Both Buyer And Seller, Brooklyn, NY
If the foreclosure is at the point of auction you have until 5 days before the auction date to pay off what is owed. As Allen stated, contract using a loan/purchase agreement to protect yourself. You can try refinancing with the bank but they just want to get paid and if the mortgage is underwater (market value of home is less than what they owe the bank) there is no equity in the home to justify refinancing. A short sale takes too long in many cases the home gets auctioned off before getting anything back from the bank about a short sale request (short sales are a way to sell a house by reducing what is owed to the bank, low success rate). The title will not be transferred to you, most likely the bank has a lien on the property until payments are made or you purchase the using your own financing effectively making it your home where your in-laws are now renting or leasing the home from you. I don't think you want to go to the extent of owning the home.
all the best!