A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan for a client.  He was told that 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 and was duly traced.


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 prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared the title to the proposed collateral property back to the year 1803.  Before final approval can be according, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin.”


Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:


Your letter regarding the titles in Case No. 189156 has been received.  I note that you wish to have the title search extended further than the 160 years covered by the present application. 


As you know, Louisiana was purchased by the United States from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application.  The title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, who had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain.  The land came into possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year of our Lord 1492 by Captain 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, secured the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to fund Columbus’ expedition.  Now the Pope, as I am sure you know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  And God, it is commonly accepted, created the world including the land in question, Louisiana.  




NOTE:  I first saw this in  Virginia in 1963.  It was not, as some claim, a true story.  Nor did it have the mockery in it that more recent versions have.  It was simple, to the point, and refreshingly hilarious.   Author unknown