Foreclosure FAQ

Horry County and Georgetown County conduct all foreclosures in judicial proceedings, because South Carolina mandates that all foreclosure be conducted through court proceedings. In order to conduct these judicial proceedings, these counties are appointed a Master in Equity by the Governor that is ratified by the South Carolina General Assembly.

First a foreclosure must be processed through the circuit court where the plaintiff must prove that the defendant's debt for the property is in default. Once this has been confirmed the court will then assign the property to the County's Master in Equity where the property is eventually sold at auction to assist the Plaintiff in recovering the debt owed by the defendant.

By Retrieving Pre-Foreclosures in these counties combined with the actual sale date of homes as they become assigned for sale. Investors are able to perform the necessary due dilligence needed to make an informed and intelligent purchase of these properties as they come to sale.

Important Questions Regarding the Jucicial Foreclosure Process

What is a pre foreclosure?

A Pre foreclosure is in the early stages of being repossessed due to the property owner's inability to pay an outstanding mortgage obligation. The Pre foreclosure status begins when the lender files a default notice on the property, which informs the property owner that the lender will proceed with pursuing legal action if the debt is not resolved.  Once a property is in the Pre foreclosure stage, it can take up to a year or longer to be sold as a foreclosure.

When are foreclosure sales held?

The first Monday of each month unless it's a holiday and then the sale is the first Tuesday of the month.

What time are the sales held?

In Horry County the sales are held at 11:00. In Georgetown County the sales are held at 12:00.

When are the upset bid sales held?

The upset bid sales are held 30 days after the original sale.

Where are the sales held?

In Horry County the sales are held at The Government and Justice Center, 1301 2nd Ave, Conway SC 29526. In Georgetown County the sales are held at The Georgetown county court house , 401 Cleland St, Georgetown SC 29440 on the 2nd floor.

How much do I have to pay down the day of the sale?

You are required to pay 5% down, usually it is due by Noon the day after the sale.

Is the 5% deposit refundable If I find something wrong with the property?

If you do not pay the remainder of your balance by the 30th day (compliance date), you will lose your 5% deposit.

What does "deficiency demanded" mean?

If "deficiency is demanded" at the original sale, the "sale remains open for 30 days" for an upset bid sale. On the 30th day, there is another sale called "upset bid sale," at which time someone can come in and bid more than the original high bidder, usually the plaintiff, and purchase the property. The successful bidder at the original sale may not bid again at the upset bid sale. Even if the plaintiff is not the successful bidder at the original sale, they may not bid at the upset bid sale. Anyone else may bid at the upset bid sale.

How does a foreclosed property get assigned to the Master-in-Equity?

First the foreclosure suit must be heard in Circuit Court, so the debt can be confirmed. At this time the defendent can waive their right to a jury trial and ask to have their case directly sent to the Master-in-Equity. Each case that goes to the Master in Equity must be assigned by the S.C. Circuit Court by an Order of Reference.

When does the Master-in-Equity get involved?

These properties are comprised of uncontested non-jury cases related to mortgage foreclosures, land partitions, judicial sales, and actions to collect judgments. This office is an efficient means to satisfy foreclosure cases in a prompt manner to help reduce backlogs.

Can the Master in Equity conduct Sheriff Sales?

No; This office does not conduct Sheriff's office sales at any time, nor does it process delinquent tax property sales.