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Chickasaws, Fannie Mae turn tribal members into homeowners

ADA, Okla. ? The Chickasaw Nation, Fannie Mae and First Mortgage Company have joined forces in an effort to assist its citizens in becoming homeowners, the tribal government recently announced.

The new partnership will help members of the Chickasaw Nation obtain access to flexible mortgage products and will enable them to get loan decisions in minutes via the Fannie Mae Desktop Originator? on the web. The partnership is one of the first between a tribe and the mortgage providers. First Mortgage, one of the leaders in home loans across Indian Country, introduced the Desktop Originator on the Internet in 2001. Currently First Mortgage is providing services to tribes in more than a dozen states.

Chickasaw Governor Bill Anoatubby said, "This new partnership with Fannie Mae and First Mortgage Company is exciting because it will allow us to offer an even higher level of services to Chickasaw citizens in Oklahoma and expand the program to our citizens across the United States."

"Homeownership is a very high priority for our administration, and the expansion of this program will bring us closer to our goal of helping all Chickasaw citizens meet their housing needs," Anoatubby added.

In addition to the new services, Chickasaw Nation members will also be offered the option of the tribe's own Chuka Chukmasi (Beautiful Home) mortgage through the Desktop Originator. The Chuka Chukmasi program was laun ched in 1988 and is currently a collaborative effort between PMI Mortgage Insurance Company, the Chickasaw Nation and First Mortgage. It provides low down payment and flexible home loans for Chickasaws.

The new options are expected to make home ownership more obtainable for tribal members by using an automated underwriting system. Lenders review information provided by potential borrowers on the system in an attempt to provide unbiased and speedy loan recommendations.

"Families served by the Chickasaw Nation Division of Housing had long been expressing their need for a more efficient, streamlined mortgage loan process that would get them into homes faster," said First Mortgage Chairman Ron McCord. "We're pleased to give them access to technology that significantly reduces the waiting period and helps families realize their dreams sooner than they ever thought possible."

The partnership is part of a five year, $4 million investment plan that is part of Fannie Mae's HouseOklahoma, an investment plan designed to help more than 58,000 Oklahomans get into affordable housing.

HouseOklahoma is just a small part of the agency's $2 trillion program called American Dream CommitmentSM to increase homeownership to minorities and other groups that lag in the national rate of homeownership.

"Fannie Mae is strongly committed to providing affordable mortgage financing to Native American populations throughout the United States," said Lorrie Davis, deputy director of Fannie Mae's Oklahoma Partnership Office. "First Mortgage and PMI share the same vision and have partnered with us to give Native American families access to the best, most flexible mortgage products Fannie Mae has to offer," she added.

For more information, tribal members may call the Chickasaw Nation Division of Housing at (580) 421-8856. 499 words Chickasaw Nation and Fannie Mae.