COLUMBIA, S.C. — As the state continues to reopen and people return to work, some may now face the possibility of eviction.
To aid in this crisis, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an order halting evictions and foreclosures, then extended that order to further help those in need, but, on May 15, the current halt is scheduled to end and some worry that, if it does, people recovering could still be vulnerable.
Adam Protheroe is an attorney with the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, which advocates for the needs of those with low-income.
"Eviction is a big problem in South Carolina in normal times," Protheroe said. "The financial hardships that folks have suffered during COVID-19 are only going to exacerbate so that come May 15 there's probably going to be a flood of eviction cases that get filed."
Through the CARES Act, the federal government already offers protection to some tenants from eviction and foreclosure through August 23.
Protheroe hopes to see the state order extended through August as well to avoid confusion and give locals more time to recover.
"With remote hearings, with a flood of cases, with a complicated legal issue, without enough attorney's to go around, you really have a problem trying to figure out who's covered and who is not and you've got a big, big risk of mistake," Protheroe said.
To try to curb this issue, one of the state orders does require landlord's to prove their tenants are not protected from eviction by federal law.
News19 reached out to the state supreme court to see if leaders are planning to further extend the current eviction halt, but had not head back as of 5:30 p.m. on May 12.
South Carolinian's in need of emergency assistance, including bill repayment, can call 211 to see what resources are available.