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States with most Indians have dismal mortgage percentages

WASHINGTON - Local lenders' records of making mortgages to American Indians
in states where they make up a significant portion of the population remain
dismal, federal data shows.

New Mexico and South Dakota registered just half of 1 percent of mortgage
lending by in-state institutions, according to 2003 Home Mortgage
Disclosure Act data, despite having 11 percent and 9.2 percent Native
populations respectively according to the 2002 U.S. Census estimate.

Mortgages by big national lenders are not broken down by state, and so
these by-state volumes by race are limited to local lenders.

Alaska (19 percent Native) and Oklahoma (11 percent) weren't much better,
coming in at 2.5 percent and 1.4 percent of local mortgage volumes to
Natives last year. Hawaii also has a large Native population, but the HMDA
data lump in Native Hawaiians with Asians, making it impossible to break
out Native volume separately.

In New Mexico, $23.7 million in mortgages were made to Indians last year,
about .55 percent of the total of $4.3 billion. The largest local lender
was Charter Bank of Albuquerque, which made $7.5 million in loans to Native
people. Second was Los Alamos National Bank, Los Alamos, at $3.3 million,
and third was Suburban Mortgage Co. of Albuquerque, at $2.7 million.

The 2003 volume of $23.7 million is $6.6 million more than the $17.1
million loaned by New Mexico financial institutions to Indians in 2002.

In South Dakota, an anemic $6.7 million of $1.6 billion in total mortgages
made by in-state lenders last year went to Indians. That's less than half a
percent of lending. In 2002, South Dakota lenders made $5.5 million in
Native mortgages.

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Just three lenders made more than $1 million in mortgages to American
Indians last year, HMDA data shows. They were Great Western Bank,
Watertown, Dacotah Bank, Aberdeen, and Black Hills Federal Credit Union,
Rapid City.

In Alaska, state lenders made $72.1 million in loans to Indians or Alaska
Natives in 2003. That's 2.5 percent of a state total of $2.8 billion.
Lending to Natives increased from $58.8 million in 2002.

Three lenders made more than $10 million in loans to Natives in 2003. They
were Alaska USA Mortgage Co., Anchorage, at $20.5 million, First National
Bank of Alaska, Anchorage, $17.3 million, and Residential Mortgage Co.,
Anchorage, $15.8 million.

In Oklahoma, in-state lenders extended $160 million in mortgage credit to
Indians. That's 1.4 percent of a statewide total of $11.3 billion. That was
up from $114 million in 2002.

Bank of Oklahoma, Tulsa, led the group, with $30 million. Three other
in-state lenders made more than $10 million in Native mortgages last year -
Midfirst Bank of Oklahoma City at $14 million, Advest Mortgage Co. of Tulsa
at $10.8 million, and Bancfirst of Oklahoma City, $10.4 million.

More than 8,000 lenders reported $4.7 trillion of home loans to the Federal
Financial Institutions Examination Council for 2003 as required by HMDA.
Total American Indian/Alaska Native volume was $14 billion, or about one
third of one percent of the national total.

Nearly 20 percent of all borrowers did not report their race or ethnicity
last year, however, meaning the Native total must be higher than reported.