The Federal Reserve (hey, it turns out it’s more than just Alan Greenspan!) has put up a decent overview/primer/tutorial on our friend the home equity line of credit:
Much like Clark, they let you know at least one stark fact:
When you open a home equity line, the transaction puts your home at risk.
They also have another, very similar, page that’s a little less on the informative side and a little more on the warning side: When Your Home Is On the Line