In the case of nobody meeting the opening or qualifying bid on a property, the bank buys it back. It would be in the bank or mortgage holder to keep the taxes current or else they could go into a tax lient and then the city or town would take it and the bank doesn't want that to happen. I hope that helps. Buying distressed property can be a challenging yet rewarding experience and you really should look to hire a buyer agent if you don't have one yet and are serious. In most cases it costs you nothing and have everything to gain.