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15 Percent Fewer Mortgage Dollars to Indians in 2014

Lenders extended about 15 percent fewer mortgage dollars to American Indians in 2014 than they did in 2013, federal data shows.

Lenders extended about 15 percent fewer mortgage dollars to American Indians in 2014 than they did in 2013, federal data shows. Purchases of mortgages made to Indians declined even further, by more than 20 percent.

Data lenders were required to submit to the government in 2014 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act show $3.4 billion in originations to Indians, down from $4 billion in 2013. The overall national market showed a decline last year, as well. Purchased mortgages, a key vehicle for increasing mortgage finance to Indians, dropped from $750 million purchased in 2013 to $410 million bought last year.

When an investor (such as agencies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae) buys a mortgage from a lender, that creates more money for a lender to re-lend and has the effect of driving mortgage volumes higher. Adding it together with the amount lenders actually loaned to borrowers gives the total picture of mortgage investment in a community. By this measure, total mortgage investment for Indians was $3.8 billion in 2014, down from $4.75 billion in 2013.

The data was collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and analyzed for Indian Country Today Media Network by LendingPatterns.com, a software developed by the McLean, Virginia-based ComplianceTech. HMDA data is collected by the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council and regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Continuing a trend in recent years, mortgage dollars going to Native Hawaiians was higher than money loaned to Indians. According to the data $4.2 billion was originated to Hawaiians, and another $450 million purchased. Combined, Indian and Native Hawaiians had $8.5 billion in mortgage loans and investments. (HMDA groups Alaska Natives in with Indians, and combines Natives of Pacific islands controlled by the U.S. (most notably Guam and American Samoa) with Native Hawaiians.

Indians received just about exactly 50 percent of the $6.7 billion in home finance they applied for. Nearly a quarter of the applications were denied, with the rest falling into categories like withdrawn, incomplete or rejected by applicant.

The biggest lender to Indians last year was Wells Fargo, at $257 million. It was followed by Quicken Loans, at $226 million, and MidAmerica Mortgage at $123 million. In all, 1,903 lenders extended credit to Indians last year, according to HMDA data.

One Indian-controlled bank, Bank2 of Oklahoma City, cracked the top 20. The bank, owned by the Chickasaw Nation, made $36.8 million in mortgages to Indians in 2014. Perhaps indicating an increase in lending to Native Alaskans, an Alaskan mortgage lender, Alaska USA Mortgage Co., hit the top five with lending of $79 million.

Wells Fargo and Quicken Loans were one and two for lending to Native Hawaiians last year. Wells’ volume was $282 million, while Quicken Loans’ was $202 million. Third was Bank of America at $160 million. Bank of Hawaii cracked the top 25 lenders, with $32 million. In all, 1,592 lenders extended home loan finance to Native Hawaiians last year.