Check out http://www.ushomeauction.com/ and their frequently asked questions or How does the auction work sections. Some of the information is specific to the auctions they handle (which are not on the courthouse steps) and other information is general.
Most of the other sites on the internet require some form of subscription. There are "free" trainings offerred through most of the foreclosure reporting services (County Records Research, ReTRAN, Redloc are a few). Some have more substance than others. What they do offer is other like minded people, some with hands on knowledge or connections. You might also check out the local library. There have been multiple books written on this subject. Check the copywrite date for current information.
I know the pre-foreclosure and REO markets very well. I know much less about the auction process, however, this much I know. The Auction is where the investor really needs to know his stuff. You can't always gain access to the property before the sale, you need to do careful research about senior liens (junior liens are wiped out), and you become responsible for getting the angry, upset homeowner or tenant out of the property before they strip the copper out of the walls and the cabinets out of the kitchen and bathrooms. Keep looking for the experts in this area. I knew someone who did the auction scene about a year ago. I will look up his info. You can contact me through my profile. Hopefully I can hook the two of you up. If not, you need to do the research and possibly spend a little $$ on the training.
Best of luck in buying the home you really want and Dare to Dream.
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
Try http://www.williamsauction.com. I will have a min. bid and the days you can preview before you decide to purchase. It is highly unlikely that the house sales in a shortsale in the morning before it goes into an auction. They will give the terms of the purchase prior to the auction or just visit their website. Sometime they have online bidding. Make sure you preview these homes. Some may have structural damage. You can have an agent to represent you in an auction.. You are alway entitle to inspection even an auction house.
Prudential California Realty