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As 30-year fixed mortgage rates sail past 4%, homeowners see the value dwindling of refinancing with a fixed-rate mortgage and are returning to their lenders for home equity lines of credit.

Citizens Equity First Credit Union of Peoria, Ill., has seen its portfolio balance on home equity lines of credit and other second liens fall from $346 million at the end of 2010 to $261 million on Sept. 30. But originations have started to rise again, Paul Donahoe, home equity manager for CEFCU ($5.51 billion in assets, 319,754 members), said.

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Jim DuPlessis

A journalist for decades.

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