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The attorney is correct in the fact you would become a secured creditor which means in the event of bankruptcy you would be in the first list of people to get paid before secured creditors. Unfortunately, as they have existing liens in place, you do have to stand in line behind the first creditor, which means it is not likely you will collect even though you have a lien in the case of default or bankruptcy, this first creditor has the right to collect first and if there is nothing left once they collect, even if you have a lien you get nothing.
Thus, these second liens are often meaningless unless the first liens are for much less than the value of the property that they are securing. For example, if the value of the property is $100K and the first liens are only for $50K, then you have a chance to get your money back or some amount back out of the remaining $50K. However, if the property is worth $100K and the first liens are $90K or whatever, your chance of getting anything are slim to none (I'm sure you get the picture, the more the first loan is worth, the less chance you have of getting anything even with a second lien).
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