Section 184 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions for the Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Program


Does ONAP require Borrowers to pay the current month’s mortgage payment due prior to disbursement on a Refinance transaction?

For all Refinance types, the Borrower must have made the payments for all mortgages secured by the subject property for the month due prior to closing. The current month payment may be made at closing. Please refer to Dear Lender Letter 2021-04 for all other requirements.

Example: If the Borrower is closing on April 5, they must have made the March payment within the month of March. The April payment must be paid at closing.

What is the Section 184 Loan Guarantee Program?

The Section 184 Loan Guarantee Program was created by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 to address the lack of mortgage lending in Indian Country. The 184 program offers a loan guarantee to private sector lenders who make mortgage loans to eligible borrowers for homes located in Indian Country.

Why is there a lack of mortgage lending in Indian country?

Much of the land in Indian Country is held in trust by the United States government for the benefit of a particular tribe or individual Native American. Land held in trust for a tribe cannot be mortgaged, and land held in trust for an individual must receive approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), before a lien is placed on the property. Without the ability to mortgage and foreclose on a home or place a lien on individual trust property, lenders were not willing to make home loans to individual Native Americans.

How does the Section 184 program correct the problem?

For a home loan on tribal trust land, the eligible individual borrower leases the land property from the tribe on a lease approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and by HUD to create a leasehold estate. It is the home and the leasehold interest in the homesite that are mortgaged so that in the event of a foreclosure the home and leasehold interest are what are foreclosed. The ownership of the land itself remains in trust for the tribe.

For a home loan on individual or "allotted" trust land, both HUD and the BIA must approve the loan applicant. In the event of a default by a borrower on a 184 guaranteed loan on either tribal or individual trust land, the lender or HUD can only pursue liquidation of the loan after offering to transfer the loan to an eligible tribal member, the tribe or the Indian Housing Authority serving the tribe. In the event of a foreclosure, the lender or HUD can not sell the property to anyone but an eligible tribal member, the tribe or the housing authority serving the tribe. Thus the unique status of the trust land is protected.

Is trust land the only land eligible for a Section 184 loan

No. Land located in an Indian area or Alaska Native area are eligible locations for a 184 guaranteed home loan. Fee simple lands within an approved Indian area are allowed under Section 184.  Check here to see a listing of State and Counties eligible for the Section 184 guaranteed home loan program.  If you don't see your county listed call, (800) 561-5913. 

US Map with number of loans to date

What must a tribe do to participate in the HUD 184 Loan Guarantee Program?

A tribe with tribal court jurisdiction over the property needs to have the following in place:

  • Foreclosure Procedures
  • Eviction Procedures
  • Procedures giving the HUD Guaranteed Loan first lien priority or otherwise ensuring that the guaranteed loan will be satisfied before all other property debts (except tribal taxes)
  • Ensure that HUD and/or private lenders have access to tribal lands for the purpose of servicing and evaluating guaranteed properties.
  • If there is tribal trust land, ensure acceptable lease is in place.
  • Understand that if eviction and foreclosure procedures are not enforced, the Department will cease making new loan guarantees within the tribe's area of jurisdiction

A copy of the ordinances/procedures, proposed lease and the tribal resolution enacting these ordinances/procedures should be mailed to:

Office of Loan Guarantee

HUD Office of Native American Programs

451 7th Street, Room 4108

Washington, D.C. 20410

or call 1-800-561-5913