with your initial pleadings. Below are the links to the forms:
When it was enacted on March 27, 2020, the CARES Act implemented a temporary moratorium on evictions for landlords who have federally backed mortgages loans, (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc.), or otherwise participate in a covered housing programs. Those landlords are prohibited from moving forward with evictions until July 25, 2020 (120 days from the enactment of the CARES Act), so the May 15, 2020 date set forth by the South Carolina Supreme Court will not apply.
Additionally, landlords with federally backed mortgages cannot charge late fees for nonpayment of rent during this moratorium, and cannot require a tenant to vacate before 30 days from the notice to vacate. Normally, a tenant would have 10 days to respond to an application for ejectment, and 24-48 hours to vacate after a writ of ejectment is served.
For foreclosures, the CARES Act provides two protections that will limit the ability of lenders in South Carolina to move forward on May 15, 2020.
First, borrowers with a federally backed mortgage loan can request forbearance, regardless of whether they are behind on their mortgage, by submitting a request to the servicer and affirming the borrower’s hardship is due to COVID-19. Forbearances shall be granted for up to 180 days and can be extended. During the forbearance period, the lender cannot charge fees, penalties, or interest beyond the amounts scheduled—in other words, they must act as if payments were being made on time.
Second, servicers of federally backed mortgages cannot initiate the foreclosure process, move for a final foreclosure or sale order, or execute a foreclosure-related eviction until May 18, 2020, and that date can be extended.
If you have questions about this or related matters, please contact Mary.
For additional resources on COVID-19, please access HSB’s resource page.