Like everyone else in South Carolina, I’ve kept an eye on the latest developments from the court system to see when things can return to normal. On April 30th the Chief Justice for the South Carolina Supreme Court updated the previous March 18th Order relating to foreclosure cases.
Among other things, the new April 30th Order provides that “Master-in-Equity courts statewide shall resume foreclosure hearings, foreclosure sales, issuing writs of assistance and writs of ejectments, and proceed in any other manner regarding foreclosures beginning May 15, 2020.”
What that means for your homeowners association is that certain collections cases that have been on hold for the last 60 days or so will be able to resume. But, practically speaking, it may be an additional 30 days before cases can be calendared for hearing at all, depending on the County and the availability of hearing dates.
And, in addition, it should be noted that just because the Supreme Court has said that foreclosure cases may proceed does not mean that any particular courthouse is open. The Order specifically provides that it does “not require the opening of a closed courthouse or office, or the recall of employees working from home.” Therefore, depending on the County, it may still be several more weeks or even months before courthouses are open again.
Finally, even when courthouses do reopen and foreclosure hearings are permitted, it may be some time before in-person hearings are permitted and all restrictions on the number of people allowed in the courtroom have been lifted. We will post further updates as they become available.
If you homeowners association or condominium is in need of an attorney to assist with collections or to answer questions about what steps may or may not be permitted at this time to collect unpaid assessments from homeowners, contact one of our North Carolina or South Carolina community association attorneys.