Foreclosures are very complicated because there are so many different types of foreclosures. There are foreclosures of possessory liens (like if you didn’t pay your mechanic and he kept your car), non-possessory liens (like the one GMAC has on plenty of cars from Detroit), construction liens (by workmen who were not paid), judicial liens (arising from judgments), consensual liens on personal property (often business equipment), and consensual liens on real property (land sale contracts, mortgages and trust deeds).
All of the liens have different rules governing their foreclosure. The rules are typically statutory and are generally strictly enforced. To make things even more confusing, consensual liens on real property have different methods of foreclosure.
One option is a judicial foreclosure of a land sale contract, mortgage, or trust deed, which can result in quick possession in some business cases. The debtor retains a right of redemption (right to redeem the property by paying the judgment, costs and fees, and interest within a given time period) even after the judgment of foreclosure, which makes the procedure long as well as expensive. Land sale contracts can be enforced with a forfeiture remedy, which involves a notice to pay, and absent payment, the property reverts to the creditor. Trust deeds can be enforced through trustee’s sales, which involve a notice and publication followed by an auction with the proceeds used to pay the debt.