The city/county can record a notice of abatement, this is simply a notice. They can also record a lien, after an abatement hearing and that has penalties. Depending on how they have been written, these appear to remain. They can also record a stipulated agreement between the property owner and the agency, these are not quite as bullet proof. Keep in mind that you may be able to negotiate something with the agency after the purchase. Although the foreclosure may wipe out some aspects of the documents recorded, the actual reasons for the abatement does not go away. Illegal building, failed septic systems, junk yard conditions, etc, will still have to be fixed. If you see a something recorded by the city/county regarding an abatement, you can access the code enforcement files at the planning or building department and see what the problems are. These can be great opportunities, but trust me, it is not for the meek. Cities/Counties are money hungry and it is their perception that buyers at auction are making a killing and they want a cut of the action. Don’t expect them to greet you with open arms becuase you are willing to fix a distressed property. They are too worried about saving their own skins.