How important is title?

Title Insurance with WFG National Title Insurance Co.

 A lawyers story

Only in Louisiana. You gotta love this lawyer - it's too good not to share! Everyone who has ever bought a house will enjoy this. 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 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 resent 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 loan?"

The loan was approved.


Comments (6)

Michelle Way
AVALAR Pro Realty - Jackson, MS
I love this thanks for sharing
Apr 17, 2007 04:05 PM
Kimberly Price
Integrity Title Group - Tampa, FL

An attorney with a great sense of humor and serious all at the same time?  You gotta love it!  I really enjoy reading your posts.  Keep 'em coming.  -Kimberly

Apr 17, 2007 04:06 PM
Fran Gatti
RE/MAX Integrity - Medford, OR
Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity

How wonderful.  You gotta wonder if anyone working for FHA is reading any of the correspondence they receive, or if they can read.  You're reply is priceless.


Apr 17, 2007 05:23 PM
Kirk Westervelt
Van West Realty - Greenville, SC Realtor -Short Sale Expert! - Greenville, SC
Kirk Westervelt, Broker In Charge, Van West Realty - CDPE - Short Sale Agent - Home for Sale - Greenville, Simpsonvil...

Hi Bill and Jason,

Got a question for you:

I own a piece of land in Southern CA but my father-in-law technically owns it on paper.

He has gifted it to my wife and I.

What is the easiest way to transfer the land into our names?

What is the process of doing this in CA?

I know about a Quit Claim Deed, but I'm not clear on the process and the laws in CA.

I'm in South Carolina.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!



Jun 05, 2008 07:52 AM
Bill McConnell
WFG National Title Insurance Co. - Irvine, CA

Typically you would fill out a new grant deed and a preliminary change of ownership form. You will have to recorded it with the county recorders office that the house resides in. Be sure to have the new deed notarized and recorded by a title company. It may cost a little more that way but it will be an insured deed when recorded by a title company.


Go to: to get the proper deed and have it notarized by a notary either at the bank or from someone you might know. Your escrow officer can typically help with the filling out of the deed and all the proper paperwork..

Jun 05, 2008 02:44 PM
In active
Irvine, CA

Bill, I hear you are very close friends with a really good underwriter.  Is that true?

Oct 10, 2009 01:14 PM