It depends on your state of residence. In many states, the only way a mortgagee (a lender) can foreclose is using the court system. If you live in such a state, then the foreclosure process follows strict rules and cannot begin until the mortgagor (the borrower) is in default for a certain number of days. That number is 120 to 150 depending on the state. Other states, such as California, allow the mortgagee to foreclose non-judicially and in these states the process can begin as soon as 60 days after default. Review your the loan contract you signed for details.