All of the above information is correct. But your question has three parts, and just two parts have been answered. The part about banks and the way short sales are being handled is quite true, as is, unfortunately, the way that there are many agents who are not specialists in foreclosures.
But I think the real question you have is number two. "How do I know that MY agent is not . . . ?" It seems that you no longer trust your agent, or that he is looking out for you. ( I assume you actually did sign a brokerage agreement with the agent, and he IS representing you?) This implies a lack of trust with the agent. Without that trust, it will be hard for you to trust your agent, and give him/her the information needed to do the job.
SO, what can you do? Every agent works for a real estate Broker, ( in fact, your agreement is actually with the Broker, not the agent. The agent is simply the interface). If you are unhappy with the service that you are receiving from your agent, call the broker and speak to him/her. Request a meeting in person. Explain your concerns and listen carefully to the explanation. Ask questions until you are satisfied with the answers. If you feel that you are NOT being represented well by the agent, you might ask the broker to assign a different agent to you.