In legal parlance, a door-to-door sale is called a “home solicitation sale.” Home solicitation sales are strictly regulated in Arizona. The statutes governing home solicitation sales contain important consumer rights.
Definition of Home Solicitation Sale
A home solicitation sale is a sale of goods or services in which the seller personally solicits the sale at the buyer’s home (or the home of a friend), and some part of the purchase price is payable in installments. A cash sale will be deemed a home solicitation sale if the seller makes a loan to the buyer or assists in obtaining a loan for the buyer to pay the purchase price.
A sale is not a home solicitation sale if:
- it is pursuant to a pre-existing account with a business that sells goods or services at a fixed location, or
- it is a sale made pursuant to prior negotiations between the parties at a business establishment where the goods or services are offered for sale.
Requirements of a Home Solicitation Sale Contract
To be effective, a home solicitation sales contract must be written in the same language used in the oral sales presentation, and be accompanied by a notice of cancellation form. The agreement must also be dated, signed by the buyer, and include certain consumer rights information. The statute spells out the exact language that must be included in the agreement. (The text of the statute, A.R.S. Section 44-5004, may be downloaded from the Arizona State Legislature’s Web site, www.azleg.gov.)
Cancellation of Home Solicitation Sale
The buyer may cancel a home solicitation sale until midnight of the third business day after the sale agreement is signed. In counting business days, Sundays and certain federal holidays are not included.
Cancellation of the contract occurs when the buyer gives written notice of cancellation. The seller is required by law to furnish a cancellation notice form to the buyer at the time of the sale. The cancellation notice must be given to the seller in person, by telegram or by mail. (The author recommends giving written notice by registered mail.) The cancellation notice must be sent to the seller at the address provided by him. Any provision of a contract or agreement that waives a buyer’s right of cancellation is void and has no effect.
In some cases, a buyer may not cancel a home solicitation sale if he requested the seller to provide goods or services without delay because of an emergency.
Steps Required After Cancellation
The seller must return to the buyer any payments, promissory notes, or goods traded in, within 10 days after a home solicitation sale has been cancelled. If the seller fails to return traded-in goods within the 10-day period, the buyer may recover an amount equal to the trade in allowance for the goods stated in the agreement.
The buyer may retain the seller’s goods until the seller has complied with his obligation to return payments, evidence of indebtedness, and traded-in goods. The law gives the buyer a lien on the goods for any recovery to which he is entitled, until the seller has complied with his obligations.
Except as provided above, within 20 days after a home solicitation sale has been cancelled, the buyer upon demand must return to the seller any goods delivered by the seller pursuant to the sale. The buyer is not required to tender the goods at any place other than his own address. If the seller fails to take possession of the goods within 20 days after cancellation, the goods will become the property of the buyer without any obligation to pay for them.
If the seller has performed any services pursuant to a home solicitation sale prior to its cancellation, the seller is entitled to a cancellation fee of 5% of the cash price, $15, or the amount of the cash down payment, whichever is less. If the seller’s services result in the alteration of the buyer’s property, the seller must restore the property to substantially as good condition as it was in at the time the services were rendered.
A person who has entered into a home solicitation sale contract and wants to cancel it should read the language of the contract carefully. Every home solicitation sale contract is required by law to contain a notice of cancellation provision. The person should be sure to give written notice of cancellation to the seller (preferably by registered mail) by no later than midnight of the third business day after the sale agreement is signed.
The above article is an excerpt from Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers, 2nd Edition (Fenestra Books, 2012), by Donald A. Loose, republished with the author’s permission.
Disclaimer: Laws change constantly. Specific legal advice should be obtained regarding any legal matter. The information contained on this website does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created.
Don likes to target shoot, scuba dive, and pilot airplanes. Most recently, he has been working on his golf handicap. Don enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with his wife, twin sons, and golden retriever, Lucy.