I'd be a bit more careful with definitions when it comes to crossing state lines, Lauryn.
In California, if we had to approach the court every time default occurs, nobody would be closing any sales these days. Assuming all loan documents were properly prepared, executed, acknowledged and recorded, Notice of default simply needs to be delivered and recorded on title to the property. Three months after, if the default hasn't been cured, the trustee sale / foreclosure sale / auction of the property can be scheduled as soon as 3 weeks after proper service, recording and publication of notice of trustee sale (NOS). Thus, by the book, you have about 4 months from the date of the notice of default to the actual public sale of the property.
When you get your loan from a bank or other institutional lender, you'll have to sign along with other documents two most important papers: Promissory Note that is an actual promise and commitment to repay the debt that would also specify the terms of such loan including interest rate, how interest is calculated [believe it or not our public is very uneducated and really thinks it's a simple interest computation :) ], number of payments, any penalties for early repayment or late payments, etc.; and Deed of Trust that ties that Promissory Note to the land or real property (with its detailed legal description) making it a collateral and giving authority to the trustee of that Deed to sell the property in the event of default. The Promissory Note specifies exactly what constitutes the default and how it can be cured.
Although I personally was able to postpone such sale date on numerous occasions for my sellers when it came to negotiating a settlement with lenders through short sale, it is a very weak position to be in and, of course, the outcome is never guaranteed. Obviously, the stronger the offer the better your chances.