My firm has handled foreclosure defense all over, but we are just beginning in California. I would be happy to talk further about the particular challenges surrounding California law.
The property owner is really the person holding the cards in this situation. It would be good for that property owner to essentially work with your renter in a manner that we have seen work successfully here in Missouri.
A good, aggressive letter-writing campaign can sometimes stop a foreclosure, especially if it is punctuated by a clear understanding of the way these mortgages actually work.
If the trustee's sale goes ahead, the renter would have certain rights under federal law. Tenants now have the right to stay in their homes after foreclosure for 90 days or through the term of their lease. The protections expire at the end of 2012.
Trustee's sales in California are often postponed or delay for a variety of reasons, but this is up to the owner to negotiate with the lender.
The tenant should also be aware of recent changes in California law which affect tenants of foreclosed properties: