Under some new and exciting changes to Bankruptcy Law it is now possible to file for Bankruptcy Protection under a Chapter 13 "wage earners reorganization and payment plan" to address any past-due payments you may have on your home or your vehicles. If the balance of your first mortgage exceeds the value of your home and you have a second mortgage or a HELOC, it is now permissible to file a law suit against the HELOC lender and have the Court determine that the debt is "wholly unsecured" which means there is no longer any equity in your property for the lien of the HELOC to attach and therefore it is an unsecured debt. Through the Chapter 13 repayment plan, the HELOC balance is thrown into the general pool of other unsecured creditors (credit cards, personal loans, medical debt, etc.) and paid as little as 10 cents on the dollar.
Once the Plan payments complete the Court then orders the HELOC lender to formally release its lien against your property and record that status with the county recorder of deeds.