Can a Bank Foreclose on Native American Land?

Mortgaged homes on Native American land may be foreclosed if the borrower fails to make the payments.

Question

I live on a reservation and have a mortgage loan on my home. If I stop making the payments, will I lose the property to foreclosure?

Answer

Yes, probably. If you live on Native American land and fail to make your mortgage payments, the lender may foreclose the property—but the process might be somewhat different than a typical foreclosure in your state. (Learn the key aspects of state foreclosure law where you live.)

Tribal courts generally have jurisdiction over lawsuits, including foreclosure lawsuits, against Native Americans. This means that a bank usually has to foreclose through tribal court. Though, that court might follow state foreclosure procedures. (Tribes sometimes adopt and incorporate the applicable state foreclosure statutes as part of their foreclosure ordinances.) However, the foreclosure might go through state court if there isn’t a tribal foreclosure law or if the tribal court doesn't review foreclosures.

Ultimately, whether your foreclosure will go through tribal court or state court depends on what type of land is involved—like trust land or fee simple land—and your tribe's laws. (To get a better understanding of foreclosures on Native American land, read Tribal Land Foreclosures.)

Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find foreclosure lawyers near you.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
FEATURED LISTINGS FROM NOLO
Swipe to view more
FACING FORECLOSURE ?

Talk to a Foreclosure attorney.

We've helped 75 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you