A foreclosure, on the other hand, is a legal process that takes place when a homeowner (or borrower, in this matter) stops making mortgage loan payments for a significant period of time. After three to six months of missed payments, a lender will issue a Notice of Default with the county recorder's office. The notice is to inform the homeowner that foreclosure proceedings have started, and they could be at risk of getting evicted.
After receiving the notice of default, the borrower enters into what’s known as the “pre-foreclosure period”, which can last anywhere from 30 to 120 days. During this time, you’ll have the opportunity to work with your lender to avoid foreclosure, either through any of the following:
Paying the past due balance in full;
Modifying the mortgage terms and reducing your monthly payments;
Selling the home through short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
If the debt isn’t resolved by the end of the pre-foreclosure period, the lender will step in and foreclose on the home. The homeowner will be evicted and a foreclosure auction will be scheduled to sell the house to a third party. If the property isn’t sold at auction, the lender becomes the owner and it’s then considered a bank-owned or real estate-owned property.