Rights of the consumer vis-à-vis the bank

With the doorstep-selling revocation law, those affected can still part with unprofitable investments years later – and invest in more sensible forms of investment.

To invoke the law, investors must prove that they were taken by surprise in what is known as a doorstep situation.

This is understood by lawyers to mean an unarranged visit to a private home or workplace, or an approach in means of transport or on the street.

Typical example:

A representative visits the consumer at his place of work and offers him the subscription to a fund and, in addition, the financing by means of a land charge or mortgage loan. The consumer accepts the offer. Actually, he should now be instructed about his right of withdrawal. If this is done in writing, the customer can only withdraw from the contract up to two weeks later. If no instruction is given, this right expires according to German law within one month after “complete performance”.

In plain English:

Once the loan is disbursed, the right of withdrawal would expire after one month, even without instruction. In the opinion of the European Court of Justice, however, the German legislator has not correctly implemented the EU Directive: The aforementioned one-month period is irrelevant. This means that anyone who was not informed in writing of their right of cancellation when they took out a mortgage loan can refuse to make any payment to the bank.


by Johannes Fiala, lawyer

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About the author

Dr. Johannes Fiala Dr. Johannes Fiala

Dr. Johannes Fiala has been working for more than 25 years as a lawyer and attorney with his own law firm in Munich. He is intensively involved in real estate, financial law, tax and insurance law. The numerous stages of his professional career enable him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and to act as a lawyer in the event of disputes.
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