If a borrower is behind on a mortgage payment, their lender will begin the process of collection. Homeowners who do not respond to these efforts may be foreclosed upon. The first step in the collections process is to send a written notice or phone call regarding the situation. The homeowner will then have a chance to respond with an explanation as to why the mortgage payment is past due. Depending on the circumstances, the lender may decide to work with the borrower on a loan modification. However, they do not have to do this. Borrowers are required to pay their mortgages according to agreed upon terms. Assuming that the situation has not be resolved, foreclosure proceedings may then begin. The lender must prove that the borrower has broken the mortgage contract. A judge may or may not allow the foreclosure to be completed at that point.