I don’t know if this is true, but I like it.

When you are dealing with a government bureaucracy, you have to be very complete in your documentation. The following is a great example:

         Part of rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be challenged 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, sometimes making it quite difficult to establish ownership. Here’s a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA on behalf of a client:

         You have to love this 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:

         “Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 206 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 United States 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, Queen 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’s 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 loan?”

              The loan was immediately approved!

Posted via email from Title Insurance
Continuing Ed for Title Agents

New Home Sales Plunge 33 Percent Hitting Record Low Since Statistics Have Been Collected

New-home sales plunge 33% to record low in May

By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Sales of new single-family homes plunged 33% in May to a record-low level after a federal subsidy for home buyers expired, according to data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department.

Sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000, the lowest since records began in 1963. April’s sales pace was revised down to 446,000 compared with the 504,000 originally reported. March’s sales were also revised lower.

The ‘Solar Decathlon’, which started in the United States in 2002, is being held in Europe for the first time this year, giving architecture and engineering students from all over the world one week to show off their design projects.

The results were much worse than expected, and economists had expected a 20% decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 405,000. See complete economic calendar and consensus forecast.
U.S. stock markets dropped quickly on the news. Gold prices also fell. See full story on the market reaction.

That sales fell was "not at all surprising," wrote Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist for Miller Tabak & Co. "However, we would be lying if we said the size of the drop was not shocking."

"By the fall, we expect the very favorable affordability picture to start pulling people back into the market, but the next few months are likely to be very grim," wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. domestic economist for High Frequency Economics, who predicted the number precisely.

Sales fell sharply in all four regions, with sales down more than 50% in the West.

The median sales price in May was $200,900, down 9.6% from a year earlier and the lowest since December 2003.

Home builders continued to shed inventories in May, cutting the number of unsold homes by 0.5% to 213,000, the lowest level in 39 years. In the past year, inventories are down 27%, while sales are down 18%.

The inventory of unsold homes represented an 8.5-month supply at the depressed May sales pace, up from 5.8 months in April and the highest in nearly a year.

Home builders are facing stiff competition from a glut of inventory of existing homes, fueled by pent-up demand to move and by high levels of foreclosures and short sales.

In order to qualify for the federal tax credit of up to $8,000, a buyer needed to sign a sales contract on a home by the end of April. New-home sales are recorded at the time of the contract signing.

The tax credit likely pulled many sales forward into the first four months of the year. Sales increased a cumulative 29% between February and April. But once the credit expired, sales collapsed in May.

The big question for housing, and perhaps for the economy, is whether housing will strengthen significantly from here. If sales remain weak, home prices could fall further, which would in turn depress consumer spending, increase foreclosures and lead to more losses at banks.

Government statisticians have low confidence in the monthly report, which is subject to large revisions, and large sampling and other statistical errors.

In most months, the government isn’t sure whether sales rose or fell. The standard error in May, for instance, was plus or minus 9.9%. Read the full government report.

The government says it can take up to four months to establish a statistically significant trend in sales. Over the past four months, sales have been on a 371,000 seasonally adjusted annual pace, little changed from the 367,000 pace in the four months leading up to January.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell 2% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million. Sales of existing homes are recorded at the time of the closing. Buyers have until June 30 to close on the sale to qualify for the tax credit. See full story on existing-home sales.

Housing data in May have been dismal. Housing starts fell 10%, building permits fell 5.9%, mortgage applications dropped, and the home builders’ index fell by five points. The only bright spot was mortgage rates, which stayed very low.

"A housing market with the ability to stand on its own requires the improvement in the job market to continue and for mortgage rates to stay low," wrote Jennifer Lee, senior economist for BMO Capital Markets.

Rex Nutting is Washington bureau chief of MarketWatch.

Posted via email from Title Insurance
Continuing Ed for Title Agents