Foreclosure occurs when a person purchases property, takes out a loan on that property, and fails to make payments on the loan. There are two primary documents involved in a foreclosure: the mortgage and the note. Most people are aware of the mortgage, but the note is very important. The note is your promise to pay. It lists the terms of your loan, including how long you have to pay the money back, at what interest rate, and over what period of time. Most mortgages are on a monthly basis and if you fail to make a mortgage payment, the note says that the lender has the right to take your property. A foreclosure is a legal action, by the lender, to take the property when you fail to make a mortgage payment.
In Florida, you generally have to be at least three months behind on mortgage payments before a lender can initiate any foreclosure action. Typically, they will initiate it at the bank level after three months and give it to the attorney, but the attorney will wait for four months of non-payment before filing a foreclosure action.