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Bright Spot in Indian Mortgages: Indian-Owned Banks

Are there any bright spots in the annual federal mortgage data that track home loan finance for American Indians?

Is there any good new in the annual federal mortgage data that tracks home loan finance for American Indians? There is, but you have to go looking for it.

Previous articles in this series have shown that Indians have been underrepresented for 2014 mortgages wherever they have been looked for—in national, state and county data. But some banks owned or controlled by Indians give Natives loans in percentages well above their approximately two percent of the population. They include Bank2, Oklahoma City (Chickasaw Nation), Bay Bank, Green Bay, Wisconsin (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin) and Lumbee Guarantee Bank, Pemberton, North Carolina (started by members of the Lumbee Nation).

Bank2 is the largest Native-owned financial institution in mortgages to Indians by quite a bit. According to data for 2014 submitted to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council under the federally mandated Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Bank2 made $38 million in home loans to Indians in 2014. That ranks it among the top 20 in mortgages to Indians in the country. It made more than half (220 out of 426) of its total mortgages to Indians.

Bay Bank was the second largest Native-owned bank in volume of mortgages to Indians at $8.4 million. Sixty-three of its 88 mortgages in 2014 were to Indians, or more than 70 percent.

Taking the bronze was Lumbee Guarantee, at $6.2 million in mortgages made to Indians. It made 86 out of its 192 mortgages to Indians in 2014, or 45 percent.

Some Indian-owned or controlled credit unions made mortgages to Indians in significant percentages, as well. South Metro Federal Credit Union, Prior Lake, Minnesota, which was sponsored by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota on the original charter, made 15 percent of its mortgages to Indians (although it made just $1.7 million in total mortgages). Many credit unions are smaller than the $43 million asset size HMDA limit, and therefore do not report their data.

The data was collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and analyzed by LendingPatterns.com, a software developed by the McLean, Virginia-based ComplianceTech.

How about cities where Indians make up a sizable percentage of residents? Here the result is the same as with states and counties, with Natives underrepresented. Anchorage is 12.4 percent Native according to an ICTMN 2013 list of municipalities with the highest percentages of Native people. About 4.8 percent of mortgages, $88 million in total, went to Natives last year in Alaska’s biggest city.

Tulsa is about 9.2 percent Native, but just 3.6 percent of mortgage dollars went to Indians in 2014 ($56 million), HMDA data show. Also in Oklahoma, Norman is 8.1 percent Native but just 2.5 percent of mortgage funds, $13.2 million, went to Natives. Oklahoma City is 6.3 percent Native, but only 2.3 percent of mortgages there, $69 million, were for Natives.

Billings, Montana is six percent Native, but just 1.2 percent of approved applications for $8.7 million were made to Natives. Albuquerque also has six percent Native population, but just 1.1 percent in Native apps was funded, for $23 million, according to the HMDA data.