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From my email –

May 3, 2007

Government Bureaucracy Strikes Again

Some people don’t understand the Government. Ha!

As most of you receiving this know, New Orleans residents are challenged often
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, making it quite difficult to establish ownership.

Here’s a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA (Federal Housing Authority) on behalf of a client that was absolutely priceless! You gotta love this lawyer, it’s too good not to share!
Everyone who has ever bought a house will enjoy this.

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.

“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:

“Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I am unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly
those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased,
by the U.S., 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, 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’ 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 approved.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Share Cropper permalink
    May 3, 2007 10:49 am

    I love it. I love it. Now if we could just get the Busheviks to recognize that the original title to land belonged to God and quit building steel fences….

  2. Grandmère Mimi permalink
    May 3, 2007 11:36 am

    Oh my. That’s a great letter. You see what New Orleans folks are capable of. Is there a link to the source, Eileen?

  3. Eileen permalink
    May 3, 2007 11:58 am

    No link for it Mimi..my brother-in-law sent it to me via email, as text.

    For all I know, it’s an urban legend, but, if it is, it’s a good one, and hysterical, so I’m posting it anyway.

    New Orleans…more than the home of red beans and rice.

  4. Paul (A.) permalink
    May 3, 2007 12:35 pm

    Mimi, ya gotta track these things down yourself!

  5. Eileen permalink
    May 3, 2007 2:14 pm

    Paul! You killjoy!

  6. Grandmère Mimi permalink
    May 3, 2007 4:03 pm

    But…but…but…Paul, I believe everything I read on the tubes of the internets.

  7. Paul (A.) permalink
    May 3, 2007 4:18 pm

    That’s kiltjoy to you, Eileen!

  8. Badger539 permalink
    May 3, 2007 8:25 pm

    Cute story, but totally bs. I live in New Jersey, in a city that dates back to the earliest colonial times. I’m also a Realtor with a broker license and 14 year’s experience.

    It is MY understanding based upon conversations with land attorneys, that titles are traced back no more than 50 years.

  9. Paul (A.) permalink
    May 3, 2007 10:49 pm

    Badger, how far back you ordinarily go depends generally on the limitations period for claims against the state, which is as a rule longer than any other adverse-possession period, and of course varies by state. But you can order an abstract of title going back as far as you want and wish to pay for.

  10. Padre Mickey permalink
    May 3, 2007 11:23 pm

    I have never bought a house, yet I still enjoyed it.
    But now, with the conversations of tracing things back 50 years and stuff, the subject has become boring.

  11. Saint Pat permalink
    May 4, 2007 12:09 am

    Pish bah, if the story is an urban legend, it doesn’t matter. It’s truth, as in the sense some of the stories in the Bible ain’t verifiable fact (like the stories of creation and Job), but they speak truth.

    I love this legend!

  12. Eileen permalink
    May 4, 2007 2:24 pm

    Pat – EXACTLY. It’s just plain fun and funny.

  13. Paul (A.) permalink
    May 4, 2007 5:42 pm

    The best urban legends usually are.

    (I can’t picture Job as an urban legend.)

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