short sale Question

Hi, we are new at this. I am just now learning about short sales from your forums! We live in Kentucky.

We have two houses that are abandoned in our small town. I have went to the court house to get all tax and mortgage info.
I have tried to contact the people, and will continue to do so.
I have contacted the banks as well.

Please help me to understand my next steps.
One of the owners on one house I cannot reach! The bank doesn’t know a contact number other than work number (which they obviously won’t give out) I’ve tried people search on yahoo. Can you help me figure out how to locate this person.

Second question: The bank told me that on the short sale, if we got permission from owner to work this house, that the bank would consider an offer, BUT it the bank would only consider the payoff amount???
Is this true? I was under the understanding they would POSSIBLY take less, to keep from having to go through the foreclosure…

Any other help would be greatly appreciated…!!!