The basic residential foreclosure process is as follows:
1. The lender’s attorney receives a request from its client to file a foreclosure action.
2. The lender’s attorney will do a title search. This is when a county’s records are checked to see who owns the property and if there are any liens. This search will help the attorney find
all of the parties who need to be included in the case (including property owners, mortgage holders, lien holders, etc.).
3. If the lender’s attorney files a foreclosure action for its client, the attorney prepares a Lis Pendens, Summons, and Complaint.
See S.C. Code Ann. § 15-11-10.
Lis pendens is a Latin word meaning “suit pending.” A lis pendens is a document that tells anyone who checks title to the property that a lawsuit has been filed concerning a piece of
property. A lis pendens alerts anyone who may want to buy the property, a lender, or the public that the property’s title is in question.
4. For cases filed before May 9, 2011, a Notice of Foreclosure Intervention is filed and mailed to the eligible parties For cases filed after May 10, 2011, the attorney will also prepare a Notice of Foreclose Intervention to be served along with the Lis Pendens, Summons, and Complaint. See
Administrative Order Re: Mortgage Foreclosure Actions, 2011-05-02-01 (May 2, 2011).
5. The Defendants have 30 days under the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure to serve and file a response to the Complaint and the Notice of Foreclosure Intervention. See Rule 12 of the South Carolina Rules of Procedure.
6. If you file a response, you will have an opportunity to present your position at a hearing. If you fail to respond in writing to the Complaint, the Plaintiff’s attorney may request a final merits
hearing or trial.
7. Plaintiff’s attorney or the court sends a notice of the final merits hearing or trial to all Defendants.
8. At the final hearing, the judge will hear from all parties who are present. If the lender proves its case, then the judge will:
a) Establish the debt owed;
b) Address any other allegations in the pleadings; and
c) Set a date for the property to be sold in an effort to satisfy the debt. For more information
about the sale process, please review the following South Carolina law: S.C. Code Ann.
§ 15-39-610 et seq.