Here are suggestions to protect yourself from predatory lenders:
Don't do business with lenders you haven't checked out. One source is the Better Business Bureau, http://www.bbb.org.
Don't be rushed into signing a loan because it's a limited-time offer.
Don't sign documents with blank lines. Be sure every space is filled in on the loan application before you sign.
Don't lie on a loan application. It's fraud and could result in criminal penalties.
Don't pay upfront fees without an explanation.
Shop around for the best loan for your situation.
Borrow only the amount you need and can afford to repay.
Know that you generally have three days to cancel loans signed on your home.
Source: Better Business Bureau.