Feudal Land Title: A Commonlaw Fraud
Feudal Land Title: A Commonlaw Fraud
When you bought your home for a king’s randsom (basically your life’s savings plus all future earnings), you never imagined that you were only buying the permission to rent the use of that parcel of property, did you? You thought you actually owned that property and that no one could take it away from you, so long as you didn’t forefeit your right to exist as a free person by commiting a heinous crime.
When I was much younger, and getting into my first home, I never dreamed that anyone could take a home away. I viewed homeownership as the cure for worries about coming up with the rent payments every month. But I found myself in for a surprise. The first bite came from city sewers coming in to my block, four years after purchasing a small starter home. The sewer assessment and tie in fees were non-negotiable and there was no legal way to opt out, despite letters written to town officials on the matter. I was mad because the septic was new and working fine, yet the town condemned it. We had to accept the chemical-infested city water, too. At that point, I had to rent a water cooler and import bottled water, as the town’s water was unsuitable for human consumption. To make a long story short, the sewer assessment bankrupted us. The house went into foreclosure and we found ourselves without a place to live. A mad apartment hunt ensued. After two weeks of searching, we’d found a dumpy attic apartment above a post office, with no fire exit and one main exit that was at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs. It was only the luck of inheritance money that we were able to buy a small parcel of land on a swamp in the middle of nowhere. Well, nowhere, forty-four years ago. And that’s when I started building my own home, pioneer-style, with my bare hands. The process turned me into a bear, as I was living and working among wild bears with nothing by a .38 S&W by my side, just in case. The house is not great, but today I am paying the full purchase price of my property in taxes every single year. Last year, the taxes exceeded my annual gross income. Trouble ahead!
Back to the main topic of this article now. Most of us are aware of the powers of Eminent Domain and probably know at least one family or friend who’s been a victim of this agregious violation of property rights. So we have property taxes, Eminent Domain and, oh yes, building codes and zoning laws–the government’s way of hinting that you don’t have any rights to do with your property as you please (even if you do so responsibly at your own expense without endangering your neighbors). So what is the underlying legal structure which makes all these violations of your rights acceptable under what should be a government that is rights-respecting of free people? It comes down to something called "feudal title". In essense, your property is still owned by the King, or by heirs of the King, which are more commonly known as collective society. That’s right: under US commonlaw, your home is owned by all the people, not you, who actually paid for it. Ironic, isn’t it? This is why the Fifth Amendment has a clause enumerating the compensation of landholders when land is taken under Eminent Domain.
There are two basic types of property ownership in so-called "commonlaw" nations: Allodial Title, which is also known as the "King’s Title"–absolute, irrevocable ownership of the property that no person or government entity can claim jurisdiction over or take action to remove from your ownership. The other type of title is known as "Fee Simple" title. It’s a form of permission to occupy and use the King’s land for a specific period of time, with you, the buyer, becoming a "land holder" or basically a custodian of the land. You do not own it. As such, land held under fee simple title is subject to a wide range of government actions, including taxation, eminent domain, zoning and police powers. Think of it as the government owning a house and you renting a room in that house, with the government having full power to inspect your room and observe what you’re doing at any time, for any reason, while collecting "rent" in the form of taxes. And you thought "owning" a home gave you security of not having to worry about the rent payments and eviction notices. Nope. Herein lies the fraud foisted upon every American citizen who has ever dreamed of owning a home.
HISTORY OF "EQUITABLE TITLE"
As late as the Tudor period, in order to avoid estate taxes, a legal loophole was exploited where land was willed to a trustee for the use of the beneficiary. However, trustees often abused this privilege, and heirs found that the courts of common law would refuse to recognize the "use" clause, and would instead grant title in law to the trustee. However, the courts of equity, which were developed by the sovereign to deal with obvious injustices in the common law courts, ruled that the heirs were entitled to the use of the property, and gave them title in equity. As rulings of equity courts ranked above those of common law courts, this gave heirs the use of the land, but not title to it in the common law.
In the United States, "To say that land is owned ‘allodially’ is a fiction. All land under United States government jurisdiction is subject to expropriation by way of eminent domain."
Before 1774, all land in the American colonies could also be traced to royal grants, usually one grant creating each colony. The original grantee (recipient of the land) then sold or granted parcels of land within his/her grant to private citizens and other legal entities. However, when the colonies won the Revolutionary War, they did not want to retain a feudal system of land ownership. The Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended formal hostilities and recognized American independence, also had the effect of ending any residual rights held by the original grantees or the Crown. Essentially, this merely recognized that no person holding land in the new United States owed any allegiance or duty to the Crown or any English noble. There is no specific reference to allodial title in the text of the treaty. Some states created a form of allodial title while others retained the tenurial system with the state as the new ultimate landholder.
Few, if any, real estate agents understand what’s going on here. Even fewer know what Allodial land title is or where it originates. Most think of taxes as the "cost for living in civilized society" and are acceptant of such. If you bought a home and think that you own it, you’ve been hoodwinked. You should be beyond angry that the biggest financial decision of your life has been to allow yourself to be defrauded by misleading language ("own your own home", etc.) used in the real estate industry and in American culture, a/k/a "the American dream" of owning a home. Well, there is no American dream. You’re no better off than in other countries. In many ways worse off, as America has the most powerful and destructive government of any nation on earth and when directed upon a single citizen, can wreak utter and total destruction. Taxation puts all of the political power in the hands of government–you can’t say no to the government (well you can, but then be prepared for some unpleasant living conditions for an extended period) when the tax gun is held to your head. We mistakenly believe that we have political power through the vote, but in reality, the candidates that are ‘groomed’ for office by organizations with agendas that are not individualism-friendly, are not "in your corner"–they are already bought and paid for by special interests and won’t hesitate to steamroller over your rights if they get the chance.
So what can we do about this gross fraud and miscarriage of justice? Education is one area. Inform your realtor about this, point him or her to resources and research on Allodial Title and explain the differences. LTEs are another way to raise public awareness. Do your own research and blog about it. Talk it up on Facebook and Twitter. Even contact the news media with well thought-out discussion on the issue. The key is to raise public awareness. People need to understand that they’ve been bilked out of their life savings and that the whole land ownership dream in America is a gigantic fraud.