Interesting article about foreclosures and auctions. Note, each state has different rules for instance California's rules for redemption by foreclosed former owners are different.
Let the Home Auction Bidder Beware: "'Banks have a duty to bid as much as they are owed' on an outstanding mortgage, says Ryan Slack, chief executive of PropertyShark.com, an online real estate research company in New York City. 'But investors don't want to buy a property unless it's [priced] at a discount,' he adds. Indeed, at a July 13 foreclosure auction at the Queens County, N.Y., Supreme Court building, only four of the 18 properties auctioned that day attracted any bids from the public. The rest, observers said, ended up in the hands of their mortgage lender. But the ability to obtain troubled properties doesn't end there: Some time after the lender takes title to foreclosed properties, a new selling phase typically begins. That's when banks try to shed unwanted properties - typically by selling them through a real estate agent or by offering them at a second auction. These post-foreclosure auctions are attractive to lenders, experts say, because they can unload their mounting stocks of properties on a specific date. Thus, 'you're seeing [post-foreclosure auctions] of 20 to 30 properties at a time, held at conference centers or hotels,' says Rick Sharga, marketing vice president at RealtyTrac Inc., a real estate information company in Irvine, Calif. 'In the past, [such lenders] didn't have enough inventory' to hold such events. For"