If you want to search for homes that are in trouble but not foreclosed yet Zillow can probably help. Once they are bank owned and available to purchase they are usually on the MLS and called "REOs". If you need a website search engine that can show you all the REOs my website has that. http://uhl.com/homes-for-sale-toppicks/Foreclosures/37334/
That way you don't need to run one of these other fine agents ragged... though some may like that ;-)
As far as having the most up to date listing information for ACTIVE listings team with a local RealtorÂ® who can set you up with an automated search for what you can afford.
Here's a quick diagram explaining the process of actually getting to the status of an actual foreclosure:
Here's a quick "risk scale" for property purchasing (from highest-to-lowest risk):
1) Trustee Sale,
2) Auction Company Sale,
3) REO (reduced disclosure requirements),
4) Short Sale (primarily risk is approval timeline), and
5) Non-Distressed Sale.