I agree, that and I have recieved three different responses (2 of which i am assuming are the same in nature) I was given as to why they are not offering them at this time.
1. Due to system transitioning (which I believe is due to #2)
2. Due to Regulations which have come down through the Frank Dodd Act
3. Due to low interest rates, they have a high volume of loans currently being requested
I just wish they would get their story straight and give a timeframe. I don't want to go somewhere else for this, I would prefer to stay with USAA for our loan, as we have had fantastic service over the past 20+ years that we have been with them. However the communication being provided on this is absolutely ridiculous.
Thank you for your question. Yes, we will be expanding these options at a later date, unfortunately, at this moment, there is not a concrete date. We are working diligently to have these products available again later this year.
I was just told on the phone by a USAA representative and the representative's supervisor that USAA "now only issues a pre-qualification" and no longer issues pre-approvals. When I inquired how a mortgage bank could possibly do business without issuing pre-approvals, I was given the most non-sensical answer I ever have heard in 25+ years of buying real estate. To paraphrase, "The process is the same as for a pre-approval but under the new policy we still call it a pre-qualification." I asked why they would do a pre-approval process but only issue a document titled "pre-qualification," I was told that USAA's *legal department* determiend there was "no impact on USAA's customers." The USAA legal department obviously has never been in the market for a short-sale or pre-forclosure home in the Atlanta market where one does not even get a return phone call from the seller wihtout having sent a pre-approval in advance.
There have been references made on here, and in my conversations today with the representative and the supervisor, about "the system being inadequate." This suggests to me that USAA is burying its head in the sand regarding Dodd-Frank rules at the expense (figuratively and literally) of its members.
For anyone considering a mortgage with USAA that thinks a pre-qualification is enough, I refer you to Housing Wire's excellent article on the shift away from accepting pre-qualifications by sellers: http://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/dodd-frank-mortgage-shift-pre-qualify-pre-approval. One of the key statements in that article reads, "These new regulations [Dodd-Frank[ are making sellers leery of pre-qualifications and are causing them to demand pre-approvals, an actual credit approval decision, instead."
If USAA cannot function as a viable mortgage bank (which to me includes issuing pre-approvals actually labeled "pre-approval" -- something the smallest and least sophisticated credit union i my community can do) then I have to question why on earth I should have confidence in doing business with USAA at all across any line of business.
I have asked for a conversaion with a corporate representative (meaning not someone who works in the mortgage department) to try and address that very question. I have never given a thought to leaving the USAA family before, but this nonsense certainly has me starting to wonder.
Update: I received a voicemail message from a USAA Member Advocate indicating she is researching the impact of pre-qualification versus pre-approval on purchases of short-sale and pre-foreclosure properties. I am not a speculative real-estate investor -- the pre-approval I am seeking is to purchase a nicer home for my family. I would hate to miss this oppotunity to provide a nicer home for my family. Isn't making such things possible for its members exactly why USAA offers mortgage banking services?
I am hopeful to see some resolution here soon. I will provide further updates as the Member Advocate completes her research and provides a response.
In the interim and to facilitate that research, I refer readers and USAA to Freddie Mac's excellent FAQ on how to buy short sale properties at http://www.freddiemac.com/purchasemarket/ssfaq.html#d5, and specifically to item #3 in that FAQ:
What should be included when an offer is submitted?
The purchase contract that the buyer and the seller sign.
[Emphasis in italics is mine.]
If this is true, then it is time to move to Navy Federal. My disabled husband and myself just got told to get USAA's preapproval before we could gain access to the home we are interested in (handicap accessible). We live in a paid for mobile home but now require a ground level residence.
I too am very disappointed in USAA for discontinuing this valuable service to veterans and service members on active duty.