A major public awareness campaign that hopes to safeguard consumers against predatory lending and other financial abuses has taken off in Northern California. The City of Sacramento, mortgage financier Freddie Mac, and the Home Loan Counseling Center are major participants in the new campaign, dubbed "Don't Borrow Trouble," which features an education and counseling service to help families avoid predatory lending scams such as exorbitant interest rates, excessive fees and pressuring tactics. Predatory lending practices occur when lenders use dicey sales tactics to entice borrowers into loans with high fees and interest rates. Predatory lenders usually target seniors and low-income borrowers. "Predatory lending practices attack the heart of our communities. These practices can strip away home equity and trap unwary borrowers in a dismal cycle that ultimately replaces home ownership with foreclosure," said Craig Nickerson, vice president of Expanding Markets at Freddie Mac. ...
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