What is Right of Rescission? A Guide for Borrowers

The Right of Rescission is a legal provision that allows borrowers to cancel certain types of loans within a specific timeframe without any penalties or obligations. This right provides an added layer of protection for consumers who may make hasty decisions or be subject to predatory lending practices.

What is the Right of Rescission?

The Right of Rescission is a borrower’s right to back out of a loan agreement within a specified period after signing the loan documentation.

Under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), loans that qualify for the Right of Rescission include:

  • Home equity loans or second mortgages
  • Refinancing of a mortgage on a primary residence
  • Some installment and home improvement loans

The timeframe for exercising this right is typically three business days, although it can vary depending on the specific loan type and the lending institution. It is crucial for borrowers to familiarize themselves with the specific terms and conditions outlined in their loan agreement.

How Does the Right of Rescission Work?

If a borrower intends to exercise their Right of Rescission, they must provide written notice to the lender within the specified timeframe. This notice is typically sent via certified mail to ensure documentation of its delivery.

Once the lender receives the notice of rescission, they are required to take specific actions:

  1. Terminate the loan agreement
  2. Cancel any security interest or lien on the borrower’s property
  3. Return any fees or expenses paid by the borrower, including application fees or closing costs

It’s important to note that the borrower must repay the principal loan amount within 20 calendar days of exercising the Right of Rescission.

Exceptions to the Right of Rescission

While the Right of Rescission generally applies to most types of loans, there are some exceptions to be aware of:

  • Loans secured by a second home, vacation property, or investment property are not covered under the Right of Rescission.
  • Business-purpose loans, such as commercial real estate loans or loans made for business expansion, are also exempt from this provision.
  • Emergency situations, where immediate funds are necessary to prevent financial harm, may also be exempt from the Right of Rescission.

Borrowers should consult their loan agreement or contact their lender directly to determine if their loan qualifies for the Right of Rescission.

Consequences of Exercising the Right of Rescission

Exercising the Right of Rescission may have certain consequences for borrowers:

  • Returned funds may take some time to process and may not be immediately available.
  • Borrowers may be required to pay for the unused portion of services received, such as an appraisal or credit report fees.
  • Refinancing options or securing a loan with another lender after rescission may be limited.

Protecting Your Rights as a Borrower

To effectively exercise your Right of Rescission and protect your rights as a borrower, consider following these steps:

  1. Thoroughly review and understand the loan agreement and related documentation before signing.
  2. Mark the mailing date on the notice of rescission and send it via certified mail within the specified timeframe.
  3. Keep copies of all communication with the lender, including the notice of rescission and any written confirmation of its receipt.
  4. Ensure that any prepaid fees or expenses are returned in a timely manner.

The Right of Rescission serves as a valuable protection for borrowers by allowing them to reconsider loan agreements and potentially avoid unfavorable or predatory lending practices. As a borrower, it is essential to understand this right and the specific requirements that apply to your loan. By exercising this right responsibly, borrowers can make more informed decisions and ensure their financial well-being.