Sometimes it can be helpful to take a big step back and look at a situation from the big picture view. If you are looking into foreclosure, whether you are in mortgage debt and afraid you may be faced with foreclosure in the future or are researching the options you may have, it helps to know just what it means, how it works, and a general timeline.
When you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments and the mortgage debt is piling up, your mortgage goes into default. At this point, your lender has the right to start foreclosure proceedings against you, but in reality it can take a few months or longer, particularly if you play your cards right and earn the sympathy of the lender. If you are experiencing a temporary financial hardship, you may be able to avoid foreclosure by negotiating higher payments for a few months to recover the losses, or even tacking the payments onto the end of the loan. But if the financial setback appears more permanent, and foreclosure inevitable, missing payments might actually be even the most advantageous option for the homeowner.
That seems strange, but in fact if you know you are going to go into foreclosure a few months down the line, paying your monthly mortgage payments is a futile exercise, because the equity in your home is null and void in a majority of foreclosure proceedings. Of course, most people do not want to believe that they will end up in foreclosure, or plan for a future foreclosure, but if you see it as inevitable, saving that money instead of scraping your pennies together to make mortgage payments that will go down the tubes is a clearly better option.