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If you’re considering applying for a personal loan and using your home to guarantee repayment, you should know that a federal credit law gives you three days to reconsider a signed credit agreement and cancel the deal without penalty. Your "right to rescind" or "right to cancel" is guaranteed by the Truth In Lending Act. You can rescind for any reason but only if you are using your principal residence—whether it is a condominium, mobile home, or house boat—as collateral, not a vacation or second home.
Under the right to rescind, you have until midnight of the third business day to cancel the credit transaction. Day one begins after all three of the following occur:
For rescission purposes, business days include Saturdays but not Sundays or legal public holidays. For example, if the events listed above take place on a Friday, you have until midnight on the next Tuesday to rescind.
During this waiting period, activity related to the contract cannot take place. The creditor may not deliver the money for the loan. If you’re dealing with a home improvement loan, the contractor may not deliver any materials or start work.
If you decide to rescind, you must notify the creditor in writing. You may not rescind by telephone or in a face-to-face conversation with the creditor. Your written notice must be mailed, filed for telegraphic transmission, or delivered if by other written means, before midnight of the third business day.
If you cancel the contract, the security interest in your home is also cancelled, and you are not liable for any amount, including the finance charge. The creditor has 20 days to return all money or property you paid as part of the transaction and release any security interest in your home. If you received money or property from the creditor, you may retain it until the creditor shows that your home is no longer being used as collateral and returns any money you have paid. Then, you must offer to return the creditor’s money or property. If the creditor does not claim the money or property within 20 days, you may keep it.
If you have a bona fide personal financial emergency—such as damage to your home from a storm or other natural disaster—the law allows you to waive your right to rescind and eliminate the three-day period. To waive your right, you must give the creditor your own written statement describing the emergency and stating that you are waiving your right to rescind. The statement must be dated and signed by you and anyone else who shares in ownership of the home. But remember: if you waive your right to rescind, you must go ahead with the transaction.
The right to rescind does not apply in all situations when you are using your home for collateral. Among the exceptions are:
In these situations, you may have other cancellation rights under state or local law.
If you are refinancing your purchase money loan or if need a personal loan and are thinking about using your home as security, you should know about a credit law that gives you extra time to reconsider the loan agreement. When you use your home as collateral for a loan, you generally have the right to cancel the credit transaction within three business days. This is called your "right of rescission," and it is guaranteed by the Federal Truth in Lending Act.
The right of rescission gives you three extra days to reconsider whether you want to use your home to guarantee repayment for a personal loan. The right applies even if your home is a condominium, mobile home, or house boat, as long as it is your principal residence. The right applies to certain installment loans C where you borrow a fixed amount and repay the debt on an agreed payment schedule C as well as to home equity credit lines C a form of revolving credit in which your home serves as collateral.
What Rescinding a Credit Transaction Means
Rescinding a credit transaction means you are canceling the deal. In other words, you decide that you do not want the loan or the service being financed.
You can rescind the credit transaction within three days for any reason. For example, you may find better credit terms, such as a loan that offers a lower interest rate or does not require the use of your home as collateral.
How to Rescind a Credit Transaction
Unless you waive your right of rescission, you have until midnight of the third business day after the transaction to cancel the contract. The first day after all three of the following events occurs counts as Day One:
You should be aware that for rescission purposes, business days include Saturdays, but not Sundays or legal public holidays. For example, if the last of the above three events occurs on a Friday, you have until midnight on the following Tuesday to rescind.
During this waiting period, your creditor should not take any action on your transaction. For example, the creditor should not give you the money from the loan or, if your are dealing with a home improvement loan, the contractor should not deliver any materials or start work.
If you decide to exercise your right of rescission, you must notify the creditor in writing that you are canceling the contract. You may use the form provided to you by the creditor, a letter, or a telegram. Whatever form of written notice you use, make sure it is delivered, mailed, or filed for telegraphic transmission before midnight of the third business day. Remember: You cannot rescind just by telephoning or visiting the creditor.
If you never receive the disclosures or the notice of rescission from the creditor (see numbers 2 and 3 above), you can cancel at any time during the first three years after you sign the credit contract, or before you sell your home -- whichever occurs first.
What Happens When You Rescind
Within 20 days after a creditor receives your notice of rescission, all money or property you paid as part of the credit transaction must be returned to you. The creditor also must release any security interest in your home.
If you have received money or property (such as building materials) from the creditor, keep it until the creditor proves that your home is no longer being held as collateral and returns any money you already have paid. For example, the creditor may show you a release of a lien previously filed with your city or county clerk's office to prove your house is no longer collateral. You must then offer to return the creditor's money or property. If the creditor does not claim the money or property within 20 days, you may keep it.
Waiving Your Right to Rescind
Sometimes you may have a financial emergency and not be able to wait for the creditor to slow the loan process by suspending action for three business days. For example, you may need to borrow money quickly to have a damaged roof or house foundation repaired.
The law allows you to waive your right of rescission if you have a "bona fide personal financial emergency." This enables you to have the loan process speeded up to meet the emergency situation. To avail yourself of this right, you must give the creditor your own written statement (pre-printed forms are not allowed) describing the emergency and clearly stating that you are waiving your right to rescind. The statement must be dated and signed by you and anyone else who shares in the ownership of the home.
Consider your decisions carefully: If you waive your right to rescind, you must go ahead with the credit transaction.
Typical Situations With No Right of Rescission
The right of rescission does not apply in all cases where your home is used as collateral for the loan. You do not have the right of rescission when:
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