How Long Does It Take to Foreclose on a House in California?


In California, a lender can begin foreclosure proceedings once you default on your mortgage loan, which can technically happen when you fall more than 90 days behind on your payments. From that point, it typically takes around 120 days for the foreclosure proceedings to reach a conclusion.


When you fall into default, your lender can record a notice of default at the county courthouse. The lender must mail a copy of the default notice to you by certified mail within 10 business days of recording the notice. The lender must send it to your last known address. Within 30 days of filing the default notice, the lender must send a copy of the notice to any person or entity with a junior lien on your home as well as any company that took control of any of the existing liens.

Notice Of Sale

Three months after filing the notice of default, your lender must prepare a notice of trustee sale. This serves as notice that a foreclosure sale will soon commence. The lender must send a copy of this notice via certified mail to all of the parties that received a copy of the default notice. The lender must arrange to have the notice of sale published in a local newspaper, once a week, for the following three weeks to ensure that all parties involved have the opportunity to hear about it.

Final Timeline

The notice of trustee sale occurs a month after the notice of trustee sale appears in the local newspaper. Your lender must send a copy of the sale notice to the Internal Revenue Service 25 days prior to the sale date, and must record the notice of sale at the local courthouse 20 days prior to the sale. After foreclosure proceedings are initiated, the borrower has the right to reinstate the loan by making a payment to cover the arrears. This so-called "redemption period" comes to an end five days before the sale.


The foreclosure sale occurs approximately four months after foreclosure proceedings begin and roughly seven months after you failed to make your mortgage payment. Sales are held on a weekday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific time. The home goes to the highest bidder, although the lender can opt to reschedule a new auction or assume ownership of the home if no sufficiently high bids are received during the auction.

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