What Is the Right of Rescission? Staff Profile Picture
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Refinancing your mortgage can be a huge decision for you financially, with many different factors coming into play. Due to the high mortgage interest rates in the United States and the drastic drop in refinances since interest rates rose above 6%, American homeowners have had difficulty refinancing their homes. Refinancing has benefits, but if you decide to refinance with the current rates, you could be putting yourself in a bad spot financially. This is why it’s important to understand the Right of Rescission. In this article, we’ll cover what the Right of Rescission is, when it’s applicable, how to exercise your right, and the downside of exercising this right when you’re in the refinance process for your mortgage. 

Will Mortgage Rates Go Down in 2024?

Numerous forecasts and industry professionals agree that mortgage rates will fall in 2024. According to the Economy Forecast Agency, the 30-year mortgage rate would peak in February 2024 at 8.08% and fluctuate between 7.62% and 7.04% from January to July. They predict that mortgage rates will fall significantly after July and level off at roughly 5.84% in December. According to the National Association of Realtors, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rates will reach "near 6% by the early spring" of 2024. This is a terrific indication of what's to come if you're trying to buy a house. Unless your rate is much higher than the current rates, waiting for a steeper decline could be appropriate if you're considering refinancing. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, and the NAR all forecast that interest rates will drop between 6% and 5% by the fourth quarter of 2024. Mortgage rates will be able to follow suit as long as the Fed maintains its current course or reduces its interest rate.

The Right of Rescission

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) contains a legal provision known as the Right of Rescission, often referred to as the Right of Cancellation or Right of Revocation, which gives consumers a brief period of time after signing a contract or agreement to withdraw from it. This right's primary goal is to prevent consumers from making rash financial decisions and to give them a cooling-off time where they can change their minds about obligations without incurring any costs.

The Right of Rescission was created to prevent customers from making snap judgments that they could come to regret. It is crucial when customers sign contracts for long-term financial responsibilities like loans or mortgage refinances. Under this right, consumers have a window of time (often three business days) to thoroughly consider the contract’s terms and conditions, consult with friends or family members, and decide whether the deal is in their best interests. It assists in preventing predatory lending by allowing borrowers to withdraw from high-pressure sales or loan agreements that they may have been forced into or persuaded into signing. The Right of Rescission enables consumers to withdraw from specific financial agreements, which can help them stay out of debt and avoid other sticky situations.

When is the Right of Rescission applicable?

  • Mortgage Refinances - People often have a Right of Rescission when they are looking to refinance their mortgage. This helps customers avoid making a potentially burdensome long-term commitment by giving them a few days to think things over after signing the mortgage agreement.

  • Timeshare Contracts - Timeshare contracts in the vacation industry may involve aggressive sales tactics. Customers have the option to revoke their purchase and end the contract if they change their minds thanks to the Right of Rescission.

  • Home Equity Loans - Home equity loan or line of credit borrowers frequently have a Right of Rescission. This is important because it provides homeowners time to consider if taking advantage of the equity in their homes is a sensible financial decision.

Timeline for the Right of Rescission

The Truth in Lending Act stipulates that the Right of Rescission must be exercised within three business days. This means that a borrower has three business days after signing certain types of loan agreements to change their mind and cancel the loan without paying any fines or additional costs. However, different states may have different guidelines and timelines for exercising the right for certain purchases. For example, for timeshare contracts, the timeline for exercising the right differs among many states and includes stipulations for certain days that count against the time. Some important details to remember include:

  • Calculation of Business Days - Weekdays (Monday through Friday), barring government holidays, are typically considered business days. Depending on how the lender defines business days, Saturdays may also qualify.

  • Disclosure Requirements - At the time of loan closure, lenders must notify borrowers of their right to revoke the agreement. Important details on the rescission period, how to exercise the right, and the precise date for doing so are included in this notice.

  • Start of the Rescission Period - The day the borrower signs the loan agreements or the day they get the Truth in Lending disclosure, whichever comes first, is typically when the rescission period starts. The revocation time could be prolonged if the lender doesn't make the required disclosures.

The timeline for exercising the Right of Rescission can also depend on the type of mortgage loan that you’re getting. A mortgage for a primary residence is not subject to this right, but a mortgage refinance is, and the decision must be considered within three business days. Mortgages for investment properties typically don’t come with the Right of Rescission.

How To Exercise the Right of Rescission?

So, you’ve chosen to exercise the Right of Rescission. In this section, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to exercise this right properly.

Understanding the Right of Rescission

Review your loan documentation to learn more about the conditions and window of time for exercising this right, paying particular attention to the Right of Rescission notice and the Truth in Lending statement. Verify the precise rescission deadline, which is usually three business days (excluding Sundays and federal holidays) from the date of loan closing or receipt of the necessary disclosures, whichever comes first.

Make Your Decision

Think carefully about whether you want to keep or cancel the loan. Review the agreements and evaluate your financial status during this time. Are you making the right decision? This is the time when you should consult with your partner or family to make sure you’re making the right choice.

Prepare Your Written Rescission Notice

You must provide a written notice to your lender in order to exercise your right. It's vital to put this in writing and to include the following details: 

  • Your Name

  • Your Address

  • Date of Rescission Notice

  • Statement indicating your intent to rescind the loan

  • Clear reference to the loan transaction, including the loan amount and lender’s name

  • Your Signature

Deliver the Rescission Notice

Before the conclusion of the rescission period, send the rescission notice to your lender. You should use a delivery mode that offers proof of receipt, such as express courier services or certified mail with a return receipt requested.

Keep Records

Make copies of all the relevant paperwork, including the written notification and the delivery confirmation. Keep a copy of every interaction you have with the lender in case of any future issues or questions.

Potential Concerns & Questions

  • Make sure you double-check and calculate the rescission deadline. Be aware of weekends and federal holidays that may impact the timeline.

  • Verbal communication will not be sufficient for exercising your right. The notice MUST be in writing.

  • Use a delivery service that provides proof of receipt and potentially a tracking system to make sure it is indeed delivered to the lender.

Exceptions and Limitations

There are some cases where the Right of Rescission may not apply. There are also opportunities that the homeowner has to waive their right voluntarily. The Right of Rescission might not apply if you're refinancing an existing mortgage with the same lender and not borrowing more money than required to pay closing costs. This is due to the lack of any other new credit extensions. Most loans are not subject to the right if they are not secured by the borrower's residence or other real property. For instance, personal loans, auto loans, or credit card cash advances are not covered.

Although the Right of Rescission usually applies to HELOCs, there are cases where borrowers can voluntarily give up this right for HELOCs. This could be done to speed up the loan application process or to get a better interest rate. Borrowers may occasionally decide to voluntarily forego their Right of Rescission. This can occur if a borrower needs money right away and can't wait for the rescission window to close. However, All borrowers must agree to such waivers in writing and sign them.

The Downside of Exercising Your Right of Rescission

While the Right of Rescission can be a great way for borrowers to protect themselves from making rash financial decisions and from predatory lending, there are still some downsides to exercising the option. For those using the right during a mortgage refinance, the cancellation of the mortgage loan is the main result of using the right of rescinding. Due to this action, the debt becomes void, and the borrower is relieved of their obligation to repay. This is true for both the principal amount and any interest associated with the loan. Any fees that the borrower paid for the loan application and closing must be reimbursed to them by the lender. This covers any fees incurred during the loan origination process, such as those for the application process, the appraisal, the credit report, and any additional fees. Usually, the lender is compelled to repay those funds within 20 calendar days of getting the rescission notification.

Exercising this right may have an impact on future refinancing attempts for borrowers. Future attempts at refinancing would entail more negotiations about interest rates and terms, which might be influenced by current market circumstances. It's crucial to remember that interest rates can change and that you might not get the same one as in the initial loan. Before applying for a new mortgage refinance, keep in mind that there may be a waiting time. The lender may dictate the length of time you must wait after exercising your Right of Rescission.

Protecting Your Right to Rescission

How can you make sure that you are protected by this right? Here are some great tips for homeowners to ensure they’re properly protected:

  • Review Your Loan Documents Carefully - Review all of the documentation provided by your lender carefully before signing any loan contracts. To understand your rights and the rescission period, pay particular attention to the Truth in Lending disclosure and the Right of Rescission notice.

  • Ask Questions - Ask your lender or loan officer about any questions you may have regarding the loan terms, the cancellation procedure, or any related expenses without holding back. Make sure you recognize the implications of the loan thoroughly.

  • Document EVERYTHING and Keep Records - The Truth in Lending disclosure, the Right of Rescission notice, and all loan documents, including the signed ones, should be kept on file. If you need to demonstrate that your rights were violated, you can use these records as evidence. Keep a record of all conversations you have with your lender, including the times and dates of any phone calls and emails, in case of subsequent conflicts or problems.

  • Seek Legal Advice if You Have Questions - Consider seeking advice from a real estate lawyer or a housing specialist if you are uncertain about your ability to cancel the agreement. They can assist in defining your rights and, if necessary, offer legal counsel.

  • Keep Track of Your Days - Only business days (Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays) should be used to determine the rescission period, and the precise deadline should be confirmed.

Real-Life Scenarios

In this section, you’ll find a couple of real-life scenarios where the Right of Rescission has come into play. 

Scenario 1:

In order to benefit from lower interest rates and cut her monthly mortgage payments, Sarah, a homeowner, chose to refinance her current mortgage. She made contact with a mortgage lender and completed the application and approval steps. After signing the loan forms and getting the Truth in Lending disclosure, Sarah had second thoughts about the conditions and her ability to manage the new mortgage. She realized the loan might not be as beneficial as initially believed. After deciding, Sarah wrote a rescission notice to cancel the loan. She sent the notice to the lender using certified mail, and the lender canceled the loan. Sarah was able to explore other options and find a better loan option for her.

Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans (2015)

The Jesinoski’s wrote the lender a letter claiming to cancel the loan exactly three years after borrowing money to refinance their home mortgage. The lender responded, contesting the legitimacy of the rescission. The Jesinoski’s filed a lawsuit one year and one day later, asking for a declaration of rescission and damages. According to the district court's judgment on the pleadings, a borrower can only use their right to rescind under the Truth in Lending Act by filing a case within three years of the day the loan was finalized. The Eighth Circuit affirmed this decision, but the Supreme Court decided to rule differently. 

To exercise his right to rescind under the Act, a borrower just needs to notify his lender in writing within the allotted three years; they do not need to file a lawsuit during that time. Section 1635(a) states that a borrower "shall have the right to rescind... by notifying the creditor of his intention to do so," implying that rescission occurs once the borrower tells the creditor of his desire. The Act makes no mention of how that right is used, nor does it specify that rescission is always the result of judicial action.

How To Find a Mortgage Refinance Company

Have you been considering refinancing your mortgage but are unsure where to begin? You need to find a new lender since the majority of lenders won't refinance their own mortgages. Even though this period of time can be intimidating, remember that you have options for finding a lender who will work with you and give you the best options for a home refinance that won't break the bank! To help you with your refinancing goals and get the best possible terms and rates to help you achieve what you want out of life, provides an online directory of the top-rated home loan lenders. Get the refinancing assistance you require by visiting their internet directory today!

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