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This opinion was issued in the third quarter of 2000.
A bank wishes to post an application for a home equity line of credit on its website which could either be printed out and mailed by the consumer or allow the consumer to submit the application online to the Bank. The disclosures required by the federal Regulation Z in section 226.5b(b) for home equity lines of credit are to be provided at the time an application is provided to the consumer. Footnote 10A to said section 226.5b(b) allows for a delivery or mailing of these disclosure when the application is received by telephone or contained in a magazine or other publication. The Bank asks if posting a equity line application on a website falls within the meaning of footnote 10a or must the required disclosures be attached on the website.
Massachusetts has an exemption from federal Truth-In-Lending because it has a comparable state statute G.L. c 140D and its implementing regulation, 209 CMR 32.00 et.seq. The regulation at 209 CMR 32.05(B) also contains footnote 10a which parallels the language contained in footnote 10a of Regulation Z and provides that the disclosures and brochure be required in connection with a home equity line application may be delivered or placed in the mail not later than three(3) business days following receipt of a consumer's application in the case of applications contained in magazines or other publications or when an application is received by telephone or through an intermediary agent or broker. It is the Divisions position that footnote 10a would be applicable to home equity line applications received online, and the Bank would have three(3) business days to mail the required disclosures to a consumer.