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The FDIC warns consumers about predatory lenders who may victimize consumers seeking home equity loans. High-cost lenders can sink homeowners more deeply into debt. At risk is your home and security. The lenders can foreclose on your home if you fail to make your payments.
So-called predatory lenders are known for zeroing in on people with credit problems or on low incomes. These lenders may fail to explain fully the terms of the equity loans they offer. Homeowners may wind up with high-cost equity loans they cannot afford to repay. Here are things you can do to avoid problems:
* Talk to several lenders.
* Research the costs and rates for equity loans.
* Learn your legal rights.
* If you have a lot of debt and see an equity loan as the answer, check with your creditors first. Maybe they can put you on a payment plan you can afford.
* Local agencies may be able to help with your energy bills and emergency needs.
* If you have more questions or concerns, call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, toll-free, at 1-800-569-4287.