Non-judicial foreclosure is much more common in California. The bank can file a Notice of Default after 3 months of missed payments, and then foreclose as soon as 3 months and 3 weeks later. Banks are busy now, so these traditional time frames do not always apply.
If you cannot afford to make payments and you do not have enough income to qualify for a loan modification of any kind, then your best bets would be a short sale, a deed-in-lieu (not always an option), or foreclosure.
You should always consult an attorney and/or an accountant. Sounds like you already spoke with an attorney. You may want to call 888-995-HOPE (HUD-approved counselors) if you have additional questions.