A-57898, OCTOBER 17, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 318

A-57898: Oct 17, 1934

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THERE IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY TO DIRECT ACTION ACCORDINGLY. AS WELL AS TO SELECT ONLY THOSE PROJECTS WHICH WILL PERMIT THE CARRYING OUT OF SUCH PURPOSES AND WHICH WILL NOT END WITH EXHAUSTION OF THE PUBLIC MONEYS MADE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH USE. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE USE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS FOR SECURING THE NECESSARY TITLE INFORMATION THROUGH THE SERVICES OF A TITLE COMPANY WHICH REQUIRES THE GOVERNMENT TO PURCHASE AN OWNER'S GUARANTEE POLICY OF INSURANCE. RATHER THAN AT LOWER COST THROUGH THE SERVICE OF ANOTHER TITLE COMPANY NOT THOUGHT TO HAVE THE NECESSARY TITLE INFORMATION. IF THERE IS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AN EXPRESSION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES AS TO THE ACTUAL NEED FOR THE MORE COSTLY METHOD.

A-57898, OCTOBER 17, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 318

SLUM CLEARANCE - LAND TITLES SLUM CLEARANCE PROJECTS IN CITIES INVOLVE A USE OF PUBLIC MONEYS DEDICATED TO A SOCIAL-BETTERMENT PROBLEM WITH NO INTENDED PROFIT MAKING, NOT ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF RELIEVING SUFFERING AND CREATING EMPLOYMENT, BUT ALSO TO STIMULATE LOCAL INTEREST IN THE PROBLEM THROUGH ACTUAL DEMONSTRATION OF WHAT MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY INTERESTED STUDY AND PLANNING, REASONABLE EXPENDITURES, AND GOOD MANAGEMENT, AND THERE IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY TO DIRECT ACTION ACCORDINGLY, AS WELL AS TO SELECT ONLY THOSE PROJECTS WHICH WILL PERMIT THE CARRYING OUT OF SUCH PURPOSES AND WHICH WILL NOT END WITH EXHAUSTION OF THE PUBLIC MONEYS MADE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH USE. THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD ACQUIRE NOT ONLY A GOOD TITLE BUT A MARKETABLE TITLE TO PARCELS OF LAND INCLUDED WITHIN A SLUM-CLEARANCE PROJECT, IN WHICH CONNECTION THERE WOULD SEEM FOR CONSIDERATION THE WISDOM AND ADVANTAGE OF HAVING TITLE FIXED IN THE GOVERNMENT BY JUDICIAL ACTION. WHILE EXPENDITURES IN CONNECTION WITH TITLES ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO LAND WITHIN SLUM-CLEARANCE PROJECTS SHOULD NOT BE SUCH AS TO UNNECESSARILY DEPLETE THE MONEYS AVAILABLE FOR SLUM CLEARANCE, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE USE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS FOR SECURING THE NECESSARY TITLE INFORMATION THROUGH THE SERVICES OF A TITLE COMPANY WHICH REQUIRES THE GOVERNMENT TO PURCHASE AN OWNER'S GUARANTEE POLICY OF INSURANCE, RATHER THAN AT LOWER COST THROUGH THE SERVICE OF ANOTHER TITLE COMPANY NOT THOUGHT TO HAVE THE NECESSARY TITLE INFORMATION, IF THERE IS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AN EXPRESSION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES AS TO THE ACTUAL NEED FOR THE MORE COSTLY METHOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC WORKS, OCTOBER 17, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH THE SLUM CLEARANCE AND LOW-COST HOUSING PROJECT AT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, DOCKET NO. 1401, I FIND IT NECESSARY TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF A TITLE COMPANY FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXAMINING THE TITLE TO THE DIFFERENT PARCELS IN THE AREA PROPOSED TO BE ACQUIRED BY THE UNITED STATES, SUCH AREA BEING BOUNDED BY HARRISON STREET, ROOSEVELT ROAD, ASHLAND AVENUE, AND RACINE AVENUE. AN EXAMINATION OF THE CONDITION OF TITLE TO EACH PARCEL IS NECESSARY WHETHER THE LAND IS ACQUIRED BY PURCHASE OR BY CONDEMNATION, AS A BASIS UPON WHICH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES MAY APPROVE THE TITLE TO THE LAND.

I AM TRANSMITTING HEREWITH A COPY OF FORM OF PROPOSAL SUBMITTED BY CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY TO FURNISH REPORTS, TITLE INFORMATION, GUARANTEE POLICIES AND OTHER SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH EXAMINING TITLE TO THE PARCELS IN SUCH AREA. BRIEFLY, SUCH PROPOSAL PROVIDES FOR THE FOLLOWING SERVICES BY THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY:

(A) EXAMINATION OF TITLE TO EACH PARCEL AND SUBMISSION OF PRELIMINARY REPORT SHOWING THE CONDITION OF TITLE TO EACH PARCEL, WITH THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF EACH PERSON HAVING AN INTEREST IN SUCH PARCEL; AND LISTS OF ALL PERSONS REQUIRED TO BE MADE PARTIES TO A CONDEMNATION PROCEEDING, INCLUDING THEREIN NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF PARTIES IN POSSESSION.

(B) SUPPLEMENTAL REPORTS OF TITLE CONTINUING SUCH PRELIMINARY REPORTS TO LATER DATES;

(C) THE FURNISHING OF INFORMATION TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENT REGARDING THE CONDITION OF THE TITLE TO EACH PARCEL AND THE CURING, REMOVAL AND DISPOSAL OF OBJECTIONS, LIENS, AND ENCUMBRANCES THEREON, AND THE FURNISHING TO SUCH REPRESENTATIVES OF ALL RECORDS AND INFORMATION RELATIVE THERETO IN THE POSSESSION OF THE COMPANY;

(D) FURNISHING A MAP OF THE PROJECT AREA SHOWING THEREON THE STREETS, ALLEYS, LOTS, BLOCKS, AND PROPERTY LINES AND DIMENSIONS OF EACH PARCEL;

(E) THE ISSUE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF AN OWNER'S GUARANTEE POLICY OF INSURANCE IN THE USUAL FORM ISSUED BY THE COMPANY WITH RESPECT TO EACH SUCH PARCEL SO ACQUIRED.

ALL OF SUCH SERVICES ARE TO BE FURNISHED FOR THE TOTAL SUM OF $54,540. AS THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 1,000 PARCELS IN SUCH AREA, THE AVERAGE PRICE PER PARCEL FOR SUCH SERVICES IS THEREFORE APPROXIMATELY $54.00.

I AM ADVISED THAT THE PRELIMINARY REPORTS AND OTHER INFORMATION TO BE FURNISHED BY THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY UNDER SUCH PROPOSAL WILL MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, ALTHOUGH THE GUARANTEE POLICY IS NOT REQUIRED.

IN CONSIDERING THE REASONABLENESS OF THE PRICE FOR WHICH THE SERVICES ARE TO BE FURNISHED BY THE TITLE COMPANY, I HAVE CONSIDERED THE PRICES FOR SIMILAR SERVICES RENDERED OR BEING RENDERED TO THE UNITED STATES BY OTHER TITLE COMPANIES IN CONNECTION WITH OTHER PROJECTS, SOME OF WHICH ARE AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

PRICE OF

PROJECT TITLE COMPANY SERVICES PER

PARCEL UNIVERSITY HOUSING PROJECT ATLANTA TITLE AND TRUST CO., $15.00

AND TECHWOOD PROJECT, ATLANTA, GEORGIA.

1102 ATLANTA, GEORGIA. MONTGOMERY PROJECT NO. 2201 THE STATE ABSTRACT CO., 57.50

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA. INDIANAPOLIS PROJECT NO. 1601 UNION TITLE COMPANY, 50.00

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA. LOUISVILLE PROJECT NO. 2501 KENTUCKY TITLE CO., 47.50

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY. CLEVELAND PROJECT NO. 1101 LAND TITLE GUARANTEE AND TRUST 34.00

COMPANY, CLEVELAND, OHIO.

IT APPEARS, THEREFORE, THAT THE PRICE TO BE CHARGED BY THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY IS SLIGHTLY IN EXCESS OF PRICES FOR SUCH SERVICES RENDERED OR BEING RENDERED TO THE UNITED STATES IN CONNECTION WITH OTHER PROJECTS. I AM ADVISED, HOWEVER, THAT THE PRICE SUBMITTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR SUCH WORK IS SUBSTANTIALLY LESS THAN PRICES CUSTOMARILY CHARGED OTHERS BY THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY FOR EXAMINATION OF TITLE AND ISSUANCE OF GUARANTEE POLICIES. THE CHARGES OF THE TITLE COMPANY ARE, OF COURSE, DETERMINED BY THE EXTENT OF SERVICES REQUIRED IN EXAMINING THE TITLE TO EACH PARCEL AND THE AMOUNT OF INSURANCE ISSUED.

THE PROPOSAL OF THE TITLE COMPANY PROVIDES FOR THE ISSUE OF GUARANTEE POLICIES INSURING THE TITLE OF EACH PARCEL TO THE UNITED STATES. IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT IT IS NOT THE PRACTICE OF THE UNITED STATES TO SECURE INSURANCE OF TITLES TO LAND ACQUIRED BY IT AND THAT THE POLICIES PROPOSED TO BE ISSUED BY THE TITLE COMPANY ARE NOT REQUIRED IN THIS INSTANCE. HOWEVER, I AM INFORMED THAT THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY WILL NOT AGREE TO MAKE EXAMINATIONS OF TITLES TO LAND OR FURNISH REPORTS SHOWING THE CONDITION OF TITLE EXCEPT AS A BASIS FOR AND PRELIMINARY TO THE ISSUANCE OF THEIR USUAL FORM OF GUARANTEE POLICY. THE BASIS OF THE TITLE COMPANY'S OBJECTION IS THE PROVISION OF THE STATUTES OF ILLINOIS PROHIBITING CORPORATIONS FROM PRACTICING LAW. SEE CH. 32, SECTIONS 224- 228, CALLAGHAN'S ILL.STATS.ANN. VOL. 2. SEE ALSO, IN THIS CONNECTION, MIDLAND CREDIT ADJUSTMENT CO. V. DONNELLEY, 219 ILL.APP. 271; PEOPLE EX REL, ILLINOIS STATE BAR ASSN. V. PEOPLES STOCK YARDS STATE BANK, 344 ILL. 462; OGENT V. ST. CLAIR GUARANTY AND TITLE CO., 269 ILL.APP. 266.

THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY, THEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE- CITED STATUTE AND DECISIONS, REFUSES TO ENTER INTO ANY AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EXAMINATION OF TITLES TO LAND AND THE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATES OF TITLE EXCEPT IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF THEIR GUARANTEE POLICIES.

WITH RESPECT TO THE NECESSITY OR ADVISABILITY OF CONTRACTING WITH THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY FOR THE SERVICES OF TITLE EXAMINATION FOR THIS PROJECT, I HAVE CONSIDERED THE POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF OBTAINING THE NECESSARY TITLE EXAMINATIONS UPON WHICH THE GOVERNMENT MAY BASE ITS PROCEEDINGS FOR ACQUISITION OF LAND BY PURCHASE OR CONDEMNATION. I AM INFORMED THAT THERE IS ANOTHER TITLE COMPANY IN CHICAGO, CALLED THE REAL ESTATE TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY, WHICH MAY BE AVAILABLE TO FURNISH THE NECESSARY SERVICES, BUT WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO ISSUE GUARANTEE POLICIES OF INSURANCE FOR THE SAME REASONS AS AFFECT THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY. FURTHERMORE, I AM INFORMED THAT THIS COMPANY HAS BEEN ORGANIZED ONLY RECENTLY AND DOES NOT POSSESS PERSONNEL, FACILITIES, AND RECORDS COMPARABLE WITH THOSE OF THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY.

AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF SECURING THE NECESSARY TITLE SERVICES MIGHT BE THROUGH THE EMPLOYMENT OF ATTORNEYS WORKING INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY TITLE COMPANY BUT UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE SPECIAL ATTORNEY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN CHICAGO. THIS PROCEDURE DOES NOT APPEAR DESIRABLE FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

(A) THE TIME REQUIRED TO SECURE A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF COMPETENT ATTORNEYS AND COORDINATE THEIR WORK WOULD PROBABLY SERIOUSLY DELAY COMMENCEMENT OF THE WORK OF TITLE EXAMINATION.

(B) I AM INFORMED THAT MOST OF THE ABSTRACTS OF TITLE TO PARCELS OF LAND IN CHICAGO ARE HELD BY THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY, AND THAT INDEPENDENT ATTORNEYS WOULD HAVE TO PREPARE ORIGINAL ABSTRACTS FOR A SUBSTANTIALLY LARGE NUMBER OF PARCELS, WHICH WOULD OBVIOUSLY REQUIRE A VERY CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TIME. WHILE CERTAIN OWNERS MAY HAVE ABSTRACTS OF THEIR TITLES, I AM INFORMED THAT THIS IS PROBABLY NOT TRUE TO ANY SUBSTANTIAL EXTENT OF THE TITLES IN THE PARTICULAR AREA IN CHICAGO, PROPOSED TO BE ACQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

(C) I AM INFORMED THAT THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY HAS ALL RECORDS ANTEDATING THE CHICAGO FIRE OF 1871. ACCORDINGLY, UNLESS THE WORK IS PERFORMED BY THIS TITLE COMPANY, THE TITLES COULD ONLY BE EXAMINED FROM THE DATE OF SUCH FIRE, EXCEPT IN THOSE INSTANCES WHERE ABSTRACTS COVERING THIS PRIOR PERIOD COULD BE SECURED FROM THE OWNERS.

(D) I AM INFORMED THAT THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY HAS ACCUMULATED A GREAT NUMBER OF INSTRUMENTS WHICH ARE AVAILABLE TO CLEAR OBJECTIONS TO AND DEFECTS IN TITLE, WHICH ARE NOT AVAILABLE AS PUBLIC RECORDS OR TO OTHERS THAN THE TITLE COMPANY. THE WORK OF THE UNITED STATES IN SECURING CLEAR TITLE OR DISTRIBUTING THE MONEYS TO THE OWNERS ENTITLED THERETO IN CASE OF CONDEMNATION WOULD BE GREATLY FACILIATED BY THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS I AM OF THE OPINION THAT IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES TO ACCEPT THE ABOVE-MENTIONED PROPOSAL OF THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY TO FURNISH THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SERVICES FOR THE TOTAL SUM OF $54,450.

THEREFORE, YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH PROPOSAL OF THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY IS AUTHORIZED. IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOUR REPLY BE EXPEDITED AND THAT ALL PAPERS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH BE RETURNED.

IT APPEARS THUS PROPOSED TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENT WITH THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST CO., WITHOUT ACTUAL COMPETITION, BUT RATHER ON THE THEORY SUCH COMPANY IS THE ONLY SOURCE OF NECESSARY INFORMATION, TO EXAMINE THE TITLE TO LANDS EXPECTED TO BE ACQUIRED IN CHICAGO, EITHER BY PURCHASE OR CONDEMNATION, FOR SLUM-CLEARANCE PROJECTS. THE AMOUNT STATED TO BE INVOLVED IS $54,540, OR, ON AN ESTIMATED BASIS OF 1,000 PARCELS, APPROXIMATELY $54 PER PARCEL. WHILE IT IS STATED THERE IS ANOTHER TITLE COMPANY IN CHICAGO, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT ITS RECORDS ARE NOT CONSIDERED AS COMPLETE AND DO NOT EXTEND BACK PRIOR TO THE CHICAGO FIRE IN 1871. IT IS ASSUMED, THOUGH NOT SPECIFICALLY SO STATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION, THAT THIS COMPANY WOULD DO SUCH TITLE WORK AS ITS FACILITIES PERMIT AND AT A LOWER PRICE THAN THAT ASKED BY THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST CO.

THERE IS INVOLVED A USE OF PUBLIC MONEYS DEDICATED TO A SOCIAL BETTERMENT --- SLUM CLEARANCE IN CITIES WHICH HAVE FAILED TO SOLVE THEIR OWN PROBLEM IN THIS REGARD. THERE IS NOT INVOLVED A PURCHASE OF LAND FOR A FEDERAL USE AS THE ERECTION OF A POST OFFICE, COURTHOUSE, OR WAREHOUSE, BUT RATHER, THE PURCHASE IS INTENDED TO ACCOMPLISH, FIRST, ELIMINATION OF AN INTOLERABLE LOCAL HOUSING CONDITION, AND SECOND, SUBSTITUTION THEREFOR OF BUILDINGS SUITABLE FOR HUMAN HABITATION. THERE IS NOT INTENDED PROFIT MAKING. QUITE CONTRARY THERETO, THE PURPOSE OF THE CONGRESS APPARENTLY WAS TO MAKE A BEGINNING IN THIS SERIOUS MATTER, AND, THROUGH USE OF SUCH PORTION OF THE RECOVERY APPROPRIATION AS MIGHT BE ALLOCATED THERETO BY THE PRESIDENT, NOT ONLY RELIEVE SUFFERING AND CREATE EMPLOYMENT FOR THE UNEMPLOYED, BUT STIMULATE LOCAL INTEREST IN THE PROBLEM THROUGH ACTUAL DEMONSTRATION OF WHAT MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY INTERESTED STUDY AND PLANNING, REASONABLE EXPENDITURES AND GOOD MANAGEMENT. CONSIDERING THE MATTER IN SUCH LIGHT THERE APPEARS RESPONSIBILITY ON FEDERAL OFFICIALS TO DIRECT ACTION ACCORDINGLY AND THERE WOULD SEEM FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE STUDY OF CONDITIONS IN EACH CITY NOT ONLY THE RELIEF APPARENTLY DESIRABLE THEREIN, COMPARED WITH OTHER CITIES, BUT THE LOCAL INTEREST IN THE PROBLEM AND DEMONSTRATING WILLINGNESS TO SO ASSIST AND COOPERATE AS TO GIVE NOT ONLY CURRENT ASSISTANCE BUT REASONABLE ASSURANCE THE EFFORT WILL NOT END WITH EXHAUSTION OF THE PUBLIC MONEYS NOW AVAILABLE FOR SUCH USE, AND WITH SELECTION OF PROJECTS ONLY ACCORDINGLY.

CONSIDERED IN THE LIGHT OF THE APPARENT PURPOSES OF THE CONGRESS INPROVIDING THE MONEYS FOR SLUM CLEARANCE, AND THE RESPONSIBILITY ASSIGNED TO YOU BY THE PRESIDENT, WHETHER CONDITIONS IN CHICAGO ARE SUCH AS TO AT THIS TIME JUSTIFY THE UNDERTAKING OF A SLUM-CLEARANCE PROJECT OR PROJECTS THEREIN IS FOR YOUR DETERMINATION. ON THE ASSUMPTION YOU HAVE DEFINITELY SO CONCLUDED, YOUR SUBMISSION WILL BE CONSIDERED ACCORDINGLY.

WHILE THE TITLES ARE TO BE TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE PURPOSES OF PROSECUTING THE WORK, IT IS ASSUMED THEY WILL LATER BE FOR CONVEYANCING, DUE TO SALES OR OTHERWISE, AND THERE THUS SEEMS INVOLVED NOT ONLY THE MATTER OF ACQUIRING A GOOD TITLE TO THE SEVERAL PARCELS BUT A MARKETABLE TITLE AS WELL. IF IN ACQUIRING TITLE THE SERVICES OF THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST CO. ARE ESSENTIAL AT $54 PER PARCEL, THEN A SIMILAR CHARGE WILL APPARENTLY BE INVOLVED IN CONNECTION WITH DISPOSITION OF EACH PARCEL. THUS THERE IS NOT ONLY THE MATTER OF A PRESENT EXPENDITURE OF $54,540 BY THE GOVERNMENT IN ACQUIRING TITLE INFORMATION, BUT AN AMOUNT POSSIBLY AS LARGE IN CONNECTION WITH DISPOSITION OF THE PARCELS THAT IS ACTUALLY INVOLVED, WHETHER PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY.

IT IS ASSUMED FROM THE MATTERS STATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION THAT TITLE CONDITIONS IN CHICAGO ARE INVOLVED--- AGGRAVATED, OF COURSE, BY THE FACT THAT MANY OFFICIAL RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS WERE DESTROYED BY THE FIRE IN 1871. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AND DUE TO THE FACT THAT SO MANY PARCELS ARE INVOLVED IN THE INSTANT MATTER, EACH OF WHICH, APPARENTLY, AND AFTER IMPROVEMENT AT CONSIDERABLE COST, WILL ULTIMATELY BE FOR DISPOSITION BY THE GOVERNMENT, WITH CONVEYANCING ACCORDINGLY, NOT ONLY A GOOD TITLE BUT A MARKETABLE TITLE SEEMS ESSENTIAL, AND THERE WOULD SEEM FOR SERIOUS CONSIDERATION THE WISDOM AND ADVANTAGE OF HAVING TITLE FIXED IN THE GOVERNMENT BY JUDICIAL ACTION. AS TO PARCELS CONDEMNED THE TITLE WILL BE SO FIXED, BUT NOT SO AS TO PARCELS PURCHASED UNLESS THE PURCHASE FROM THE RECORD OWNER IS SUPPLEMENTED BY AN ACTION IN EQUITY TO QUIET TITLE IN THE GOVERNMENT OR A FRIENDLY PROCEEDING UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 26, 1931, 46 STAT. 1421. AND IN SUCH CONNECTION IT WOULD SEEM DOUBTFUL WHETHER RECORDS ANTEDATING THE 1871 FIRE WOULD BE ESSENTIAL. POSSIBLY THE LESS EXPENSIVE TITLE INFORMATION AND WHICH DOUBTLESS DISCLOSES NOT ONLY THE PRESENT RECORD OWNERS BUT RECORD IRREGULARITIES AS FAR BACK AS 1871 AND WHICH SHOULD BE CURED TO PROVIDE A MARKETABLE TITLE, WILL FULLY SUFFICE.

WITHOUT A MORE EXTENSIVE STUDY OF CONDITIONS, YOUR ACTUAL NEEDS, AND THE JUDICIAL DECISIONS CONTROLLING SUCH MATTERS IN CHICAGO, THAN HAS BEEN POSSIBLE BY THIS OFFICE IN VIEW OF THE INFORMAL ADVICES THAT HAVE BEEN RECEIVED INDICATING YOUR NEED FOR PROMPT ACTION, THERE HAS NOT BEEN ATTEMPTED ANY WORKING OUT OF THE DETAILS INVOLVED IN WHAT IS HERE SUGGESTED, BUT IN VIEW OF THE DESIRABILITY OF CONSERVING THE PUBLIC MONEYS, IN ORDER THAT THE AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR SLUM CLEARANCE MAY BE MADE TO ACCOMPLISH THE GREATEST POSSIBLE GOOD, AND THE DESIRABILITY OF NOW OBTAINING NOT ONLY A GOOD TITLE BUT A MARKETABLE TITLE TO THE SEVERAL PARCELS TO BE ACQUIRED, THESE MATTERS ARE SUGGESTED FOR SERIOUS CONSIDERATION.

WHILE EXPENDITURES IN CONNECTION WITH TITLES SHOULD NOT BE SUCH AS UNNECESSARILY TO DEPLETE THE MONEYS AVAILABLE FOR SLUM CLEARANCE, IF THERE IS NO OTHER SOURCE FROM WHICH ACTUALLY NECESSARY INFORMATION MAY BE SECURED AT A LOWER PRICE, THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATION AS STATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION. HOWEVER, AND IN RESPONSE TO YOUR SUBMISSION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT BEFORE ACTION IS TAKEN OBLIGATING THE GOVERNMENT TO THE PROPOSAL AS MADE BY THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST CO., THERE SHOULD BE OBTAINED AND MADE A MATTER OF RECORD HERE, AN EXPRESSION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AS TO THE ACTUAL NEED OF THE MORE COSTLY METHOD OF OBTAINING TITLE INFORMATION NECESSARY IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

IF TITLES TO BE ACQUIRED ARE TO REST UPON NOTHING MORE THAN ASSURANCE GIVEN BY A TITLE COMPANY IN THE FORM OF CERTIFICATE, POLICY, OR OTHERWISE THAN A COMPLETE ABSTRACT DISCLOSING A TITLE HISTORY SUSCEPTIBLE OF EXAMINATION AND APPROVAL BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, THERE APPEARS FOR CONSIDERATION THE ACTUAL VALUE AND AVAILABILITY OF SUCH GUARANTY TO THE GOVERNMENT; THAT IS, THE ASSETS BEHIND SUCH GUARANTY, THEIR ADEQUACY, AND THE PROVISION MADE FOR THEIR PRESERVATION AND AVAILABILITY TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THE EVENT LOSS OR DAMAGE SHOULD BE SUSTAINED THROUGH FAILURE OF ANY TITLE SO GUARANTEED.