Federal pause on evictions and foreclosures to end this month

Published: Jun. 10, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Tens of thousands of people have not caught up on rent in South Carolina, meanwhile the federal ban on evictions and foreclosures is coming to an end in less than three weeks.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 7 million people have not caught up on rent nationwide, and for South Carolina that number sits at 160,430 people.

The expiration of foreclosure protection also comes during a highly competitive housing market.

“It’s a frenzy that we’ve seen across the state,” said Nick Kremydas, CEO of the South Carolina Association of Realtors. “And we’ve seen unprecedented demand, we’ve seen supply limited.

Between renters or homeowners who are behind on payments because of the pandemic, Kremydas says renters will be hardest hit when the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures end. This is because under the current federal forbearance protections, homeowners will have a chance to work with their mortgage lenders to everything they can to avoid foreclosure.

“When this evection moratorium ends, the typical renter isn’t going to have 12 months of rent in their pocket to catch up, not to mention late fees; utilities and other things that they owe,” Kremydas said. “It should be a very soft landing on the mortgage side and our experts are telling us that while there may be a small increase in foreclosures, it won’t be a dramatic bump.”

Democratic state representative Wendell Gilliard supports keeping the federal moratorium in place.

“Just to say that this is going to come to an end and that there’s no hope, no, not in the most powerful country in the world,” Gilliard said. “I think we need to stand up to the plate, it now falls in the hands of the US congressmen and representatives to do what’s right by the people.”

Gilliard said he wants to see it extended until the end of the year.

“The pandemic is still out there, people are still trying to find their way,” Gilliard said. “I think it’s only right for the amount of people that’s going to be impacted that they should have an extension.”

Right now, Charleston County has around $9 million left in emergency rental assistance for those who have been impacted by the covid-19 pandemic, the application to apply can be found online here.

Berkeley County will also be reopening their Emergency Rental Assistance Program next Monday and has $5 million left to distribute. The link to apply can be found online here.

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