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General Laws

Section 10. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, in the case of any consumer credit transaction, including opening or increasing the credit limit for an open-end-credit plan, in which a security interest, including any such interest arising by operation of law, is or will be retained or acquired in any property which is used as the principal dwelling of the person to whom credit is extended, the obligor shall have the right to rescind the transaction until midnight of the third business day following the consummation of the transaction or the delivery of the information and rescission forms required under this section together with a statement containing the material disclosures required by this chapter, whichever is later, by notifying the creditor, in accordance with regulations of the commissioner, of his intention to do so. The creditor shall clearly and conspicuously disclose, in accordance with regulations of the commissioner, to any obligor in a transaction subject to this section the rights of the obligor under this section. The creditor shall also provide, in accordance with regulations of the commissioner, appropriate forms for the obligor to exercise his right to rescind any transaction subject to this section. No finance or other charge shall begin to accrue on any such transaction until the termination of the rescission period provided for in this section.

(b) When an obligor exercises his right to rescind under subsection (a), he is not liable for any finance or other charge, and any security interest given by the obligor, including any such interest arising by operation of law, becomes void upon such a rescission. Within twenty days after receipt of a notice of rescission, the creditor shall return to the obligor any money or property given as earnest money, down payment, or otherwise, and shall take any action necessary or appropriate to reflect the termination of any security interest created under the transaction. If the creditor has delivered any property to the obligor, the obligor may retain possession of it. Upon the performance of the creditor’s obligations under this section, the obligor shall tender the property to the creditor, except that if return of the property in kind would be impractical or inequitable, the obligor shall tender its reasonable value. Tender shall be made at the location of the property or at the residence of the obligor, at the option of the obligor. If the creditor does not take possession of the property within twenty days after tender by the obligor, ownership of the property rests in the obligor without obligation on his part to pay for it. The procedures prescribed by this subsection shall apply except when otherwise ordered by a court.

(c) Written acknowledgment of receipt of any disclosures required under this chapter, or any rule or regulation issued thereunder, by a person to whom information, forms, and a statement is required to be given pursuant to this section does no more than create a rebuttable presumption of delivery thereof.

(d) The commissioner may, if he finds that such action is necessary in order to permit homeowners to meet bona fide personal financial emergencies, prescribe regulations authorizing the modification or waiver of any rights created under this section to the extent and under the circumstances set forth in those regulations.

(e)(1) This section shall not apply to:

(A) a residential mortgage transaction as defined in section one;

(B) a transaction which constitutes a refinancing or consolidation, with no new advances, of the principal balance then due and any accrued and unpaid finance charges of an existing extension of credit by the same creditor secured by an interest in the same property;

(C) a transaction in which an agency of the commonwealth or any subdivision thereof, is the creditor;

(D) advances under a preexisting open-end-credit plan if a security interest has already been retained or acquired and such advances are in accordance with a previously established credit limit for such plan.

(f) An obligor’s right of rescission shall expire four years after the date of consummation of the transaction or upon the sale of the property, whichever occurs first, notwithstanding that the information and forms required under this section or any other disclosures required under this chapter have not been delivered to the obligor, except that if (1) the commissioner institutes a proceeding to enforce the provisions of this section within four years after the date of consummation of the transaction, (2) the commissioner finds a violation of this section, and (3) the obligor’s right to rescind is based in whole or in part on any matter involved in such proceeding, then the obligor’s right of rescission shall expire four years after the date of consummation of the transaction or upon the earlier sale of the property, or upon the expiration of one year following the conclusion of the proceeding, or any judicial review or period for judicial review thereof, whichever is later.

(g) In any action in which it is determined that a creditor has violated this section, in addition to rescission the court may award relief under section thirty-two not relating to the right to rescind.

(h) An obligor shall have no rescission rights arising solely from the form of written notice used by the creditor to inform the obligor of the rights of the obligor under this section, if the creditor provided the obligor the appropriate form of written notice published and adopted by the commissioner, or a comparable written notice of the rights of the obligor, that was properly completed by the creditor, and otherwise complied with all other requirements of this section regarding notice.

(i)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section thirty-five, and subject to the time period provided in subsection (f), in addition to any other right of rescission available under this section for a transaction, after the initiation of any judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure process on the primary dwelling of an obligor securing an extension of credit, the obligor shall have a right to rescind the transaction equivalent to other rescission rights provided by this section, if:

(a) a mortgage broker fee is not included in the finance charge in accordance with the laws and regulations in effect at the time the consumer credit transaction was consummated;

(b) the form of notice of rescission for the transaction is not the appropriate form of written notice published and adopted by the commissioner or a comparable written notice, and otherwise complied with all the requirements of this section regarding notice.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of section four, and subject to the time period provided in subsection (f) of this section, for the purposes of exercising any rescission rights after the initiation of any judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure process on the principal dwelling of the obligor securing an extension of credit, the disclosure of the finance charge and other disclosures affected by any finance charge shall be treated as being accurate for the purposes of this section if the amount disclosed as the finance charge does not vary from the actual finance charge by more than thirty-five dollars or is greater than the amount required to be disclosed under this chapter.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to affect a consumer’s right of recoupment under the laws of the commonwealth.

(4) The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all consumer credit transactions in existence or consummated on or after September thirtieth, nineteen hundred and ninety-five.

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