In the state California mortgage servicers may foreclose on a property that is currently in default by either going through the judicial or non-judicial foreclosure process. In California the most common method used by servicers is the non-judicial foreclosure process aka "Trustee's Sale."
This way of foreclosure is very fast and inexpensive for the lender. In the Deed of Trust it clearly states that the borrower gives the Trustee (usually title company) the power of being able to take and sell the property if the borrower defaults on their payments.
The foreclosure process will begin once a borrower defaults on their mortgage. There will be a Notice of Default or NOD recorded and a also period of time called the "Redemption Period." This period will begin and end within 90 days. After the NOD has been recorded within 10 buisness days, a copy of this will be sent via certified and regular mail to the homeowner. Ordered from the title agency is a Trustee's Sale Guarantee Report, which will provide any and all information about the title. The foreclosure will remain in process for 90 days unless the homeowner attempts to resolve this issue.
Once the 90 day Redemption Period ends, the "Publication Period" will start to take place. They will then prepare and publish the Notice of Trustee's sale in your local newspaper one time per week for at least a three week period. The actual date of sale will not occur for at least 21 days after the sale date published in the newspaper and a copy will also be posted on the foreclosing property.
The final step in the foreclosure process is the trustee's sale, the date the property is actually sold. California's foreclosure laws state that only after all requirements have been met, and on the actual date property is to be sold, the highest bidder will take the property. If somehow there are no bidders at the time of sale, the home will then again become property of the beneficiary of the debt.
So to answer the question, you are typically looking at about 90 days until foreclosure after being served with an NOD.