Francis, It all depends on the numbers, when a first lien holder forecloses they are exercising their right to the collateral and will of course liquidate that property to become whole (or as close as possible). If the second lein holder believes there will be money left they will generally foreclose as well to preserve their right to any remaining equity. I'n most cases with the market being what it is the second is left out of the money. What most people don't realize is that one reason a second mortgage rate is higher is because the bank has (In most cases) bought MI on the the note. The MI company will pay off and MAY possibly try to collect from the previous owner. Having said all that I'm not sure if you're asking the right question. If what you want to know is will you receive a "clear title" with no liens the answer is yes, although it is extremely important to have a title policy issued stating they are insuring title without standard exceptions. If your giving a mortgage to a new (your) lender, you can be sure they will not allow another lien on the property without full disclosure. If you are purchasing a home for cash either your buyers agent or your attorney should review the title commitment.