I am a real estate attorney in Chicago. First let me say that I agree with the other posters that you should contact a realtor to help you in this area. I made this video a while back for a friend who asked a similar question (so ignore the fact that I am talking to Steve). I haven't trodded it out in a while, but it should still be good http://www.hg-legal.com/tutorials/steve/steve.htm
If you are not a member of the Naperville Library to get access to the information in the video (which is the same information that you would pay for on the web, but the library offers for free) many many libraries offer access to this information in a similar way, so just check with your local library.
If you are looking to purchase a foreclosure I would be happy to help you from the legal perspective.
Chase Real Estate
1. Find Foreclosures
2. Finance these deals
3. Connect with a reputable Rehabber
4. Live-in, Flip or Rent your property.
Fannie Mae has a website with homes that they own and could not force the banks to buy back. It is http://www.homepath.com I can provide special financing on these properties. The down payment required is very low. Most of the homes on the site have both exterior and interior photos.
There's a great new feature that a lot of buyers find useful that allows them to easily search for foreclosure properties themselves. It's set up on my web site. You can either click on the Foreclosures & Short Sales button on my home page to go directly to local search results or you can click on the Search for Homes button on my home page to go to an advanced search. On the advanced search page, click on the foreclosure radio button at the top of the form and enter the rest of your search criteria.
Good luck with your search and have a great day!