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Prior to the founding of Hobbs Straus, Jerry Straus was lead Washington, D.C. counsel in the first large scale case for the restoration of historic Indian land – the restoration of the 48,000 acre Blue Lake lands to the Taos Pueblo.

General Memorandum 12-128

General Memorandum 12-128
Community Development Financial Institutions Fund Seeks Comments on Design of New Native American Lending Study

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund in a November 30, 2012, FEDERAL REGISTER notice (attached) is seeking comments from Indian Country on the design of a new study on Native Americans' access to capital and credit. The report which will be produced from this study is intended to provide Indian Country, the Treasury Department, and Members of Congress with actionable recommendations for improving access to capital and credit in Native communities. Webcasts will be held on January 15 and 17, 2013, to discuss the design of the study. Comments are due by February 28, 2013.

The CDFI Fund was established by Congress in 1994 in order to promote economic revitalization and community development through the provision of low cost capital to underserved and distressed communities. The CDFI Fund produced the first Native American Lending Study (NALS) in 2001 and believes that the study should be updated. The original NALS was designed to: provide a baseline of information on access to capital and credit in Native communities, identify barriers to private financing, analyze the impact on access to capital and to credit for Native people, and provide options to address these barriers.

The CDFI Fund is particularly interested in comments relating to the how the new NALS should be designed to best capture "emerging trends, innovative concepts, and promising solutions that could significantly improve capital access and the availability and quality of credit in Native communities" as well as identifying data elements from the original NALS that were particularly useful to tribes and tribal financial organizations.

Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund's solicitation of comments on the design of the new Native American Lending Study or if we may be of assistance submitting comments.

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Inquiries may be directed to:
Charlie Hobbs (
Moriah O'Brien (

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