By Andy Owens
Published Feb. 14, 2013
Foreclosures were down more than 24% across South Carolina in January compared with the same month last year, according to the most recent data filed by RealtyTrac.
That figure is close to the national average, which saw a 28.5% decrease for the month compared with 2012.
A RealtyTrac official said legislation that took effect in California Jan. 1 changed the landscape of foreclosure filings.
“Dubbed the Homeowners Bill of Rights, this legislation extends many of the principles in the national mortgage settlement — including a prohibition on so-called dual tracking and requiring a single point of contact for borrowers facing foreclosure — to all mortgage servicers operating in California,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
The law also contains fines of up to $7,500 per loan for lenders that file multiple unverified foreclosure documents on the same property.
Blomquist said for the first time since 2007, California did not have the highest number of foreclosures in the U.S. because of the law change.
In South Carolina, RealtyTrac data show that Marion County posted the highest percentage increase in foreclosure filings with a 250% increase in January compared with 2012. But the percentage increase in the county represents seven total filings, which often happens in smaller counties.
One out of every 2,144 homes in Marion County had at least one filing against it in the month, which is a relatively low rate compared to Charleston County, which showed one out of every 747 homes with a foreclosure filing but actually saw a more than 13% decrease for the month.
Sumter County also was among the counties showing a high year-to-year percentage increase with a 59.5% increase, representing 59 filings, RealtyTrac said.
Among the state’s largest counties, Spartanburg County had the highest year-to-year percentage increase with a 41.2% increase, but Dorchester County had the highest rate of foreclosures with one out of every 492 homes showing a filing, RealtyTrac said.
County-by-county January 2013 foreclosure data
1 in 850
% change from January 2012