Maintained by Alan D. Humbert
Attorney At Law
134 Main Street
Watertown, Massachusetts 02472

 Here's one of my favorite humorous mortgage and title examination horror stories. 


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 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 

"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 (expletive) loan?"

They got it.


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