I got this in an e:mail and thought some of you would like a good laugh.
As most of you receiving this know, New Orleans residents are challenged often with the task of tracing home titles back potentially hundreds of years. With a community rich with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have been passed along through generations of family, making it quite difficult to establish ownership. Here's a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA on behalf of a client that I thought was absolutely priceless!!
You gotta love this lawyer....... it's too good not to share!
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 t he 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:
"Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. 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 loan?"
The Illegal Dam The following is a genuine hoot. This was an actual letter sent to Ryan DeVries from The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan. The letter is standard government babble, but the humourous part is the response given after the letter.
Mr. Ryan De Vries 2088 Dagget Pierson, MI 49339
Dear Mr. De Vries: SUBJECT: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Montcalm County It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity: Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated. The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31,1998. Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter.
Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
Sincerely, David L. Price District Representative Land and Water Management Division
Dear Mr. Price: Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;Montcalm County Your certified letter dated 12/17/97 has been handed to me to respond to. First of all, Mr. Ryan De Vries is not the legal landowner and/or contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan. I am the legal owner and a couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natural building materials "debris." I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.
As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity. My first dam question to you is:
Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers or Do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request? If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated.I have several concerns.
My first concern is -- aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event causing flooding is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling their dam names.
If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition --please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them (they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter being unable to read English) -- be sure they are read the Miranda rights first. As for me, I am not going to cause more flooding or dam debris jams by interfering with these dam builders. If you want to hurt these dam beavers -- be aware I am sending a copy of your dam letter and this response to PETA.
If your dam department seriously finds all dams of this nature inherently hazardous and truly will not permit their existence in this State, I seriously hope you are not selectively enforcing this dam policy or once again both the Spring Pond Beavers and I will scream prejudice!
In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam right than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond.
If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).
So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/98? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then.
In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention a real environmental quality (health) problem in the area. It is the bears. Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step (The bears are not careful where they dump!)
Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your day office via another government organization -- the dam USPS.
Maybe, someday, it will get there. Sincerely, Ray Sherban