Funny Story – Closing Attorney Explains Chain of Title

Our client was relocating to a small community north of New Orleans seeking an F.H.A. loan. The F.H.A., a government agency, told the closing attorney that the loan would be OK’d if he could prove satisfactory chain of title to the real estate. Since the Louisiana Parish wasn’t automated the research took three months to provide an “Abstract of Title” dating back to 1803.

After sending the loan request and title information to the F.H.A., he received the following reply:

“Upon review 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 title chain, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the subject property back to 1803.  Before final approval, please provide clear 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 abstract 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 F.H.A. 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, who was a pious woman and careful about titles, almost as much as the F.H.A., 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 to hell you find His original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?”

So we ask you…What’s your craziest “title company” or “title exception” story?!