Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Stupid Wells Fargo Story of the Day . . .

(or is it just the story of the hour?)
Represent a client who owns a 1/2 interest in some property - she got it by will from her father who got it by will from his wife who, with her ex husband, got the property by deed.  Sent them a copy of all documentation and title search so my client would be listed as a co-owner of the property.  Of course, wills operate to transfer an interest in property.
Today I get a letter from Wells saying client "as potential successor in interest who can receive limited account information . . "
and "We understand that [client] is 1/2 owner of this property.  In order for us to update the account with this information, please provide us a copy of the recorded deed".
My response: 

In your letter you ask for “a copy of the recorded deed”.  There is no ‘recorded deed’.  The documentation you have – which includes the Recorded Wills of the prior owners – is all that has ever been required under the statutory and common laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia since it was first colonized in 1607 to fully vest title in [client].
Reminds me of the fabled 'letter from a Louisiana Lawyer" . . .
A New Orleans lawyer sought a FHA (Federal Housing Administration) 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 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 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 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, Isabelle. 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 He also made that part of the world called Louisiana. He, therefore, would be the owner of origin. I hope to hell you find His original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?
They got it.