Good Luck Jade, and don't get caught up in the "hype" of the auction.
I can't really address: " I've heard people mention that they received a letter that their home was going to be sold at court after they lost their home due to foreclosure" since we don't know who they got these letters from- was it someone trying to solicit business? or an actual notice of trustee sale, which comes 21 days prior to the trustee sale date.
If you are looking for Trustee Sales, check also the newspaper for Notice of Trustee Sale, a lot of information can be found there, some of the trustee's have websites where you can check the status of the sale prior to the sale date. It will also tell you where and when the sale date is. These sales require full cash payment & as others have pointed out you do not get clear title. I suggest you attend a few of the sales and see how they work.
Post foreclosure auctions are usually homes that have not been sold on the open market, that current owner (usually a bank, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) contracts with an auction house to sell the home. In many cases financing & clear title are available, BUT read the fine print carefully, and be aware you will also be paying a buyers premium.
Auction.com is auctions completed by Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac or others who had not recevied a buyer at the trustee sale, and had maybe even tried to sell it on the market with no buyers. This option may be better for you as you can actually view the property in most cases prior to bidding. You can bid online, or go to the auction itself and get caught up in a frenzy paying more than the home was worth. In this case, you pay the price plus a 5% upcharge ... it's best to work with realtor, you're paying for it anyway, and you can avoid much of the risk. Find one who has extensive experience as an investor themselves for best insight into how it's done.
You can read it and see the answer on the link. The filter did not block the exact same wording on a blog post, so my conclusion is that Trulia voice's spam filter is malfunctioning.
Summary of the blog: I warn that hotel conference room auctions are not usually such bargains. Oh was it because of the word ballroom?
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me.