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The amount of time in which a consumer may cancel a contract varies depending upon the type of transaction. Per Colorado law, consumers have up to five days to cancel a contract with a credit repair company or a time-share agreement, but only three days to cancel a home solicitation or telemarketing contract.
Consumers must cancel within the time allowed by law, which starts on the day after the buyer signed the contract, and ends at midnight on the day specified by law. Cancellation given by mail is considered effective when deposited in a mailbox, if properly addressed with postage prepaid.
The buyer may not cancel a home solicitation when a separate signed statement describes an emergency that requires an immediate remedy to protect property or to protect the health, safety or welfare of a person. Colorado law also prevents buyers from canceling a contract involving goods if he cannot return the goods to the seller in substantially the same condition as received.
Specific Cancellation Rights
There are a number of laws on the books in California that give people the right to cancel a specific contract within a certain period of time after it is signed, and without having to show legal cause for the cancellation or even explain it. All the buyer has to do is send the seller a signed and dated written notice of cancellation within the period allowed under California statute. As of July 2010, there were 29 different cancellation situation periods, with most being three business days. The longest is an indefinite cancellation period for dance studio services, property insurance and pre-need funeral contracts. The shortest time span is a one day cancellation period for legal document assistance. A full list of the 29 specific statutory cancellations is available on the California Department of Consumer Affairs website.
General Contract Cancellations
A buyer of goods or services might have a legal right to cancel a contract for several reasons, including but not limited to: if the seller is guilty of fraud or misrepresentation; the deal manages to fail in a way that's not the fault of the purchaser; a court rules the contract unconscionable; or a breach of warranty. Examples include if the contract is ruled to be unlawful; the contract is ruled to be against the public's interest; or if the seller falls through on their promise to turn over the goods to the buyer.
Despite an urban myth to the contrary, buyer's remorse laws don't cover cars. There's no "cooling off" law in California regarding automobile sales or leases. As soon as you sign a contract to buy or lease a vehicle, you're bound to the contract and can't return the vehicle a day or two later if you change your mind and decide you don't want it or can't afford it.