A homeowner must first default on their mortgage
Most borrowers will try to exhaust all other avenues to avoid a foreclosure, as this will not only mean the loss of the delinquent property but will also bring on severe damage to a borrower’s credit score. Expect an influx of emails, letters, and phone calls from the lender trying to collect.
NOTICE OF DEFAULT
If a borrower can’t pay, the lender will issue a notice of default
In the state of California, the foreclosure process can legally start no sooner than 30 days after the lender has made first contact to explore ways of avoiding foreclosure. If the borrower and lender cannot reach an agreement on how to avoid the foreclosure process, the lender may record a notice of default with the county clerk’s office, marking the official start of foreclosure proceedings. Typically a homeowner has 90 days to pay off the most recent bill after this notice.
NOTICE OF SALE
A notice of sale is sent if there is no payment within 90 days of the notice of default
If the borrower does not balance out the outstanding loan payments, the lender may record a notice of sale – but no sooner than 90 days after the notice of default was recorded.
The home will be sold at a public auction to the highest bidder
Foreclosure auctions are usually held at the County Courthouse of the county the delinquent property is located in. Following a foreclosure sale, the new owner cannot instantly evict the former owner or change the locks on the property. They must serve the previous owner with a 3-day notice to quit, meaning the former owner has 3 days to move out.