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True Story.. so Im told...

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Bemis Pownall

Subject: FHA Loan

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 Abstract of 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 (known as the
Louisiana Purchase), 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 God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God,
therefore, would be the owner of origin.
I hope you find His original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we please
have our loan?"
The loan was approved.

:robot: :eek:

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
That story has been around several years and has faded into the lore of urban legend...yet may be true...


Elite Member
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
After attending two FHA Siminars one on the East Coast & one here on the West Coast I have no doubt that this would be a true story. The FHA people that do these seminars are PERFECT government employees. I have never seen anyone else talk in such a perfect circle. Every question asked was addressed in such a way that U could not argue that the question was answered, U just had no idea what the answer was.

Steve Owen

Elite Member
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
True or not, it rings true. Just one more reason why I don't do FHA appraisals.
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