Which States Have Buyer’s Remorse Laws?

Federal law covers most cases of buyer’s remorse in all 50 states, including solicited sales, timeshares and homeowner loans, while some states have laws to protect rueful consumers with certain contracts, such as gym memberships, and can extend the federal cooling-off period, according to the AARP. Buyer’s remorse laws do not apply to automobile purchases.

The Federal Trade Commission offers consumers a three-day rescission period when they purchase products or services at a place other than the seller’s primary place of business, including door-to-door sales and vending booths. This period also applies to the purchase of timeshares, and the Truth in Lending Act gives the same opportunity to homeowners refinancing their primary residence or taking out a home equity loan, says the AARP.

Most states follow federal guidelines regarding buyer’s remorse laws, but a few states have additional legislation. Washington, for example, gives residents three days to cancel memberships to camping clubs and offers students a five-day rescission period when they enroll at a private vocational school. Residents in Washington, Oregon and New Jersey can back out of a gym membership with no legal repercussions as long as it is within three days of the contract date, states CNBC.

Aside from state lemon laws that cover mechanical defects in new cars, there are no federal or state buyer’s remorse laws that apply to automobile purchases. Car buyers who second-guess their purchases can talk to the dealer about their options, but car salesmen are not legally obligated to change or rescind the contract, according to Edmunds.com.