Sunday, August 22, 2010

All the Way Back

Part of rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be
challenged with the task of tracing home titles back potentially
hundreds of years. With a community rich with history stretching
back over two centuries, houses have been passed along through
generations of family, sometimes making it quite difficult to
establish ownership. Here's a great letter an attorney wrote to the
FHA on behalf of a client:

You have to love this lawyer........

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told
the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a
parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the
property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to
track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received
the following reply.

(Actual reply from FHA):
"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan
application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract
of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have
prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you
have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to
1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary
to clear the title back to its origin."
Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:

(Actual response):

"Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received. I
note that you wish to have title extended further than the 206
years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any
educated person in this country, particularly those working in the
property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the
United States from France in 1803 , the year of origin identified
in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA
bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was
obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest
from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of
Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher
Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route
to India by the Spanish monarch, Queen Isabella. The good Queen
Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as
the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope
before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus's expedition.
Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus
Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world.
Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that
part of the world called Louisiana . God, therefore, would be the
owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning
of time, the world as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find
God's original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?"

The loan was immediately approved.

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