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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 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 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 then reigning
monarch, Isabella. The good queen, being a pious woman and careful about
titles, almost as much as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the
blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to fund Columbus'
expedition. Now the Pope, as I'm sure you 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 He also made that
part of the world called Louisiana. He, therefore, would be the owner of
origin. I hope ... you find His original claim to be satisfactory. Now,
may we have our ... loan?"
They got it.