My clients in the past have tried to acquire a home in the same scenario. I was able to track down lender and contact information however once it reaches a particular stage they will not halt the process of foreclosure due to legal ramifications.
With so many homes on the market, my suggestion is to hook up with a good Buyers Agent who can work on your behalf and exhaust all means of connectivity with current lender. In addition, as indicated it would be in your best interest to have a professional provide a means for you to actually pursue the current acquistion or find you another home with similar characteristics.
If you like contact me, depending on location I can help you pursue this situation or hook you up with another agent, like myself, who has a great deal of experience working with REO homes :
Rose Mary Simms
Keller Williams Real Estate
If that doesn't work, again check with the local courts--whichever one was involved in the eviction. The owner filed an unlawful detainer action (that's the official term for eviction) against the tenants, and that'll be public record. Again, that'll give you the name and address of the owner.
If that doesn't work, knock on the doors of the neighbors. Explain that you're trying to find the owner of the house. And explain why. The neighbors will be delighted that someone would like to move into the vacant house.
So, one way or another you've tracked down the owner. (There are other ways, too, but the suggestions above will work 99.9% of the time.)
Then you approach the owner. Call or write a letter. Explain, just as you did here, that you'd like to purchase the house. Then negotiate.
You would be much better off using a Realtor for the process. However, investors go through the same process all the time, usually without a Realtor. Still, you need to know what the house is worth, and the other information that will help you make an offer.
And you might be able to get a good value. It's likely that the owner is now seriously motivated to sell. Owners don't like the eviction process; they also don't like empty houses. Remember: You're offering a solution to the owner's problems. That puts you into a very strong negotiating position.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Derek Bauer, Associate Broker / Realtor
Real Estate One - Farmington Hills / West Bloomfield / Livonia