BIA Contact Guide Comments
All lending on trust lands must pass through the Bureau of Indian Affairs for review and processing. For homeownership, the BIA is a vital partner to supporting tribal and individual efforts to creating homeownership possibilities in their communities. The BIA Contact Guide for Mortgage Lending covers the mortgage production’s four primary phases: 1. Origination 2. Processing 3. Underwriting and 4. Closing.
One of the primary bottlenecks in this process involves the processing of the Certified Title Status Report (TSR). The “Certified” TSR is the central legal document required in all mortgage loan processes to ensure clear title and lien position both prior to loan closing and post loan closing. At the Mortgage Lending Convening last September, many of you voiced the concern that it often takes 60+ days (and in some cases years) to process this TSR. Many potential homebuyers lose interest and become discouraged with the long wait time and their chance at homeownership is not realized.
Lynn Trujillo, leader of the Leasing and Title committee under Lending Systems, prepared comments in March 2017 and submitted them to the BIA Realty and Land, Titles, and Records Offices in Washington, D.C. With the help of Lending Systems Working Group members, the NNHC was able to make a number of practical recommendations that, if put into practice, will result in better training for BIA Reality and LTRO staff, industry training in how to reduce common errors in processing time, an online portal with tracking features, and escalation procedures for TSRs past a reasonable timeframe.
We are now waiting for the BIA’s response in how some of these recommendations will be applied. Stay tuned!