The $44k you're seeing is probably a 2nd mortgage that is initiating foreclosure. The first mortgage is probably well above market value. The house may or may not ever come on the market. Here are the steps:
1) 1st and/or 2nd mortgage file a Lis Pendens at courthouse (that's where RealtyTrac get this $44 price)
2) If owners don't fight the lawsuit it will then get a final judgement and get auctioned at the courthouse to an ALL CASH buyer. Normally the "final judgement" amount is well over market value so it will go back to the lender. If the lender allows a below market sell for less than the final judgement then it will sell to the highest cash investor. That buyer will not get a clear title (or title insurance) and cannot cancel and cannot inspect for serious defects. It's a gamble and if you have cash in your hands and are not risk averse this is the way you can get the best "bargain".
3) a) if a cash investor buys it then it may be rented out for a year to take advantage of the 15% max capital gains tax treatment (i.e. Romney's smart strategy). Or they may put lipstick on it and flip it for the highest price possible.
b) Alternatively if the lender doesn't offer it for below market at the courthouse it will come back to the
lender and depending on if there were "guarantees" it may get sent to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD or the VA. Regardless all of these will come back on the market and available to the public --unless you have a multimillion dollar portfolio and buy the properties via the REO Initiaitive (fhfa.gov) .
4) Lastly the house will go up on the market listed by a local Realtor.
Additionally if the owner is "smart" they will hire a local Realtor (normally no cost to a Seller) and attempt to sell via a Short Sale. In this case the price that is set is "fiction" so don't count on being able to buy even at the full asking price. Many many cash investors are lining up to buy properties under $150k so if you don't have all cash then you may want to focus on properties that are reserved for OWNER OCCUPANTS for the first 2 weeks listed: http://www.HomePath.com http://www.HomeSteps.com http://www.HudHomestore.com
All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty