When a property owner does not make their monthly payments anymore, the lender can accelerate the sale. This means, the lender can force the sale of the property through the trustee to recoup as much as possile from the original loan investment.
Here in Texas, the foreclosure process is fairly quick with a minimum of 21 days from the notice of trustee sale until the auction. Chances are that the property that you looked at in January has gone to auction on February third, due to the fact that auction take place in Travis and Williamson Counties every first Tuesday of the month.
If the property has gone to auction, it is likely that the bank bought it back directly or through a subsidiary and will be offering it for sale through a listing Agent (Realtor) in the future as an REO (Real Estate Owned) or bankowned propery after processing. Your Realor can keep track and notify you, if a particular property hits the market.
Only a small portion of properties in Travis and Williamson Counties are bought at auction by investors or home buyers due to the risks involve (lack of inspections and potential title issues) and the need for full payment at auction.
If you are looking to buy a property that has not been to auction yet, but has received the notice, timing is very critical and it may be wise to talk with an attorney or foreclosure prevention professional to stop the foreclosure and negotiate a deal with the lender.
In today's market, there are a number of buyer-friendly-priced properties and you should consult with your licensed Texas Realtor to investigate the particular market and property before moving forward, so that you know how good the deal is compared to what the market has been doing.
For a free, no obligation consultation, you can contact me, or one of the other fine Realtors that have been contributing to this website with their insight and knowledge.