Specifically, you will be looking for "lis pendens" those are notices of pending action usually in reference to foreclosure. They will have the owners name and property address you will have to dig up any other info you are looking for.
many list brokers do this, then fill in the telephone numbers and sell the list.
You can also call the supreme court in each county and get a list of foreclosure referees, then you can contact the referees and get a list of upcoming sales.
There are several ways you can find foreclosures in Manhattan in Brooklyn, including pay services such as Foreclosure.com, going to the bank websites and looking up REO properties (which are mostly represented by local real estate agents, or by contacting a real estate broker who can help you locate properties in the area and price range you are looking for. There aren't very many in Manhattan, but there are in Brooklyn. Please feel free to contact me directly and I would be happy to help you find what you are looking for.