In response to an email inquiry I received about my answer below............I am posting the reply here....
The amount of the legal action reported on Realty Trac may not represent the total liens on the property, but only the amount of the party who filed a complaint (legal action.)
Example: Market value of house - 500K. 1st Mortgage - in default.......Amount reported by Realty Trac is $380,000. That may not be the only lien that has to be cleared.... There might also be a HELOC (line of credit) for $85,000. In addition, there might be liens as a result of other judgements. The homeowner may have fallen behind on other bills, also. There could be 2 other liens as a result of judgements that total $77,000. The total of all of these liens may exceed market value. Looking at the Realty Trac number of 380,000 does not provide the full picture.
If the 1st lender forecloses, the subsequent liens may be wiped out. As an REO property, the lender would own a property valued at 500K market.
Reatly Trac data is often outdated.