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This opinion was issued during the third quarter of 1998.
The Division is of the opinion that, as there is no statute or regulation which governs how closing documents are produced, a document preparation company may be used to produce loan documents for closings in the Commonwealth. According to the law of the Commonwealth, the documents which bear the original signature of the borrower become the original contract documents.
Attorneys are not required by law to attend mortgage loan closings in the Commonwealth. Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 93, section 70, though, does require that an attorney, acting on behalf of a mortgagee in connection with a loan secured by a purchase money first mortgage on mortgagor-occupied, 1-4 family real estate, must render a title certification to the mortgagor and the mortgagee. This title certification must state that the mortgagor has good and sufficient record title to the premises. Said certification may be rendered only by a practicing attorney and is required at closing.
Other than executing all necessary documents required by law, there is no statutory, established procedure for closing loans in the Commonwealth. However, the "good funds" statute, found at Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 183, section 63B, details the required types of funding permitted.
No statute or regulation in the Commonwealth prohibits accessing a home equity line of credit through an ATM card. The Commonwealth's statute and regulations governing electronic fund transfers are found at Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 167B and 209 CMR 31.00 et. seq. Additionally, relevant statutes pertaining to open-end credit are at Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 140, sections 96, 114B, 114C, chapter 140D and 209 CMR 32.00 et. seq.