Foreclosure is the most obvious consequence of not paying your mortgage. However, the foreclosure process is usually fairly slow. First, when your payments are late, the bank will begin to contact you to try to find out why you are not paying and to try to obtain payment. Once you are between thirty to ninety days late, depending on your loan and lender, the bank will send you a notice of default. By this time, you will usually owe considerable fees and penalties in addition to your missed payment(s).
If you do not pay or speak to the bank after receiving a notice of default, the bank will usually begin foreclosure proceedings. Although the exact rules vary depending on state law, generally this involves the bank posting a notice of foreclosure in the newspaper, which is public record, and/or going to court to have you evicted from the home so that they can sell the home at a foreclosure auction.
When the bank formally forecloses, you must legally leave the home. This usually happens about six months from the first missed payment, depending on the state law and how aggressive your bank proceeded. If you do not leave your home, a sheriff or other police official can force you to leave the home.