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How to Apply for a Trust Land Mortgage Approval

The Bureau of Indian Affairs reviews and approves mortgages on trust or restricted land.

You can apply for a trust land mortgage by submitting a mortgage package to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) agency with jurisdiction over the land to be mortgaged.

What You Need

If you would like to apply for a mortgage on trust or restricted land for which you have sole ownership, begin by reaching out to a mortgage lender.

How to Apply

By Mail

After agreeing to mortgage terms, work with your lender to compile a mortgage package to submit to the BIA agency with jurisdiction over the land to be mortgaged. All included documents should be originals or certified copies.

Required Documents

A trust land mortgage package must contain the following documents:

  1. Commitment letter stating loan terms and conditions, as well as the loan purpose (rehab, new construction, refinance, consolidation, or purchase).

  2. Borrower's application.

  3. Lender's appraisal.

  4. Legal land description or survey.

  5. Signed BIA disclosure statement, which explains how the trust or restricted land will be transferred in the case of foreclosure.

  6. Draft deed of trust and promissory note.

  7. Proof of employment.

Additional Documents

In addition to the documents above, the following should be included if they are applicable to the trust land mortgage:

  1. Satisfaction of previous mortgage, when applying for refinancing.

  2. Authorization to share information with the BIA.

  3. Right-of-way or a local ingress/egress if the mortgage is on a landlocked parcel.

  4. Statement that the borrower is not delinquent on federal debt, if participating in the Housing and Urban Development Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program (Section 184).

  5. Certified title status report, if not already included in package.

Next Steps

The goal of the BIA is to review and respond to trust land mortgage packages in writing within 30 business days. If the BIA is not able to respond within 30 days, the borrower and lender will be notified in writing.

During the review process, the BIA will request an environmental review on the land to be mortgaged in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This NEPA review may take the form of an environmental assessment, an environmental impact statement, or designating the land as a categorical exclusion.

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