The Louisiana Lawyer Who Was Asked to Prove Title on a Piece of Property “back to its origin.”–Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
The story goes that a Louisiana resident wanted to get an FHA loan and offered a piece of property as collateral.
The title to the collateral property dated back to 1803.
The resident hired a lawyer to help get the loan but was told that he would have to clear the title on the property “back to its origin.”
The lawyer then wrote to the FHA to say that the title to the property was back as far as it could go because that was the year of the Louisiana Purchase when the U.S. bought the territory from France.
This is a “we really embarrassed the government” story, but it’s not true.
It has circulated around the Internet for quite a while.
There is no substantiation to the details and the story is written unconvincingly.
One does not normally hire a lawyer to get a home loan and the property being purchased is usually the collateral for the loan, not a different parcel.
Last updated 12/28/04
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:
“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.