Can you protect assets before a foreclosure?

Forclosure only affects the specific property that is under contract. If you have other assets they are not in jeopardy during forclosure. On the other hand, a lending institution may initiate a lawsuit to capture remaining loss. Banks are in the business of LENDING money, not giving it away. By law, they are to seek whatever means available to recover the money they loan to you. They have an obligation to repay THEIR lenders, which are the people who deposit money to the bank in hopes of getting an investment type return. So, back to your question: The bank will complete forclosure first to get the property back. You'll have an opportunity to move your personal property out of the "Real" property before forclosure, but if you wait too long they will dispose of your personal property in a way that is most efficient for them. Then they will sell the property in hopes of recovering whatever money is owned on the original loan. If they don't recover enough to pay back the money that you borrowed they may initiate a lawsuit to get the REST of that money, depening on whether they perceive that such a lawsuit might be effective.