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How can we keep the house we want to buy from going into foreclosure?

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It depends on the state and the foreclosure laws. In many states like NJ, the bank will consider a short sale any time during the foreclosure process. In NJ the foreclosure process can take up to 2 years. If the owner just stop payments, the house could be vacant for awhile (unless owner signs a Deed in lieu of foreclosure). The seller will maintain ownership until the bank forecloses on the property. You may want to consider submitting an offer to the seller with a home sales contingency. The seller can request a short sale from the bank (depending on the state). However, banks don't like contingencies and Tiffany is correct.Your Realtor should provide you with a game plan. I don't know your exact situation but generally speaking, I would advise my clients to lower the price of their current home and get a contract before making any other moves. In todays market, its risky business to anything else.

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