Finding BRAND-NEW Pre-foreclosures

Within the past week I’ve been trying to initiate a system to finding the pre-foreslosures/owners before it hits the mainstream. I have after-hours/weekend access to county hall (a definete advantage for more research) and figured looking at all the Lis Pendens during the past month would give me a gold mine of a list. ;D
However I underestimated the amount and ended up with 550 different Lis Pendens for different cities,amounts,etc.

How do Investors choose the criteria for a good foreclosure purchase (other then motivated sellers ;D). Does the area matter? is it the amount of the lien? The value of the property?

I know all these play an important part in the process when a lead shows itself, but whats the FIRST distinguishing factor that would make you see $$$$$$.
Any advice is appreciated!!

For me, it would have to be the value of the property and what may be owed on it. While the mortgage balance may not be readily available, you can do a little math to figure out if it is a gold mine. Good example of a current property I am pursuing… The comps in the area support a price in the mid 500K-low 600K. The house was purchased over 15 yrs ago for around 190K and now is beginning to default. Do you think this could be a good lead??? How much of that original 190K do you think the HO has paid off in 15 yrs with no 2nd? I only hope I can find the HO now before it hits the market!!!