The only chance you might have is following up the foreclosure sale immediately with the bank. Odds are, the bank won't even talk to youeven IF you can find the right person to talk to. I did buy a house this way myself a number of years ago. My advantage was I was a real estate broker and the bank sent me the keys. This is not likely to happen today. The only way to buy a foreclosure before it gets to MLS is to buy at foreclosure sale itself. Keep in mind, you may be paying MUCH more than if you waited until it gets listed. Get yourself a good agent and be ready to see anything new on the market the moment it's listed. Also, have your proof of funds to pay cash if you really want to buy this type of property. Odds are it won't qualify for financing in it's current condition and the bank that owns it doesn't care. They will just find someone else with cash to buy. If you are looking for constant nightmares, just try and buy a short sale.