Frequently Asked Questions
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I am in a modification with my lender. Could I still be eligible for assistance through SC HELP?
Yes, as long as you have completed the “Trial Modification” and have been accepted into the permanent modification.
Do I need to be behind on my mortgage payments to be eligible for SC HELP?
No. We STRONGLY encourage you to make every effort possible to make your mortgage payments in full and on time. Many SC HELP clients were able to get assistance with their monthly payments without ever missing a single payment.
I just received a foreclosure notice or letter about foreclosure, or was served with foreclosure papers. What should I do? Could I be eligible for assistance through SC HELP?
You can find basic information about the foreclosure process in South Carolina by clicking here. However, we cannot advise you regarding your situation, and encourage you to seek legal advice. You may be eligible for SC HELP, and we encourage you to apply as quickly as possible in order to allow enough time for your application to be evaluated. IF YOU HAVE BEEN ISSUED A NOTICE OF SALE PLEASE CONTACT CUSTOMER SERVICE AT 803-896-9200 IMMEDIATELY.
My lender/loan servicer is listed on the Non-Participating Servicer list. What does this mean?
Unfortunately, this means that SC HELP cannot assist you at this time. Lenders/loan servicers must sign an agreement with SC HELP in order to accept funds through the program. While we have been successful in getting agreements with hundreds of lenders, there are some who will not agree to receive funds through the program. SC HELP cannot force lenders or loan servicers to participate. list of non-participating providers
Can SC HELP assist me with a loan modification or lowering my monthly payment?
SC HELP can work with your lender and provide funds to help you qualify for a loan modification. SC HELP cannot modify the terms of your existing loan or force the lender to do so. We will provide a list of organizations that may be able to assist you while you are working with your lender.
I am in an active bankruptcy. Could I be eligible for assistance through SC HELP?
You are not eligible for assistance until the bankruptcy is discharged or dismissed.
I filed for bankruptcy but my house is not included “in” the bankruptcy. Could I be eligible for assistance through SC HELP?
You are not eligible for assistance until the bankruptcy is discharged or dismissed.
I don’t have the phone or fax number for my counseling or processing agency.
here is a list of counseling agencies
I am on Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD). Could I qualify for assistance through SC HELP?
You may qualify for reinstatement of delinquent amounts under the SC HELP Direct Loan Assistance program. The Direct Loan Assistance program is intended to assist homeowners with short-term, income-related affordability issues. If you have a long-term qualifying hardship (death of a wage-earner, permanent Social Security disability, retirement due to involuntary unemployment) you may be eligible for Modification Assistance. However, a fixed income will NOT qualify you for the SC HELP Monthly Payment Program.
Will I have to pay taxes on the assistance I receive?
Please speak to your tax advisor, as we cannot give tax advice. If you receive Direct Loan or Monthly Payment Assistance through SC HELP, you will be provided with a 1098MA after the end of the calendar year.
I live in the house and I make the payments, but I am not on the mortgage. May I apply?
No. Only persons on the mortgage may apply for SC HELP mortgage assistance.
I am divorced and I have a quitclaim deed showing that my ex-spouse has signed his/her interest in the house over to me. Will that suffice?
If the ex-spouse is still on the mortgage he/she MUST sign the SC HELP application and closing documents.
My spouse died last year. How should I fill out the application?
If your spouse is named on the mortgage, you must go to probate court and get a deed of distribution and provide it with a copy of the death certificate.
Can SC HELP pay off my mortgage? I don’t owe very much more on it.
SC HELP has a lien extinguishment option in the Modification Assistance Program.
How long does it take to get approved?
The timeframe depends largely on YOU. You should submit ALL required documentation within seven (7) days of completing your online application, and respond to the processor within 24 hours if additional documents are required. Complete applications can often be processed and approved within 30 days. Incomplete applications will take much longer, and will not be approved until they are complete.
Where are the Processing Agencies located?
The agencies, along with their locations, are listed on the website under Participating Agencies.
Can homeowners qualify for more than one type of assistance under SC HELP?
Yes, homeowners may qualify for more than one type of assistance. The total amount of assistance available is capped by household and program.
My home is a mobile home or manufactured home. Could I be eligible for assistance through SC HELP?
Yes, however the loan on the property must be secured by a MORTGAGE (a lien against the home and the property it sits on). A copy of your recorded mortgage is required. You should check with your county deed office or lender to verify that a mortgage exists before applying for SC HELP.
Is SC HELP assistance a grant? Will I have to pay it back?
This assistance is made as a loan, and SC HELP will require a mortgage against your home. However, the loan has 0.00% interest rate, does not require monthly payments, and the principal balance is forgiven at a set percentage each year if you continue to live in the home. SC HELP offers mortgages with five (5) and ten (10) year terms. Depending on the term on your mortgage, if you live in the home for five (5) or ten (10) years, the loan will be fully forgiven. If you sell the home within the five (5) or ten (10) year forgiveness period, the outstanding balance will be due and payable upon the completed sale.
I’m in a “rent‐to own” arrangement, or I am renting the home I live in, and I need help making the payments. Could I be eligible for assistance through SC HELP?
No. This program can only help the holder of a mortgage.
I do not use the computer often or am uncomfortable completing an online application. Can I meet with someone and get help with my application?
Although we strongly encourage you to use our safe, secure online application in order to get the fastest possible service, SC HELP Processing Agencies can meet face-to-face to help you with the application if you prefer. You must call them first for an appointment and find out what documents you need to bring with you to the meeting. [link to list of participating agencies]
My closing documents listed $36,000, why did I only receive $X amount?
$36,000 is the maximum amount of assistance that can be provided by SC HELP. The dollar amount you receive will depend on the figures provided from your lender.
Why hasn’t payment posted?
It can take 10-14 business days for our payments to post. If your payment has not posted after that timeframe, please contact us so we may follow up with your lender.
My payment was sent on (insert date from welcome letter). Why is my servicer still calling me?
Our payments will not immediately post to your account. After your lender receives our funds, please allow 10-14 business days to post.
When will I be responsible for payments?
If receiving reinstatement assistance, you will most likely be responsible for the next month going forward. This date will be listed in your welcome letter, which will be mailed after closing. If receiving monthly payment assistance, we will inform you by mail when your last payment will be sent. Please verify with your lender how our payment was applied and what month your next payment is due.
What if my monthly payment changes?
You may submit any changes to your account to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will confirm these changes with your lender.
What was included in my reinstatement?
Reinstatement includes missed payments, attorney’s fees and escrow advances. You may request a more detailed breakdown from your lender or attorney.
Can SC HELP pay taxes/insurance not included in my payment?
Taxes and insurance must be escrowed to be included in SC HELP assistance. Please contact your lender for this option.
Can I return for additional assistance after receiving funding?
Yes, you may receive additional assistance if your circumstances change and you qualify. Direct Loan Assistance/reinstatement may only be received once.
I am being foreclosed by the HOA. Can you help me bring this current?
No. SC HELP funds are only available to assist with a homeowner’s first (primary) mortgage loan.
Why is the reinstatement amount on my attorney’s letter different from your payment?
Our reinstatement quote is the most updated figure provided by your lender. It may include projected payments and fees, along with advances for escrow.
Why does my statement show a negative escrow balance after your payment posted?
SC HELP can assist with escrow shortages. Please have your lender submit the amount needed to bring this account current.
I’m receiving assistance for the second time, can you bring my loan current again?
Direct Loan Assistance/reinstatement is only available once.
My payment was made after the 1st, will there be late charges?
Late charges will not be added while enrolled in SC HELP. Your servicer will back date your payment if posting takes longer than expected.