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Another Bank with Issues: Introducing USAA's Mortgage Program

Another Bank with Issues: Introducing USAA's Mortgage Program

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By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent

The topic of the last article I wrote and syndicated was inconsistencies with home loan financing. It featured Bank of America and Homesteps and Homepath, the FHA home loan programs. Now the spotlight has shifted to USAA mortgages.

As a real estate agent in the Williamsburg, Virginia market for nearly a decade, I have ample experience with mortgage companies and banks. This is not the first time my clients had issues with USAA.

Recently, I had a homebuyer who was purchasing a short sale. USAA promised a low interest rate, which motivated the buyer to use their home loan services. Two weeks prior to closing USAA became very demanding, and my client had to jump thru hoops to get the loan done. This was a professional couple with a very high credit score. They could have taken their home purchase to any mortgage company or bank. Why do the banks continue to scrutinize even the best borrowers?

Now, it is time for the icing on the cake. My current client is using USAA after a bad start with -- OH YES -- the infamous Bank of America (who I might add holds the paper on several of his loans). Bank of America informed him eight days from closing they could not do the loan. The homebuyer had to search for another lender a week before closing. In the beginning, I recommended he use another lender, not USAA. I cited examples of local mortgage lenders who had clients come back to them in tears after treatment at the hands of USAA employees.

Did you know one small mark on someone's credit can become a large issue these days when applying for a mortgage? This is ridiculous! The USAA loan officer working on this particular loan was Laura Perez. She blames underwriting for not making the loan -- though I am inclined to think it is her. USAA is hung up over a $187.00 bill that my client disputed and is awaiting an answer on.

Laura Perez or the underwriter at USAA does not like the way the bill says paid in full. My client sent Perez two statements on this small bill that had been paid. “The document I sent yesterday is the new "Paid in Full" document, which doesn't say, "releases me of all debt, etc." noted my client.

In essence, this home purchase is stuck in limbo now, over a $187 bill. Until the credit issue drops from this client's record, USAA will not finalize a loan. According to Laura Perez, “That's not in my control. And, it can take 45 days before I can even continue.” Perez also requested documentation that my client has provided.

Here is the startling information. This bill and credit dispute began four years ago. This client purchased two investment properties in Williamsburg and the credit dispute was not an issue for these closings. Why is it an issue now, with USAA?

This homebuyer is a solid investor, and a good client. I manage two homes for my client here in Williamsburg. He also owns another home out-of-state that he had to rent due to the market and relocation by his employer.

As a last resort, I have emailed Laura Perez and requested to speak to her supervisor. It is no surprise that I have not heard back, and that no information is forthcoming. This home loan is now hung up. It is truly just another example of banking bureaucracy.

If we examine the examples carefully, it is obvious that the inability of the banks and mortgage companies to push loans for qualified buyers through in a timely manner has helped to slow down the real estate market considerably. Until the lenders either staff up with qualified employees or apply consistent formulas and rules to loan applications, this financial quagmire we are currently in may take some time to dissipate.