Your question is a very good one indeed. The current real estate market has created lots of confusion and frustration for buyers, sellers, realtors and lenders as everyone tries to navigate through the process. I can understand your frustration and desire to purchase this home, or another only to encounter a situation such as this. Many sellers have tried in vain to get their banks to make much needed modifications to their home loans, and in many cases the process takes longer than owners wish. It is entirely possible that the owner of the home you are inquirying about had exhausted all avenues with no results and placed their home on the market, only to find that now their lender may be willing to assist them in staying in their home. If that is the case, then the owner should remove the home from the market until they know the results of this current request.
Unfortunately, because the owners do still legally own the home, the lender will not and can not negotiate directly with you, nor can they tell you the current status of the forclosure or modification status. Should the bank proceed forward and foreclose on the home, then once that process is complete you would have the oppotunity to make and offer ont he house.
Good Luck in your home search.