Approaching a Home Owner with a filed NOD

I’m trying to break away from using a realtor to buy investment properties. What is the approach some of you are taking when you are interested in a property with a filed NOD? Do you contact the owner or the lender, and what is the process of obtaining the property if there is a possible deal there?

If the property is in default the lender would not have the ability to sell the property unless they accept a Deed in Lieu or there is a Trustee Sale and the property has been sold back to the bank. Buying a property in default would typically mean making contact with the homeowner and negotiating a purchase. In the current market that typically means negotiating a short sale since most homeowners owe more on their house than it is worth. In a short sale the bank would need to agree to accept the short pay amount and release the lien on the property. This process is very time consuming and tedious and should be handled by someone familiar with negotiating short sales.