With the housing market on the decline and foreclosures on the rise, a scheme known as equity stripping is taking advantage of vulnerable homeowners, The New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson and Vikas Bijaj report. Companies offer relief to those behind in their mortgage by offering "cash upfront, free monthly rent and a chance to retain their houses in the long run. But in the process, someone else takes over the deed, borrows as much as possible against the value of the house and pockets the cash. And, almost always, the homeowners still end up losing their homes."
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