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Location: Austin, Texas, United States

I'm a software engineer / partner working for a young company in Austin, Texas, USA. I spend most of my free time hanging out with friends and family, eating out, and partying in the Warehouse District. I should spend more time working on my house....

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Title Insurance

My Future Sister in law sent me an email joke today about a lawyer attempting to get a home loan for his clients:

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 loan?"

The loan was approved.

I just thought this begged for a follow-up. Assuming that you remove the last line from the joke, I think this would have been a nice reply letter:

"Dear Sir:

We appreciate your further explanation as to the title history of the property, however, after reviewing the title history on record with the state it appears there is an alternate claim to the property.

According to the counter claim the property was taken from the claimants unlawfully, without contract or title transfer, by the Spanish and French. Turns out there are numerous records for their claim.

These claimants state that they had held the land continuously for over 2,000 years prior to the arrival of Captain Columbus. According to their claim they had been a nomadic tribe for some time and decided to settle down. The chief and medicine man consulted the Spirits. They were directed by the Spirits to the described property and told that they were to care for the land until the end of time.

As there claim appears to have an equal basis to yours, title passage by Right of Supernatural Delegation, and a much longer history. They appear to have the stronger claim. Therefore, in order to verify your claim we need a sworn statement from God that he gave it to the Pope and not to the Indians. We await your reply.


Joseph AngryBear
FHA Loan Director"

Update: Columbus was not a "Spanish sea Captain", he was an Italian sea Captain sailing under the Spanish flag. See comments for context. Other minor grammatical errors also fixed since I was messing around anyhow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahem, Christopher Columbus was an Italian sea captain, sailing under a Spanish flag.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 9:18:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Yeah, I knew that. For some reason I thought the original joke referred to him as a Spanish Captain and I wanted to have continuity. I'll fix it.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 10:33:00 PM  

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