If you are going to attend an auction to purchase, you need 10% down in a bank check at the courthouse. While you don't have to bid the upset price (the amount of the lien the bank has) don't start ridiculously low or the bank will just bid the upset price and take the house back. Good luck!
An agent (like me) can pull information for you and provide you with some insight as to what's owed on it, etc. - IF it's in public records and that record is up to date. Good for general information. I'm going to an auction tomorrow.