Judgments and Enforcement:
A judgment entered in the State of South Carolina may be enforced within a period of ten (10) years. (15-39-20.) Final judgments and decrees entered in any court of record in this state may constitute a lien upon the non-exempt real estate of the judgment debtor situated in any county in which the judgment or transcript thereof is entered. The lien begins to run from the time of entry on the book of abstracts and indices, and continue for a period of 10 years from the date of the final judgment or decree. (15-35-810, 15-35-820.)
A judgment creditor may seek execution against the property of the judgment debtor, against his person and for the delivery of the possession of real or personal property. (15-39-10.) The court may order any property of the judgment debtor, not exempt from execution, to be applied toward the satisfaction of the judgment, except that the earnings of the debtor for his personal services cannot be so applied. (15-39-410.)
A judgment by confession is permissible under South Carolina Statutes. (15-35-350.) A defendant may file with the court a verified statement, under oath, stating the amount of the judgment authorized, the amount actually due or become due, concise facts out of which the obligation or liability arose, and that the sum confessed is justly due or to become due. (15-35-350.) Upon entry of the judgment, it may be executed in the same manner as any other judgments entered in the courts of the State of South Carolina. (15-35-380.)
The State of South Carolina generally adopts the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. (15-35-900, et seq.) Any judgment, decree or order of a court of the United States or of any other court is entitled to full faith and credit in the State of South Carolina. (15-35-910(1).)
A judgment creditor seeking to enforce a foreign judgment may file with the appropriate court, an authenticated copy of the foreign judgment and an affidavit showing the name and last known post office address of the judgment debtor and the judgment creditor, and stating that the foreign judgment is final, that it is unsatisfied in whole or in part setting forth the amount remaining unpaid on the judgment, and whether the judgment is further contested. (15-35-920.) The judgment creditor is required to serve upon the judgment debtor a notice of filing of the foreign judgment and affidavit, and file a proof of service of the notice in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure of South Carolina. The notice must set forth the name and address of the judgment creditor, his attorney if any, and the clerk’s office in which the foreign judgment is filed, and that the judgment attached to the notice has been filed in that office, and that the judgment debtor has 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice to seek relief from the enforcement thereof. The notice must also state that if the judgment is not satisfied within that 30 days period, it will be enforced in the same manner as a judgment of the State of South Carolina. (15-35-930.)
The foreign judgment may not be indexed or docketed if a contest is not resolved. No execution may issue upon the foreign judgment nor may any other proceeding be taken for its enforcement until the expiration of 30 days from the date upon which notice of filing is served in accordance with Section 15-35-930. (15-35-920.)
Legal rate: 8-3/4% per annum on accounts stated and any money due. (34-31-20(A).)
Judgment rate: 14% per annum on all decrees enrolled or entered. (34-31-20(B).)
The Consumer Protection Code Revision Act of 1982 requires that all creditors who wish to charge an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) in excess of 18% must file a Maximum Rate Schedule (MRS) with the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs. A Maximum Rate Schedule must also be posted in the creditor’s place of business. The filing fee is $20.00. See Department of Consumer Affairs Department linked here.
In general, a debtor may claim exemption of his homestead and certain personal property from attachment or execution or forced sale for the payment of debts.
The homestead exemption permitted under the South Carolina Statutes include the real or personal property of a debtor, up to an aggregate interest of $5,000 in value. The property must be used by the debtor or his dependent as a residence, in a cooperative that owns property, or in a burial plot, except that the aggregate value of multiple homestead exemptions allowable with respect to a single living unit may not exceed $10,000. (15-41-30(1).)
Personal property which may be exempt may include the debtor’s interest in one motor vehicle not to exceed $1,200 in value; household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops, or musical instruments, that are held primarily for the personal, family, or household use, not to exceed $2,500 in aggregate value; jewelry not to exceed $500 in aggregate value; cash and other liquid assets to the extent of a value not exceeding $1,000 except that this exemption is available only to an individual who does not claim a homestead exemption; implements, professional books, or tools of the trade not to exceed $750 in aggregate value; any unmatured life insurance contract owned by the debtor, other than a credit life insurance contract; professionally prescribed health aids; social security benefits, unemployment compensation, public assistance benefit, veteran’s benefit, disability, illness or unemployment benefit, alimony, support or separate maintenance; a payment under a qualified stock bonus, pension, profit sharing, annuity, or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age, or length of service, property that is traceable to award under a crime victim’s reparation law, a payment on account of the bodily injury of the debtor or of the wrongful death or bodily injury of another individual of whom the debtor was or is a dependent and a payment under a life insurance contract that insured the life of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent on the date of that individual’s death, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor. (15-41-30(2).)
In a bankruptcy proceeding, no individual may exempt property specified in 11 U.S.C. Section 522(d) except as may be expressly permitted by other provisions of law of the State of South Carolina. (15-41-35.)