What is Default? Answer: Failure to meet legal obligations in a contract, including failure to make payments on a loan. A mortgage is generally considered to be in default when a payment is 30 or more days past due. More Questions on Mintrates: What is Earnest money? What is ECOA? What is Effective Gross Income? What is Effective interest rate? What is Encumbrance? What is Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)?