The average loan to New Mexico Indians on first liens was $147,000, while for subordinate liens (such as home equity) it was $31,000.

States With Highest Percentage of Indians Shorted on Mortgages

Mark Fogarty

American Indians in the two states with Native populations of more than 10 percent continued to get a much lower percentage of mortgages than their representation in those states in 2014.

In New Mexico, where the Census Bureau in 2012 estimated more than 10 percent of the population to be Native, just 1.4 percent of mortgage dollars went to Indians, federal data show.

Indians in New Mexico were extended $74 million in home loan finance during 2014, according to data lenders filed under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. A total of $5.5 billion in mortgages was made in the state by lenders with more than $43 million in assets (financial institutions with lower assets than that are exempt from filing). An additional $12 million went to Native Hawaiians.

Only 36 percent of total Indian applications of $205 million were funded. About 39 percent were denied and the rest went unfunded for reasons like incomplete application or application withdrawn.

The average loan to New Mexico Indians on first liens was $147,000, while for subordinate liens (such as home equity) it was $31,000. Not many Indians got loans for more than the “conforming” (eligible to be bought by agencies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) limit of $417,000. Just $3.2 million (4.3 percent) went for “jumbo” mortgages higher than $417,000.

Manufactured housing loans counted for 13 percent of mortgage lending to New Mexico Indians in 2014, the data show. The rest went for one- to-four-family mortgages. There was no finance extended to buildings with more than four residential units.

Bank of Oklahoma, which has a New Mexican subsidiary, Bank of Albuquerque, was the lead lender to Indians in the state in 2014, at $5.5 million. A pair of mortgage firms come in second and third, MidAmerica Mortgage at $4.4 million and 21st Mortgage Corp. at $4.2 million.

In Alaska, which is about 15 percent Native according to the Census Bureau, Native Americans (Indians and Alaska Natives) got $181 million or 5.33 percent of mortgage dollars extended in 2014. Native Hawaiians received an additional $23 million in mortgages.

Alaska Natives had a much higher rate of approvals than in New Mexico, some 63 percent of the $290 million they applied for. Just 13 percent of application dollars applied for were denied.

Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration made up 60 percent of loans to Alaska Natives. The next highest category, non-government loans, accounted for 27 percent of volume while loans insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs were at 11 percent.

Three quarters of the finance went to purchase homes, with the rest for refinancings and home improvements. Almost all mortgages made to Natives in Alaska last year were for under $417,000, and almost all went for one-to-four family homes.

First-lien loan amounts were higher for Natives in higher-cost Alaska than in New Mexico, with an average mortgage of $239,000. Subordinate lien loans averaged $24,000.

Alaska USA Mortgage Co. was first in Native mortgage lending in the state, at $73 million, while Residential Mortgage was second at $45 million, and Wells Fargo third at $20 million.

The data was collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and analyzed for Indian Country Today Media Network by, a software developed by the McLean, Virginia-based ComplianceTech.

According to the Census Bureau, there are two other states that have just under 10 percent Indian population, Oklahoma and South Dakota, at about nine percent apiece. Hawaii has 10 percent Native Hawaiian population.

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