Industry News

Massachusetts bill would open closing process to non-lawyers

State is one of few where lawyers handle real estate loan closings

The Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts and the Title Appraisal Vendor Management Association are squaring off over a bill in the Massachusetts legislature that would open the real estate closing business to non-lawyers, media reports say. The bill, H 904, was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Paul Kujawski of Webster, Mass., and heard by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in February, reports said. For the local bar association, the issue is one of consumer protection, but the Moon Township, Pa.-based title appraisal association said the market needs more competition and choice, according to reports. Massachusetts' laws represent one of the last bastions of an older system, the title appraisal association's lawyer, Ed Krug, told the Boston Business Journal. Massachusetts is one of only a half-dozen states that mandate some attorney involvement in the real estate title exchange process. "We don't think it's competitive or provides true benefits to consumers," Krug said, accord...