Indian Affairs assists American Indians, Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and Tribal organizations with home ownership and economic development, including processing mortgages of trust land.
The Division of Real Estate Services (DRES) establishes mortgage policies and provides guidance, training, and technical assistance to Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regional offices and local agencies.
All mortgage applications for trust lands should be submitted through your regional BIA agency.
The federal government offers several services to AI/AN borrowers to keep mortgages affordable, including:
Mortgage Services for Individuals
You can apply for a mortgage on trust land by submitting a mortgage package to the BIA agency with jurisdiction over the land to be mortgaged. What documents should be included in a mortgage package depend on what type of mortgage you are applying for:
- Apply for a leasehold mortgage approval if you are applying for a mortgage on trust or restricted land owned by a Tribe or another Indian landowner.
- Apply for a trust land mortgage approval if you are applying for a mortgage on trust or restricted land for which you have sole ownership.
There are also several federal programs that can insure your mortgage, help you qualify, or keep interest rates low:
- Members of federally recognized Tribes can access mortgages with low interest rates and low down payments through the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program (Section 184).
- Low-income and elderly AIs often qualify for the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Housing Loans, which can be used in conjunction with other programs like HUD Housing Vouchers (Section 8).
- AI/AN veterans or the veteran spouses of AI/ANs can apply for a low interest, no down payment home loan through the Veterans Administration’s Native American Direct Home Loan Program.
Mortgage Services for Tribes
Tribes interested in participating in one of the HUD programs must meet program eligibility requirements. For Tribes to participate in the HUD Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program (Section 184), Tribal laws must allow a provision that the Section 184 loan is the first lien priority on the Title Status Report.
To receive a loan guarantee on Tribal trust lands, the borrower must first obtain a leasehold interest in the land on which the home will be located. Leases for residential purposes on trust and restricted land are used as collateral for Section 184 loans.
Mortgage Services for Lenders
The BIA offers services and guidance for lenders who want to finance loans in Indian Country, including our lender portal and a helpful checklists for leasehold mortgages and trust land mortgages. Contact your regional BIA agency for details.
Albuquerque, NM 87104