Cancelling a Contract After Three Day Cooling Off Period: Georgia Contract Law Explained--Part Two



July 25, 2011

contract fists.JPGThis is part two of our article about cancelling contracts within a three day cooling off period in Georgia. The three day cooling off period is actually federal regulation which is very narrowly applied, so make sure you carefully read part one of our article before reading the following.

It is also important to understand that even if the three day cooling off period does not apply to the facts of your case, there may be other conditions and reasons (fraud, misrepresentation, mental/age incapacity, illegality unfair trade practices, and more) that may permit you to rescind (get out of) a contract. Thus, it is is well worth your while to schedule a legal consultation to immediately determine your rights.

Nevertheless, if in fact the three day cooling off period does apply, in connection with any door-to-door sale or sale that is anywhere other than the place of business of the seller, (i.e. NOT the seller's store but at a place like your home, a conference center, a dormitory, etc...), it constitutes an deceptive act or unfair practice for any seller to:

(a) Fail to give the buyer a fully completed copy of any contract in the same language, (e.g., Spanish), that was primarily used in the oral sales portion of the presentation showing the transaction date, name and address of the seller, and near the section in the contract for the buyer's signature or on the front page of a receipt, the following notice of cancellation, in bold face, in a minimum of size ten font stating:

"You, the buyer, can cancel this transaction at any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of this transaction. See the notice of cancellation attached for explanation of this right."

(b) Fail to furnish each buyer, a notice of cancellation that explains that they may cancel the transaction, without any obligation or penalty, within THREE BUSINESS DAYS from the above date.

If the buyer cancels, they must receive back their money within ten days and the buyer must make available to the seller at his or her home, any product that had been delivered to them under the contract. They need to return the product in good condition, or they must follow the instructions of the seller regarding the return shipment of the goods at the seller's expense and risk.

If the buyer makes the goods available to the seller and the seller does not pick them up within 20 days of the date of Notice of Cancellation, the buyer may keep or dispose of them. If the buyer fails to return the goods, then they remain liable for the contract.

(c) Fail, before providing copies of the "Notice of Cancellation" to the buyer, to complete the notices by entering the name of the seller, the seller's business address, the sales transaction date, and the date of cancellation.

(d) Fail to inform the buyer orally, at the time of the contract, of the buyer's right to cancel.

(f) Misrepresent the buyer's right to cancel.

(g) Fail to honor any valid notice of cancellation by refunding payments, etc.

(h) Sell the contract to a third party before the three day cancellation period is up.

(i) Fail, within 10 business days of receiving cancellation, to notify the buyer whether they intend to repossess any goods that were sold.

As stated earlier, this three day cooling off period falls under a federal regulation, specifically from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) which outlines the rules concerning the cooling off period for sales made at homes or certain other locations. The three day cooling off period only applies to a specific, select type of sales. However, as mentioned previously, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of obtaining legal counsel, because even though the "three day cooling off period" may not apply in your situation, other legal theories may apply which might permit you to rescind (get out of) a contract.

However, time is of the essence in all of these situations. Thus, it is important to immediately meet with an attorney who can actually sit down and review your contract with you and listen to all the facts and circumstances of your situation in order to be able to properly advise you of your legal rights.

Contact Williams Oinonen LLC to schedule a consultation at 404-654-0288.