idea involving "saving" people from foreclosure by purchasing their houses way below value and then turning around and either reselling at or slightly below market or renting the house with a lease option to purchase contract?
The assumption with this scheme is that the owner has equity in the house and is willing to part with some equity to facilitate a sale. If the purchase price is below the loan amount, a short sale has to be negotiated with the lender - good luck with that! The "creative" lending practices of the last few years will ensure most owners facing foreclosure have no equity.
Where I've had better luck is shopping REOs post foreclosure. Idea being that the lender has tried auctioning and marketing the place .... thier REO manager is tired and motivated to move the oldest of his holdings. A low-ball offer will be entertained if they've held the place 6 months or more. Then all the fun previously mentioned takes place: evicting dead beats, rehabing, insuring the uninsurable ...