Thank you for your interest in foreclosure sales. This page was prepared in an effort to answer the most frequently asked questions about this process. If you have further questions, please contact the Master-in-Equity Office at (843)958-5070.
If you are interested in bidding on a piece of property in Charleston County, which is being foreclosed upon and is scheduled to be auctioned for sale in the near future, the following are some things you may find helpful to know:
When real property is ordered to be foreclosed in Charleston County, a judge called the Master in Equity will issue an order directing the mortgaged premises (or part thereof as required to satisfy the claims established) be sold by or under direction of the Master.
The judgment (often called a Master's Order of Foreclosure & Sale) will contain a legal description of the property being sold, a provision for the necessary legal advertisement, the time and location of the sale, and notice of any senior liens, taxes or other rights to which the property to be sold is subject.
All Master's Order of Foreclosure & Sale and related documents can be viewed on the county's home page, www.charlestoncounty.org, click on Clerk of Court, click on Search court records, click on Circuit Court Search located under the Navigation Menu on the left hand side of the screen, click on Accept, enter the Case Number or the Defendant's name or the TMS#, click on Search, click on the blue hyperlink case number, click on Actions, look for Master/Master's Order of Foreclosure & Sale, click on page icon and the document will appear.
All legal ads in the newspaper also will have the terms of the sale and are run for three consecutive weeks in a local newspaper, usually the Post and Courier.
Pre-registration is not required to bid. Sales are held the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 11 a.m. If a deficiency judgment has been demanded (also referred to as Reopens), the bidding remains open for (30) days. Sales are held at the Charleston County Judicial Center located at 100 Broad Street (see monitors located in the lobby and on the second floor for the court room location).
The Master's Office has no knowledge of the physical condition of any of the properties listed. We do not have keys, nor do we guarantee title. The Master's Deed is not a Warranty Deed. Interested bidders should satisfy themselves as to the quality of title to be conveyed by obtaining a title search before bidding on a property. If any property taxes are due they will be the responsibility of the successful bidder.
If you are the successful bidder, you have until 4:00 pm the day of the sale to pay 5% of your bid in cash or certified funds made payable to the Charleston County Master in Equity. You have 30 days from the date of the sale to fully comply with the Terms of the Sale. Failure to comply will result in the forfeiture of your deposit, loss of your right to bid at future auctions, and the responsibility for associated cost for the re-sale of the property.
DEFICIENCY SALES (Reopens)
Some Plaintiffs seek a deficiency judgment against the Defendant. This means the Plaintiff is not only foreclosing its mortgage but is also seeking a personal money judgment against the Defendant. The Plaintiff has the right to waive its demand for a deficiency judgment up until 7 days before the original sale. If a deficiency judgment has been demanded, the bidding remains open for (30) days. On the 30th day after the initial sale the property is again auctioned and the highest bid is accepted. The Plaintiff makes only one bid at the initial sale and is not allowed to bid again. If no higher bid is made at the second sale, then the Plaintiff's bid prevails.
If you have any questions that have not been answered above or by reviewing the documents, then please consult an attorney. This office is unable to give legal advice.
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