A Borrowing Guide for Tribal Members a Valuable ToolJuly 2, 2015
Obtaining a loan to build, purchase, rehabilitate, refinance, or get a home equity loan on tribal trust land can be a complex transaction. In the past, tribal members were dependent on tribal housing counselors and their knowledge because informational materials did not exist.
That changed in 2009 when two leaders of the New Mexico Tribal Homeownership Coalition, Eric Schmieder and Marvin Ginn, and Ariel Cisneros of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, created A Borrowing Guide for Tribal Members.
The guide quickly gained acceptance and has been used across the country to assist tribal members. Tina Pollard, consumer lending manager for the Citizen Potowatami Community Development Corp., says she is excited to use the borrowing guide with her clients.
“The guide is especially helpful in one-on-one credit counseling sessions with potential homeowners,” says Pollard. “Before I had the guide I would write down the main points for a client. The guide saves me time because it already has the information compiled. I’ve also shared it with our real estate department which also works with tribal members.”
Schmieder, tribal specialist with the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority and coordinator for the New Mexico Tribal Homeownership Coalition, is a longtime supporter of housing on tribal communities and recognizes A Borrowing Guide for Tribal Members as a great tool to assist the communities.
Ginn, executive director of Native Community Finance, a Native CDFI, works with tribal members throughout New Mexico and has used the Guide in his training sessions. He said its gives tribal members a sense of how to proceed with a loan and which departments they need to work through within their tribal organization and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Ginn uses it with his homebuyer classes and when members visit his office to ask about a mortgage.