I have already received notice of possible foreclosure from my home owner's association, however, the court date has not yet been told to me, yet I will not be able to pay the charges before the date indicated on the papers that were served to me and I understand that the next step is a court hearing..
Contact the attorney for the hoa immediately and see if you were to make a good faith payment if they would continue the hearing. If you have a lender then contact them to see if they will take care of it and add to your escrow payments. The further into the process the higher the attorney fees will be and pre-foreclosure costs.
First, google SC Help. It's a non-profit organization in SC designed to assist homeowners who are having difficulty making mortgage payments and at risk of losing their home. I cannot recall at the moment whether they will be able to assist you with a foreclosure of an HOA lien, but it is worth a shot. In certain circumstances, SC Help can bring you current on the mortgage or obligation, and place a lien on your property for the amount of money lent to you. There are other rules tied to the gifting of money, but you will need to go through the application process to learn more about that.
As an aside, avoid paying any third party for services related to assisting you with avoiding the foreclosure. There are plenty of valuable and free services (i.e., non-profit resources) in SC that can assist you with information.
I would agree with the other attorney that one of the best things you can do is talk with the HOA about paying some money upfront or entering into a payment plan with them. The HOA doesn't like to incur legal fees to process the foreclosure, so it will want to work with you.
As for the first foreclosure hearing, every County in SC is different, but a special referee or Master in Equity usually presides over the hearing. If you haven't hired an attorney to answer the Complaint (i.e., it is an uncontested foreclosure), then the attorney for the HOA may be at the hearing ready with the proposed order of foreclosure and judgment to give to the Judge, so he or she can sign it. Each County is different, but it typically takes 30 days for the Judge to sign the order and get it filed. Then, a date will be scheduled to to sell the property at public auction (roughly 60 days). Then, there's another 30 days (roughly) for the bidder to comply with his bid once he or she bids on the property at the foreclosure auction. Then, once the third party has paid money into the Court to purchase the property, there is usually some lag time before the Judge sign's the Master's Deed (i.e., conveying ownership of the property to the new owner), and it gets recorded to become public record.
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