As stated previously, your best resource is a Realtor who can provide you with up to date information on bank owned/foreclosed homes. I would be giving you unrealistic expectations if I said you will find a REO property for rent or rent to own. Banks are in the business of lending money not renting out foreclosed property. The foreclosed home is a non-performing liability. The goal is to sell it fast, minimize losses.
If you don't have the cash for closing costs or a down payment--there are grants available, you can utilize seller concessions and 100% financing programs. A Real Estate Professional can explain all options available and put you on the path to home ownership. Your best resource for information is a Realtor--who will know which direction or program is best for you.
If you are serious, you should expect to pay something for accurate data.
If you are not serious regarding ACTIONABLE DATA you troll aggregate websites in pursuit of entertainment..
YOU CAN HAVE ACCESS TO RELIABLE, ACCURATE DATA.
However, there IS a cost. You will need to contact a professional so they can set you up with a FREE account to access the most reliable, timely, relevant data.. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your requirements, situation and timeline. Of course there is another reality of which we are aware. Requiring the consumer to make a minimal effort provides some indication of the qualification of the citizen.
There are no ILL-LEGITIMATE websites, just websites used for the wrong purpose. Aggregate websites are for entertainment purposes. If you are serious, you need serious resources. If you are serious, you should expect to invest in the pursuit of your goal.
To expect everything to be FREE, can lead to frustration. The choice is always yours to make.
Some insist on the most difficult path while others recognize professional help is readily available. Such consultation frequently establishes the probability of a favorable result and/or an acceptable plan B.
So, if you are serious, contact a professional.
Rent to Own is another type of sale, and they are unique opportunities. You have to be very careful with this type of sale. Currently I have one home that the owner will consider rent to own, but this type of sale is very specific. Too often I see scams surrounding this type of sale.
There is a lot of talk about Foreclosed homes being rented out, they will appear in the rental listings. If they are sales that will consider RENT TO OWN, they will mention it in the comments.. There is no category on the MLS for this type of transaction.
Lastly your question to why sites charge to search -- because that is the only way they can make money. Legitimate sites like that that Joe mentioned, and sites like my property search (and any REALTOR site utilizing IDX technology) provide the information for free. You just need to know the right way to search for them.
You can also go here:
http://www.erie.gov/ecrpts/auction.asp (call for the next auction)