Supreme Court rules for homeowners over mortgage dispute

20120110094716!SCOTUSbuilding_1st_Street_SEBy Lawrence Hurley | Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of homeowners seeking to back out of mortgages when lenders are accused of failing to follow a federal “truth in lending” law.

On a 9-0 vote, the court handed a win to an Eagan, Minnesota couple, Larry and Cheryle Jesinoski, over the $611,000 loan they obtained in 2007 from Countrywide Home Loans Inc, now part of Bank of America Corp.

On the technical question before the justices, the court said homeowners need only write a letter to the lender, as the Jesinoskis did, and do not need to file a lawsuit in order to benefit from a provision of a federal law known as the Truth in Lending Act.

The law allows consumers to rescind a mortgage for up to three years after it was made if the lender does not notify them of various details about the loan including finance charges and interest rates. The Jesinoskis filed their notice right before the end of the three-year period and filed a lawsuit a year later after the bank said it was disputing the claim.

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