$12000 is a very low amount. If it does not get reinstated, the foreclosure proceeds and the lender gets it back and it becomes an REO. That is when you would have a chance to buy it if the bank does not decide to sell it in bundles to an investor buying a group of properties.
Your best bet is to find REO properties if you want a good deal or work with a licensed real estate agent who is knowledgeable of the entire foreclosure and bank-owned process. It will be in your best interest to work with an agent who has this experience because there is a lot of background work that other agents are unaware of and might not be able to offer you adequate representation.
Diane Conaway, RE/MAX United, (760) 749-2888