Over the last several years the banking industry made too many 2nd Mortgage Loans, and Home Equity Loans, with the end result that these loans caused the total mortgage debt a home to exceed the actual value of the home. In addition, the recent depreciation in home prices has caused the true value of many homes to be lower than the remaining amount owed on the 1st Mortgage. A large part of these 2nd Mortgage Loans, and Home Equity Loans, are nothing more than refinanced credit card debt, which was previously unsecured debt [ie. not supported by collateral]. This refinanced credit card debt was then converted into mortgage debt where the home is now the collateral for the liability. In those cases where the value of the home is less than the amount of the 1st Mortgage, the 2nd Mortgage Loans, and Home Equity Loans, do not have any real collateral because the 1st Mortgage essentially eats up all of the value in the home. In this situation, if the home went into a foreclosure, there is really no equity in the home to be used to pay the 2nd Mortgage Loan or the Home Equity Loan. If this is your circumstance, if you file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and you complete your Chapter 13 case, you can eliminate ["lien strip"], the 2nd Mortgage Loan or the Home Equity Loan. The 2nd Mortgage, or the Home Equity Loan, are then treated as if they were just like credit card debt. This benefit is only available in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and it can help you eliminate debt you would have lived with for 20 or 30 years.