SC HELP Foreclosure Prevention Program Now Available Statewide

SC HELP Foreclosure Prevention Program Now Available Statewide

Responsible, but struggling, homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure in South Carolina can apply for mortgage payment assistance through a program administered through the S.C. State Housing Finance and Development Authority. The program, the South Carolina Homeownership and Employment Lending Program (SC HELP) is making more than $300 million available in South Carolina to struggling homeowners.

SC HELP is designed to help homeowners who are falling behind on mortgage payments due to circumstances beyond their control. These may include unemployment, catastrophic illness, death of a spouse, and/or divorce. The South Carolina program receives its funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “SC HELP could continue until 2017,” said Lisa A. Bussey, Legislative Outreach Manager of the state housing authority.

Bussey urges homeowners who are or may be falling behind in mortgage payments to apply to SC HELP as soon as they begin to experience trouble. “Our goal is to make certain no potential beneficiary goes un-served. If you think you may qualify, please apply.”

Homeowners can apply online at SC HELP officials emphasize that using the online application is the fastest and most efficient way to begin the process. Homeowners without internet access may call toll-free to 855-HELP-4-SC (855-435-7472) to begin the process.

Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis, but for those who qualify, assistance may include:

  • Monthly Payment Assistance – assisting homeowners with monthly payments for a defined period of time while they seek employment and a return to self-sustainability.
  • Direct Loan Assistance – for borrowers who have experienced a hardship but have regained the ability to pay. Funds can be used to pay arrearages in order to bring the loan current.
  • Property Disposition Assistance – in cases where the mortgage cannot be salvaged, funds may be provided to help transition families from homeownership to rental housing in cases where a short-sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure occurs.

Homeowners applying for Monthly Payment Assistance or Direct Loan Assistance must meet certain threshold requirements in order to apply for help:

  1. Borrower or co-borrower must be able to document that the delinquency was a result of a hardship event beyond his/her control (i.e. unemployment, death of a spouse, catastrophic medical expenses, etc.)
  2. Mortgage payments must have been made on time for 12 months preceding the hardship event with no more than two 30-day late occurrences
  3. The property securing the mortgage must be owner-occupied as a full-time residence
  4. Borrower must provide a financial hardship affidavit
  5. Mortgage can be no more than 120 days delinquent
  6. Loan servicer/investor must be willing to accept payments and provide required data and reporting

Assistance from SC HELP will be provided in the form of a non-recourse zero-percent interest, non-amortizing, forgivable loan secured by a subordinate lien on the subject property. The loan will be forgiven over a five-year period at a rate of 20% per year. If property is sold or refinanced prior to the loan termination date, funds will be recovered should sufficient equity be available from the transaction. The Property Disposition Assistance Program will provide a one time, lump sum grant to the recipient.

S.C. Housing Authority is in need of photos of homes with permission for their use

S.C. Housing Authority is in need of photos of homes with permission for their use

The South Carolina State Housing Authority is in search of photos of actual homes in South Carolina to use in their publications as a visual aide to their readers. The homes they assist in financing are in the $130,000-$200,000 range.

If you share your photos and the Authority uses them, you will get source credit under the photo in the publication. This is a great way to advertise to consumers for free and to help our friends and partners at the SC Housing Authority. Send your photo(s) to Clayton Ingram at

Vacancy for Builder on S.C. Housing Authority Board

The Home Builders Association of South Carolina has issued a call for applicants for a vacant position on the Board of Directors of the S.C. State Housing, Finance, and Development Authority. The position is for a professional with home builder and/or development experience. The term is for four years and the individual serving is not eligible to be awarded any funds for housing authority projects.

If you are interested in serving in this capacity, please contact Mark Nix at the HBA of South Carolina at 803-771-7408.

S.C. State Housing Authority Lowers Rates for First-Time Homebuyers

For the second time this year, the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority has announced lower interest rates for its popular First Time Home Buyer Program. Effective immediately the State Housing Authority has lowered rates to 4.875 percent for borrowers in Categories I and II, which include borrowers earning 50 percent and above median income household income for the state. In addition, the authority has lowered rates to 4.750 percent for Category III borrowers who early less than 50 percent of the median household income and borrowers who are disabled. All categories offer up to $5000 down payment assistance.

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