The simple answer is that varies. But here are the basics. Although lenders have the option to foreclose judicially or non-judicially, the reality is that 99% of foreclosure are non-judicial. The non-judicial foreclosure is set-up to be streamlined for the lenders to foreclosure easily and quickly. But certain due process procedures must be observed, i.e. notice and a hearing.
If you have already received a summons for a foreclosure, a key component on the length of time is if you show up for the hearing. If you don't show up, a foreclosure order could be granted that day, with the sale date to occur shortly thereafter. So part of it is how long the foreclosure takes depends on whether the homeowner shows up for the hearing (hearings, because there will be more after the initial one). .
If you show up, N.C.G.S. 45-21.16(C) allows you to request a 60-day continuance to pursue loss-mitigation options. Most counties will grant this continuance as a matter of course. Assuming this 60 days has expired, if you then contest the foreclosure at the next hearing, the trustee must step down and bring in lender's counsel to pursue the foreclosure. But after that the lender really controls how quickly to foreclose. I've seen both very aggressive foreclosure timelines and others where it goes on for many months (part of it depends on how quickly the foreclosing party can gather the requisite paperwork - some loans are more difficult for reasons outside this answer). So if you requested a continuance and at the next hearing contested the foreclosure, this would provide you with at least 90 days. But again the lender really controls the timeline after that. (This all assumes that you have no defenses to the foreclosure, which would present a different matter entirely).
You can appeal the Clerk's order granting foreclosure to the superior court or file a bankruptcy up to 10-days after the foreclosure sale. Both these actions will have the effect of stalling the foreclosure timeline as well.
I hope you the best of luck. I know that foreclosures can be very difficult times
** This answer is for information purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR LEGAL SERVICES. **