Indian Affairs Mortgage Handbook

U.S. Department of the Interior: Bureau of Indian Affairs

The purpose of this handbook is to provide guidance to BIA staff for processing leasehold and trust land mortgages on trust or restricted land; specifically, how to review and analyze a mortgage loan request from a lender using a minimum, streamlined, and standardized process. The handbook contains checklists, templates, and other documents to assist staff throughout this process. All references to “days” within this handbook are calendar days, not business days. Additionally, all references to “Agency” and “Region” within this handbook are to the applicable BIA Agency and/or Region. The following items will be addressed in more detail in the following pages:

  • Mortgage documents required from the lender
  • Requesting a certified Title Status Report (TSR)
  • Process for reviewing & approving leasehold and trust land mortgages
  • Completion of the BIA checklist for the required documents
  • Review of the lender’s appraisal
  • Reviewing certified TSRs for land status and encumbrances
  • Preparing the Regional Director’s (RD) or Agency Superintendent’s Decision Letter
  • Recording process in Land Titles and Records Office (LTRO)
  • Actions taken in the event of defaults and foreclosure

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs. "Indian Affairs: Mortgage Handbook 52 IAM 4-H" July 15, 2019. Handbook. (, accessed July 21, 2023)

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