Assume a first mortgage (a couple percentage points higher than today's historic low rates) and a second mortgage (HELOC). The first mortgage is way under 80% of the appraised value, which is good to go for refinancing, but due to values plummeting like a rock, the first and the HELOC together now add up to more than the home's value. Can one refinance the first mortgage alone, without touching the HELOC? It seems the answer is no, but I do not see what the big deal is if the HELOC holder will subordinate (which they have done previously). It seems a lot of people are in a similar situation, so is there any solution to this issue? Any thoughts, suggestions, or advice?