Working as a foreclosure auctioneer might seem like a lonely business -- After all, your job is to sell homes that people have been forced to vacate after failing to make mortgage payments.

But in western Virginia, auctioneer Rick Crossley knows just how lonely it can be. With the market meltdown in full swing, even the foreclosure auction regulars have given up, and Crossley often finds himself standing on the steps of the courthouse auctioning off homes with literally no audience: just confused/amused passersby.

Generally, the banks that own the properties will set the minimum bid and, if no one bids higher, they will take the house and attempt to sell it by hiring a Realtor. Banks generally set the minimum at the amount that they are owed and, in an era of declining home values and short sales, that's often substantially higher than the current market rate.

If you're one of the few people who is looking to buy a home right now, foreclosures may be interesting, even if the foreclosure auctions are not.

To take a look at homes for sale in various stages of foreclosure, check out Trulia's new search feature that includes foreclosures.

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