If you are unable to make your mortgage payment, you may have 2 or 3 months before the bank starts the foreclosure process. They will contact you by phone and mail to try to collect the past due balance. If they are not able to contact you, this tends to speed up their process.
If you will talk with the bank, many times you can work out a new payment plan. These days, banks are more willing to add the past due amounts on to the loan balance, reduce the interest rate, extend the length of the loan or consider other ways to help you keep your home. The good news is that banks do not want to take back houses. This creates more work and expenses for the bank to maintain the house.
1 - communicate with the bank as soon as you realize you won't be able to stay current on your mortgage payments.
2 - do what you say you'll do. If you ask them to consider a loan modification, make sure you will be able to make the payments if they accept your offer.
3 - if you see that you can't afford the house, see if the bank is willing to consider a short sale. This will keep you from going in to foreclosure and usually banks are willing to accept less sice it is very expensive for banks to foreclose.
4 - don't pay anyone for help to avoid foreclosure. You can negotiate with the bank on your own or contact a Realtor who is familiar with short sales and loan modification negotiations.
5 - the negotiators at banks have many files they are working on. Make sure you have all the required forms to them at one time. Otherwise, you may get put on the bottom of the stack since other files are complete and waiting for their approval.