Bidding on Foreclosures
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 at 843-546-3103.
If you are interested in bidding on a piece of property in Georgetown County, South Carolina, which has been 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 Georgetown County, a judge called the Master-in-Equity will issue and 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 Master-in-Equity does not handle tax sales.
The judgment (often called the Master's Decree of Foreclosure) 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. To access file information click Public Index Search and key in case number or name.
All legal ads in the newspaper will have the terms of the sale and are run for three consecutive weeks in a local newspaper, usually the Georgetown Times.
Sales are held the first Monday of each month at noon. If the first Monday of the month is a holiday, they are held the next day or the next Monday in the month. Foreclosure sales are held at noon, in the Master-in-Equity courtroom on the 2nd Floor at the Georgetown County Judicial Center located at:
401 Cleland Street
Georgetown, SC 29440
The judgment also will specify the amount of good faith deposit necessary at the time of the sale, which is usually 5% of the successful bid at the sale. Compliance must be made with the bid by 4 pm on that same day. This deposit is required to be in cash or certified funds and is not refundable. The Plaintiff or any other party may be a purchaser on such sale. You have 20 or 30 days, depending on the case, to comply with the balance of the bid with cash or certified funds.
Some Plaintiffs seek a deficiency judgment against the Defendant. This means the Plaintiff is not only foreclosing its mortgage but is also seeking a money judgment against the debtor. Unless the pleadings state that no personal or deficiency judgment is demanded or any right to such judgment is expressly waived in writing, the bidding will not be closed upon the day of sale but remains open until the thirtieth day after such sale exclusive of the day of the sale. When the sale is re-opened for final bidding, the highest bid is accepted. The Plaintiff can only bid at the first sale.
The Master-in-Equity does not certify clear title and an independent title search is highly recommended prior to bidding on the property. Purchaser is responsible for recording the deed and any other documents associated with the purchase of the property.