A great company that has a good track record here in San Diego and has recently expanded to Orange County (serving LA County now I believe) is Robertson Canter. If you already have cash then they simply charge a consulting fee which could be well worth it if you are unaware of the process (will likely save you cash and headache by avoiding buying poor investment properties). If you contact them, please let them know I referred you!
Best of luck,
Solant Real Estate Advisors
I've never heard of a shortsale auction.
I've heard of owners auctioning off their homes. But there usually has to be substantial equity in the home. I can't imagine any buyer wanting to participate in an auction for the right to attempt a short sale.
And of course there are auctions of foreclosed properties. Sometimes they're done by private companies. But most probably are done on the courthouse steps.
Hope that helps.
We're a licensed RE broker, general contractor rehab/remodel/rebuild specialist and investment company and deal throughout the Southern California area.