By Schulz, Matt
American Banker , Vol. 161, No. 99
With a recent Justice Department lawsuit focusing attention on the issue, a regulator has produced a video showing how to lend to Native Americans on Indian reservations.
"Lending in Indian Country: Cultural and Legal Issues" was released last week by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The goal of the five-video set, which includes a manual, is to teach banks how to make loans on reservations and how to settle disputes with reservation residents who default.
The videos should help compliance officers make sense of the rules governing loans on reservations. That can be difficult because tribal regulations override some state and federal laws. Thus, banks often have trouble foreclosing on a home or repossessing a car when a reservation borrower fails to make payments.
In the video, Mark A. Jarboe, a partner in the Minneapolis law firm of Dorsey & Whitney, explains that banks can make lending much easier simply by consulting with tribal officials who know the rules.
"It's basically a case of needing to get people to talk with one another more," Mr. Jarboe says in the video.
To help bankers do that, the manual lists names, phone and fax numbers, and addresses of tribal courts and chairmen nationwide. …