In Massachusetts you are looking at a minimum of around 4-5 months from your 1st missed payment until the bank auctions your home. In the meantime, contact the bank and see if you can work with them to keep your home. Banks do not want to foreclose on homes and most will do everything they can to avoid it (unless they think they are being lied to or taken advantage of - then watch out!). If the bank is unwilling to work with you, you may have to sell your home. Even if you owe more to the bank than it is currently worth in this market, you may still be able to get your bank to allow a "short sale". The bank will usually forgive the balance that you owe (though there may be some tax issues - talk with an accountant or tax attorney). You sound like a good canditate for a short sale - illness and job loss are compelling reason for a bank to allow it (gambling losses are not). It is usually better to let a third party handle the negotiations with the bank for you - either an attorney or a Realtor experience with short sales. You have an emotional tie with your home which can understandably interfer with the reality of the situation. Good luck. It is not an impossible situation you are in, just a tough one.