Foreclosure data is public information to the extent that you can go down to the hall of records in your county and look things up. But you're not going to go down there, walk up to the clerk, and say: "Hi, can you give me a copy of the hot foreclosure list?" It doesn't exist.
The bottom line is if you want to make a killing in foreclosures, you want to start a new career.
No published data source comprehensively compiles info and qualifies it. Realty Trac may list legal actions, but it is no indication that a property is for sale, or will be sold....at auction, or otherwise.
There are several proeprties in MLSs in NJ that list REO properties (bank owned), and pre-foreclosure properties. REO properties are identified, but pre-foreclsoure proeprties are not necesssarily identified.
Many short sale properties are not a good deal or realistically feasible if the liens are too high.
Some lenders list REO properties on their individual sites. These may or may not be reperesnted by a broker, and may or may not be in MLS.
As an individual, you can do your own primary research via the court records, searching the REO sites, and combing the MLS. There isn't one source that pulls it all neatly together in one database and delivers it. A Realtor who specializes in this market segment will collect and study this data from all of the sources listed here and more. Plus, they will gather info from their personal network.