Diana: Welcome to the often-confusing world of foreclosure properties!
As noted below, the $110,000 is probably the amount of the mortgage that's in default. Generally speaking, the homes are worth more than the loan amount. In that case, there may be room to arrive at a negotiated sales price that's somewhere between what the home is worth and what's owed on it.
Unfortunately, many homes in foreclosure today, especially in CA, are actually worth LESS than what's owed on the loans, which means the best options (if you really, really want a particular house) are to try to arrange a short sale (you pay less than what's owed to the lender) or wait for the bank to repossess the property and then negotiate with them.
When you're looking at a foreclosure property to determine what the property might be worth, you need to check out the primary and any secondary loans, take a look at comparable sales of nearby homes, see what's listed nearby on the MLS to gauge current market conditions and get an estimate of what the home is worth in today's market. You can certainly work with a Realtor who specializes in foreclosures to do this. For many homebuyers, that is absolutely the best option.
You can also use information available on sites like ours http://(www.realtytrac.com
), where we list all of the loan, comp and MLS information with each property. If you find a house and decide to move forward on a purchase, working with a title company will get you the information you need to protect yourself from outstanding loans or other liens. To be extra safe, you should probably avoid Trustee Sales (foreclosure auctions) which require cash payment and where you typically don't get to inspect the property first. Very risky for novice buyers. Far safer to buy a bank-owned home or to buy directly from the owner when they're in the early stage of default.
Don't let anyone talk you out of buying a foreclosure home. It requires more work on your part, and probably your agent's, but the potential savings can be well worth it. According to sales data that we've tracked for the past two years, the average savings on a foreclosure purchase have been about 25%.
You can find a wealth of free information about foreclosures (no subscription required to see this) at: http://www.realtytrac.com/foreclosure/overview.html
Good luck with your home search!