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Alarming Increase In South Carolina Foreclosures – FITSNews

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Alarming Increase In South Carolina Foreclosures – FITSNews


Palmetto State’s soaring foreclosure rate is America’s highest …

South Carolina had the highest foreclosure rate in America last month, according to ATTOM – one of the nation’s leading sources of land, property and real estate data. The Palmetto State also showed the highest annual increase in foreclosure rates – an alarming uptick of 51 percent which ran “counter to the national trend.”

Of interest? Neighboring North Carolina and Georgia showed 52 percent and 34 percent reductions in their annual foreclosure rates last month, ranking No. 1 and No. 3 in the nation, respectively.

Things were already looking grim for the Palmetto State on this front. In 2023, South Carolina had the nation’s sixth-worst foreclosure rate – clocking in at 0.38 percent. Its capital city of Columbia also had the nation’s fourth-worst foreclosure rate among municipalities – registering at 0.55 percent.

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According to ATTOM’s data, there was one foreclosure for every 4,279 housing units nationwide last month. In South Carolina, however, that number climbed to one for every 2,248 housing units. In Columbia, there was one filing for every 1,478 housing units. South Carolina’s capital city had the worst foreclosure rate last month of any metropolitan statistical area in America, according to ATTOM. Spartanburg and Florence ranked third- and fifth-worst, respectively.

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Foreclosures spiked between 2007-2011 as the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit America. Conversely, they plunged during the Covid-19 pandemic as government instituted emergency measures to facilitate “home retention.” An estimated 16 percent of Americans with mortgage loans availed themselves of government “forbearance” between April 2020 and December 2021, according to a report from the St. Louis Fed.

In South Carolina, an estimated $144 million was doled out to tens of thousands of households by the S.C. State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SCHousing.com) between 2020 and 2023.

Last year was the second consecutive year to show an uptick in foreclosures – although they remain below their pre-Covid levels and well below the unprecedented spikes seen during the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

Still, the numbers are not moving in the right direction – especially in South Carolina.

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“The annual uptick in U.S. foreclosure activity hints at shifting dynamics within the housing market,” said Rob Barber, ATTOM’s chief executive officer. “These trends could signify evolving financial landscapes for homeowners, prompting adjustments in market strategies and lending practices. We continue to closely monitor these trends to comprehend their complete effect on foreclosure activity.”

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RELATED | EMPLOYMENT DATA PAINTS GLOOMY PICTURE

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The release of these concerning foreclosure numbers comes as South Carolina’s “Republican” supermajority is debating what to do with an estimated $1.8 billion in newly discovered surplus money. This surplus – exclusively uncovered by our media outlet – could provided a rebate of as much as $1,250 to an estimated 1.44 million South Carolina taxpayers.

So far, lawmakers have yet to say whether they will rebate the $1.8 billion or plow it into the state’s bloated, antiquated bureaucracy – which is set to receive a record $40.1 billion in the latest “Republican” spending plan.

One reason foreclosures could be on the rise in South Carolina is the pervasive anemia of our workforce. According to data released last month, the Palmetto State’s labor participation rate for the month of January stood at a lowly 57.2 percent. That’s the fourth-worst rate in the nation – and puts the Palmetto State more than five percentage points behind the national average of 62.5 percent.

Count on this media outlet to keep our audience in the loop on the latest economic data impacting South Carolina citizens and taxpayers – and to continue pushing state lawmakers to make better decisions when it comes to safeguarding the health of our economy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.

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South-Carolina

Heat Check: Latest on South Carolina recruiting

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Heat Check: Latest on South Carolina recruiting


Led by hosts Cooper Petagna, a 247Sports National Analyst, and Andrew Ivins, 247Sports’ National Director of Scouting, the 247Sports Football Recruiting Podcast airs every Tuesday and Wednesday at Noon ET. Each and every week, the duo discusses the latest in college football, recruiting and scouting.



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SC freezes state funding to Hampton County until audit is submitted. What to know.

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SC freezes state funding to Hampton County until audit is submitted. What to know.


For the second time in two years, the state of South Carolina has frozen state funding to Hampton County government after the county failed to file financial reports as required by law.

The South Carolina Treasurer’s Office confirmed to The Hampton County Guardian Wednesday that Hampton County has not submitted its Fiscal Year 2023 external audit to the State Treasurer’s Office as required by law, and as a result, there will be financial and possibly legal consequences.

“As a result of not submitting their audit, their funds are being withheld,” stated Karen Ingram, Communications Director with the S.C. Treasurer’s Office, in an email to The Guardian. “The state treasurer will withhold state aid to subdivision funds until the audit is submitted.”

Ingram added that the state treasurer will hold all the distributions they normally send to Hampton County, but wouldn’t stop all payments from other agencies.

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Counties required to conduct annual audits

Counties in South Carolina are required to engage external firms to conduct annual financial audits. These audit reports are due Jan. 1 for the previous fiscal year (ending June 30).

Counties may request a 90-day extension. Hampton County applied for and received the 90-day extension, which ended March 31 and still has not filed the report.

Council member, SC Rep. Hager respond

Administrator Lavar Youmans, Treasurer Jennifer Ginn Youmans, and the majority of the Council members did not return emails seeking comment. However, one councilperson, Camille Welch, offered a statement.

“I can not comment or share any information concerning the status of the audit because I have been provided no information,” Welch said. “Due to some health issues, I have been unable to attend recent meetings, however, I have requested to be included and provided with information via multiple emails and asked for clarification concerning decisions taken and agreements entered into with consultants but they have not been answered. Council, the county attorney and the administrator have been copied on all emails.”

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S.C. Representative William Hager (House District 122) also issued a statement:

“It is unfortunate that Hampton County has had more than one instance of a late annual audit. Theseaudits are required by the State of South Carolina, and the fact that we are now once again past boththe deadline and the grace period is unconscionable. It is almost certain that the state will cut offfunding to the county as a result. When this happened last time, the former Comptroller Generalreleased those funds on his way out of office. We will not have that good fortune this time. I hope thatthe county council, treasurer, and administrator handle this situation with the seriousness itrequires.”

Treasurer’s Office froze funding in 2023

The S.C. Treasurer’s Office also froze state funding over the same issue in March 2023. This freeze impacted money for Hampton County EMS, the Council on Aging, and other departments and services.

S.C. state law mandates that “municipalities and counties perform annual audits to ensure the proper collection, reporting and distribution of fines and assessments from the point of collection to the point of distribution. Audits should include a supplementary schedule detailing all fines and assessments collected at the court level, the amount remitted to the municipal or county treasurer and the amount remitted to the State Treasurer,” states the S.C. Treasurer’s website.

“Effective June 7, 2023, SC Code Section 4-9-150 was amended to transition the responsibility of collection of county annual audits and management of related withholding from the Comptroller General’s Office to the State Treasurer’s Office. The State Treasurer’s Office is required to withhold certain funding if local governments do not submit their completed audit within the time parameters prescribed in state law.”

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Local governments can submit their audits online by emailing them. Counties may request an extension of up to 90 days using an online form.

Six SC counties ‘failed to submit their annual audit’

As of April 10, Hampton County was one of six counties that “failed to submit their annual financial audit to the State Treasurer’s Office within the parameters prescribed in state law,” added the website. Those counties include Allendale, Calhoun, Hampton, Marion, Orangeburg, and Williamsburg.

To learn more about this issue, go to the S.C. Treasurer’s Audit Information webpage.

This story may be updated if additional information develops, or public officials respond with comment.



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South Carolina at No. 24 Florida

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South Carolina at No. 24 Florida


After securing a much-needed résumé-boosting win over the No. 13 North Carolina Tar Heels on Tuesday night, Mark Kingston and the South Carolina Gamecocks will look to exorcise some demons this weekend when they take on the No. 24 Florida Gators in Gainesville, the same situation that saw the team’s magical 2023 season come to an end last Summer. Much like Carolina, the Gators came into the season with high expectations, especially after finishing as national runner-ups in the College World Series last year, but so far, the blue and orange have largely disappointed, currently sitting at 17-14 record-wise and having only won 4 home games against Power 5 competition this Spring. Florida is currently in the midst of a four-game losing skid, having been swept by Missouri last weekend and losing 19-4 to Florida State on Tuesday night.

As far as the Gators’ problems go, there are issues both on the mound and at the plate, as only three batters, including Jac Cagilanone, have an OPS higher than .916 in SEC play, while only four pitchers have pitched six or more innings and have compiled an ERA lower than 5.12. The point is that this is a gettable series for the Gamecocks, but with their proven issues winning close games away from their home ballpark and Florida likely coming in highly motivated after being embarrassed by their archrivals, it will still be a challenging task.

Friday
South Carolina Eli Jones (Jr. RHP) 2-1, 3.89 ERA, 39.1 IP, 10 BB, 32 K
Florida Brandon Neely (Jr. RHP) 1-0, 5.18 ERA, 24.1 IP, 13 BB, 34 K

Saturday
South Carolina Ty Good (5th Year RHP) 4-0, 1.93 ERA, 28.0 IP, 11 BB, 35 K
Florida TBA

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Sunday
South Carolina Matthew Becker (Jr. LHP) 4-1, 3.38 ERA, 26.2 IP, 6 BB, 37 K
Florida Jac Caglianone (Jr. LHP) 3-0, 3.67 ERA, 34.1 IP, 25 BB, 44 K

How To Watch: South Carolina at No. 24 Florida

  • Gamedays: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 12th-14th, 2024
  • Venue: Condron Family Park (Gainesville, FL)
  • Game time: 6:30 pm ET for Game 1 | 4:00 pm ET for Game 2 | 12:00 PM ET for Game 3
  • TV/Streaming: SEC Network Plus Games 1 & 2, and SEC Network for Game 3
  • Live stream on fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!
  • Radio: Gamecock Radio Network

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