You will probably regret it if you don't go with your gut. Don't rent from someone you don't trust. A search of public records will show if the lender has taken action -- but it won't let you know if they are behind on their mortgage and the lender has elected not to take action. Many lenders are also behind on filing for foreclosure on properties given the volume of delinquencies right now. So be careful. Isn't there a local reputable property management firm for you to go to?
Hope this helps!