An urban myth of title insurance

By | August 16, 2011

A title insurance anecdote, sworn by some to be true (and by others to simply be an anecdote)! It’s amusing either way!

This tale of title insurance takes place down in Louisiana and is both an interesting and amusing tale.

Subject: Louisiana 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 letter)

“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 letter):

“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 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 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 

The loan was approved.

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