S.C. one of the hardest hit states as foreclosure moratorium ends.

Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Aug. 9 print edition of the GSA Business Report. On July 30, the Federal Housing Administration extendedits moratorium on evictions forforeclosed borrowers living in federally-ensuredhomesthrough September 30, 2021.

Even prior the July 31 federal foreclosure and eviction moratorium, South Carolina ranked in as one of the top states for current foreclosure rates and risk of foreclosure, according to several studies.

According to Lending Tree's analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, almost 39% of South Carolinians are at risk for eviction, the fourth heighest percentage in the country. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities data also reported that 28% of all renters in the state reported on July 5 that they were behind on rent, the second highest level after Mississippi.

Roughly 1.5% of South Carolinians hadn't paid their mortgage payments for more than 90 days at the beginning of 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, this percentage spiked 4.18%, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The federal average is 4.16%.

Most banks queried by SC Biz News remained silent on the topic. Those that offered input argued they have a clean portfolio.

Locally-headquartered United Community Bank and First Reliance Bank declined to comment, as did 5/3rd Bank and ServisFirst Bank.

Pinnacle Financial Partners, a regional bank with a strong presence in the Charleston and Upstate regions, reported that the end of the moratorium won't be the stark cliff portrayed in national news headlines for their customers.

"The end of the federal foreclosure moratorium will not have a sustainable effect on Pinnacle, because most of our mortgage loans do not stay on our books after we originate them," Pinnacle Financial Partners spokesperson Nikki Minges told SC Biz News in a statement. "We have always worked with our clients if they experience an unplanned life event or hardship and will continue to do so after the moratorium ends."

Greenwood-based Countybank offers traditional loan products to communities across the Upstate from Anderson to Simpsonville. Executive Vice President Ken Harper said no foreclosure activities are on the books at the present, but that the bank's exposure to residential loans remains limited compared to some competitors. The Upstate economy has also been somewhat sheltered from some of the economic challenges the rest of the country is facing especially in terms of...

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