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Home Equity Basics
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Rights of rescission

Maybe you found better credit terms or you got cold feet. A provision of the Truth in Lending Act gives you the right to cancel certain real estate loans within three business days without penalty. It is called the right of rescission.

You can rescind the transaction for any reason. In the case of home equity loans, you can rescind only if you are using your principal residence -- not a vacation or second home -- as collateral.

During those three days, the creditor should not take any action on the loan, such as giving you money. If you are dealing with a home improvement loan, the contractor should not deliver any materials or start work.

If you do exercise your right of rescission, you must do so in writing. Make sure your notice is delivered before midnight of the third business day. The loan papers will describe how to exercise your right and where to mail the notice that you have rescinded the loan.

For rescission purposes, business days include Saturdays but not Sundays or legal public holidays.

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