Residential Foreclosure: A Roadmap

South Carolina Legal Services Can Help Evaluate Your Options To Avoid Foreclosure By:

  • Questioning:
    • Has your mortgage company exhausted all loan modification options?
    • Do you have defenses to the lawsuit?
    • Did the mortgage company comply with state and federal law?
  • Seeking Proof:
    • That you are responsible for the debt.
    • That payment history is correct.
    • That the cost and any other charges are reasonable and proper.
    • That you have been treated fairly under the law.

What Does a Lawsuit Look Like?


It DOES NOT look like the letters you receive from debt collectors that say:

  • “We are referring your account for foreclosure.”
  • “You are in foreclosure.”
  • “We have no choice but to file foreclosure.”
  • Or similar words about foreclosure

It DOES have the mortgage company’s name as “Plaintiff” vs. your name as “Defendant.”

It DOES include a number of different documents that have a line of text on the right side of each page showing the date and time the lawsuit was filed and a case number. It includes one titled SUMMONS and one titled COMPLAINT.

It DOES have to be handed to you or someone in your home personally or you must sign a green certified mail card for it. If you don’t accept the papers, you can be served by publication in the local newspaper.

What Must I Do If I Am Served with a Lawsuit?

  • Write down the exact date that you or someone in your home were handed the lawsuit or signed the green card.
  • Talk to a lawyer.
  • File a response with the Court.
  • Go to any hearings scheduled by the Court.

Do I Have To Move Out Of My Home?

  •  You do not have to move out of your home just because you are behind on your payment.
  • The law requires that you be allowed to go before a judge before you can be required to move out of a home that you own.

You have 30 days to file a written answer. Don’t let that 30 days go by without talking to a lawyer. Call us to see if you qualify for a FREE lawyer.

Are You In Danger of:

  • Losing Your Home to Foreclosure?
  • Losing Your Mobile Home to Reposession?

You Are Protected Under the Law Against:

  • Harassing phone calls.
  • Unfair mortgage terms.
  • Credit discrimination.
  • Strong-arm tactics by bill collectors.
  • Attempts to scare you into making payments you cannot afford.
  • Being forced into a reinstatement of your loan you cannot afford.
  • Other loan workouts or modification agreements that do not follow the law.
Housing Cases Accepted

  • Access to Quality Housing
  • Evictions
  • Foreclosures
  • Heirs Property
  • Landlord/Tenant Issues
  • Public Housing
  • Security Deposit Returns
  • Utility Cutoffs
Other Legal Representation

  • Education
  • Employment
  • Family
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Housing
  • Migrant Farm Workers
  • Probate
  • Public Benefits

Additional information may be found at:
South Carolina’s guide to free legal resources

This brochure was prepared by South Carolina Legal Services and is provided as a public service.
Copyright retained by South Carolina Legal Services
Updated August 2023


South Carolina Legal Services is a statewide law firm that provides civil legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low-income South Carolinians.


All low-income South Carolinians will have full and fair access to justice.

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