A New Orleans lawyer sought a direct Veterans’ Administration loan for a client. He was told that the loan would be approved if he could provide proof of clear title to the property offered as collateral. The title for the property in question was complicated, and he spent a considerable amount of time reviewing all pertinent documents back to 1803. Satisfied with the depth and expanse of his examination, he submitted the information to the V.A. He soon received this reply from the V.A.: "We received your letter today enclosing application for a loan for your client, supported by abstract of title. The application forms are complete, but you have not cleared the title before the year 1803. Therefore, before full review and possible approval can be accorded the application, it will be necessary that the title be cleared back before that year." Annoyed, the lawyer wrote the V.A.: "Your letter regarding titles in case #9378329 received. I note that you wish titles extended further back than I have presented. Your attention is invited to the following information to update your records for the property prior to 1803: a) I was unaware that any educated person would not know that the United States gained clear title to Louisiana from France in 1803. This title transfer was a result of a real estate transaction known as The Louisiana Purchase. b) France gained clear title to Louisiana by right of conquest from Spain under the Treaty of San Ildefonso (1800). c) The land came into the possession of Spain by right of discovery in 1492 by a sailor named Christopher Columbus. He was acting on behalf of Isabella, Queen of Spain, and had her permission to claim newly discovered lands for Spain. d) The good Queen, being a pious woman and careful about titles -- almost as careful as the V.A. -- took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before authorizing the voyage. e) The Pope is a servant of God; God created the world. Therefore, I believe that it is safe to presume that God created title to that part of the world called Louisiana and thus was the original holder of the property in question." --- Note from TND: I just got off the phone this morning, a two-hour, thirteen minute endeavor, getting my VA benefits package confirmed and renewed. That experience dredged up the memory of this story, so I thought I'd share it. Our VA at work, ladies and gentlemen. Bureaucracy at its finest.