Member Highlight – Funny (and True) Stories from LTAMS Members

Just in case you could use a little fun as we move forward in 2023, we have gathered your best stories of absolutely true, unusual and entertaining experiences while at work in the land title world. We wish you plenty of opportunities to laugh as you are abstracting, closing, underwriting, teaching, litigating, and serving in the year to come!

I was standing with a landowner behind his truck at the entrance to his property in Tinsley Field. We were discussing access, pipeline routes and several well re-entries when all of the sudden a timber rattler that was no less than 5 feet long and as big around as my thigh came slithering across the dirt road about 20 feet from where we were standing. He didn’t miss a beat and said “son that looks like dinner right there.” He grabbed a shovel out of the bed of the truck and 2 minutes later threw that snake across the tailgate. All he then said was “may even be enough for breakfast tomorrow.” – Phillip Hollimon

In one emergency situation we took documents to a hospital for a young mother, in labor, to sign. She gave birth 10 minutes after we completed the signing. – Shannon Elliot

I once had a curative file where we had to file suit to resolve the title issues. One the title issues were resolved, foreclosure counsel would proceed with foreclosure. I spoke with the defendant/borrower numerous times after she was served with process and met her at hearing. I don’t know that I would say that we were friends, but she had her mother make a very detailed/decorative Christmas stocking for my son. I hang it on my mantel every Christmas. – Jana Manlove

In one county I noticed there was a loose pig running around outside the circuit clerk’s office and went inside to ask them if they knew about the pig. I was informed that they knew who to call. The pig was apparently a regular visitor. In another county I needed to get in the old court records and couldn’t because one of the trustees that had the run of the courthouse (and won the Christmas tree decorating contest on the courthouse lawn the month before) had escaped and stolen all the keys. The county had not gotten round to replacing them. – Patricia Roberts

I once closed a loan where the borrower had a large, loud, emerald green parrot perched on his shoulder throughout the closing. – Danny Crotwell

In the spring of 1998, a tornado struck downtown Nashville. The morning after the storm, I received a phone call from a rather insistent gentleman demanding that I fix the steps that had been torn off his house the afternoon before. It took several very trying minutes to explain to this gentleman that he needed to contact his Homeowners insurance carrier rather than his Title Insurance Company! – Cass Tinsley

I had an 80-year-old Seller who was recently widowed that brought a gentlemen with her to the closing. I asked her who her friend was, and she told me that it was her new husband. She told me that, at her age, you don’t wait. – Courtney Robbins

I see some pretty crazy recorded documents and wills. I recently saw a will where a lady stated that at her death she wanted to have her dog euthanized and buried with her – not very funny, but it’s the kind of thing you’re still thinking about when you drive home that evening. – Jeff Lees

The strangest thing I have seen doing a title search was a purported secret tunnel underneath Pascagoula Street in downtown Jackson connecting the Clarion Ledger building to a former warehouse on the South side of Pascagoula. This matter was cited in a deed in the chain of title and was only contained in that one deed, none of the other deeds made the reference. – Chad Evans

Many years ago, I closed a residential purchase and loan for the new CEO of a corporate client and his wife, who had a very young daughter. The daughter’s day care sent her home sick that day so the parents had no choice but to bring her to the closing in order to keep their moving plans on schedule. As the poor little one lay listlessly on a blanket under the conference table, her mother fed her melon pieces to keep hydrated. We quickly moved through the paperwork; but just as we were wrapping things up, the girl stood up in between her parents and said, “Mommy, I feel sick.” You can guess what happened to the papers. We had to reprint and start all over. – Jennifer Signs

Several years ago in Chancery Court there was a family dispute where a gentleman was cremated. The family couldn’t agree on who would get the remains so, the judge ordered Mr. McAdams to keep the remains until it was finalized. The family would come to the office during every occasion to visit with him. – Angela Thrash

When practicing real estate in parts of rural Mississippi, you never know what you might find but having a deed description reference an old moonshine still is one of the strangest things I seen to date. – Mark Bond

The strangest title abstract that I have dealt with involved a squatter who was renting out houses that he did not own. – Santita Newsom

We once had a buyer who agreed to pay the seller in solid gold bullion, unbeknownst to us. The buyer nervously arrived for closing with a briefcase full of gold and insisted he be brought directly to the conference room and the door closed. We all thought we were in a scene out of a spy movie. – Julie Scianna

A favorite story that doesn’t require the full explanation is from very early in my career. A fellow attorney said to me as we were walking from the courthouse to lunch that he wanted to jump in City Hall to check city taxes! WHAT – CITY TAXES? – Don Ogden

A few years ago, I was to be at a luncheon with the Mississippi Supreme Court. A lady asked me if it made me nervous to be with the Justices. I said: “Not really. I taught seven of them. They are afraid that I may call on them to take the next case.” – Professor Guff Abbott

In a timber transaction several years ago, trying to untangle estate property, I read a will that left all real property “to the longest liver” as between a husband and his wife. I was sure if I would have to exhume the bodies or treat this as a tenancy with the benefit of survivorship. – Roy Perilloux