"The Borrower's Guide to Home Loans" from AARP and the Federal Trade Commission and "High-Cost 'Predatory' Home Loans: How To Avoid the Traps" from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation detail the warning signs of predatory loan practices, provide buyers questions to ask before signing a loan or a home improvement contract, and tell where to turn for help.
The guides also feature information on reverse mortgages.
With home equity loans, buyers can borrow on the equity in your home. Equity is the difference between what your house is worth and what you owe.
For example, if your house is worth $150,000 and you owe $100,000, your equity is $50,000.
Predatory lenders try to trick buyers into taking loans that are difficult, if not impossible, to pay back. The repayment terms for these loans are outrageously high.
These lenders often use fast talk and high-pressure tactics. Then, if you can't make the payments, your home is at risk of foreclosure.
To get these free publications:
* Call toll-free 1-888-8-PUEBLO (1-888-878-3256) weekdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* Send your name and address to Predatory Home Loans, Pueblo, CO 81009.
* Visit www.pueblo.gsa.gov to order a catalog, or to print out these and other FCIC publications for free.
For other federal online resources visit FirstGov.gov. *