USAA Mortgage fails at both service and substance

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Contributor
USAA has provided me excellent customer service in commercial banking matters, so it has been especially shocking and disappointing to deal with them in mortgage matters. The story in brief: My wife and I bought our house in April, 2014, and the house appraised for slightly more than that then. We decided, a year later, to have the PMI removed from our loan. We ordered an appraisal through USAA, but the appraisal valued our house at 11% less than the original one the year before. (No, neither the house nor the housing market has collapsed in the interim.) The appraiser lazily used the house next door as the sole comparable, which is bad enough, but she included the basement of that house in her calculation and excluded ours (both are beautifully finished and deserve to be included in the square footage). Thus, the appraisal said our house was less valuable than the one next door, despite our house being some 30% larger. The mistake is obvious, but it has taken me months of phone calls and letters, both to USAA and to Dovenmuehle Mortgage ("DMI"), USAA's loan servicer, to get a decision on it, only to be told by DMI that USAA thinks, essentially, that the appraisal is good enough for their purposes (i.e. not removing the PMI) and they don't want to deal with it any further. I have placed a call to USAA's mortgage team directly (I spoke to Melissa, who was refreshingly frank and honest), and I look forward to hearing from Teresa within the next 48 hours, but the run-around I've been given on this up to now is totally unacceptable. I have spent more hours than I can count trying to get this situation resolved, and USAA knows this (they record everything, right?); they just don't care enough to put any effort into it. Any thinking adult could compare the prior appraisal with the more recent one and see something was wrong with the more recent one, but no thinking adults have actually thought about this issue. Making me go through DMI, who do not make the decisions and who have no incentive to represent my interests with USAA's decision-makers, and trying to hide behind DMI in telling me my claim is rejected without any colorable attempt at an explanation of the decision, is absolutely unacceptable for a company that claims to value its customers so much. This ordeal may end up being a blessing in disguise, though: if USAA is unwilling to order a new appraisal to correct the first one, we will refinance with another company (I've already made inquiries with several lenders, at least one of which does not farm out its mortgages) at a substantially lower rate. Regardless, I am extremely unhappy with USAA's decision not to make its mortgage team available to its customers and to force them to expend valuable time and resources on something that should have been cleared up easily.

9 REPLIES

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Well said! USAA has recently switched to American Express for mortgage loans. The end result is that after Jan 1st,2016 I will be moving all of my accounts to Navy Federal Credit Union. I refuse to allow UDAA to profit from the absymal customer service I have received during the loan process.
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AASuited,

 

Thank you for your feedback and commenting here in Community. I have passed this along to our mortgage department, and they will be reaching out to you. Thank you.

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As my initial post says, Melissa assured me yesterday that Teresa would be calling me within 48 hours of our phone conversation. I look forward to speaking to Teresa.
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I have to agree that from the outside looking in, the service you have received is not up to the standard that is expected by members like us, however, if USAA does what they have stated and posted, this may clear up both the appraisal situation AND the less than acceptable customer service that you and others have experienced. I sincerely hope that you receive an outcome that you are satisfied with and that USAA follows through with correcting the customer service standards for its customer base. After all, customer service has all but disappeared in today's society and the companies that are providing great customer service are the ones that stand out and are promoted via word of mouth due to HIGH SATISFACTION from customers. Those companies retain customers and build their customer base even if the rates are a little higher or the benefits aren't as great. People want to be able to trust and believe in the product and the people. Hopefully USAA chooses to embody that sentiment moving forward. Well done Sir.
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I have to agree. I've been with USAA for 25 years and never had any complaints until I tried (and still trying) to refinance my home loan. My parents, USAA members for over 50 years, warned me that it was a nightmare when they refinanced their home but unfortunately I didn't take their advice. At this moment I am on hold on the phone AGAIN. I can't access my Document Center to Esign documents and it says to contact customer service but gives NO contact information. Not an email, not a phone number, nothing. So I called the USAA mortgage center as I have numerous times during this process and I've not been on the phone for 38:21 minutes while someone tries to figure this out. And they can't get me in contact with my assigned mortgage person because there is no phone number for her. I was originally supposed to close on this loan no later than Dec. 3...today!! But due to the complete lack of organization and the unbelievable lack of accurated contact information I may not even close before my locked in percentage rate is no longer locked in. I will say that everyone I've spoken with (and believe me, I've spoken to many, many people at USAA) has been very courteous however my patience runs out when each call involves me being passed to 15 different people and taking up literally hours for each call.

 

I didn't take the advice not to refinanace through USAA but I will be sure to let anyone else know that they are better off either going with another bank or just paying the extra money each month at their current rate.

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bdoug,

 

Thank you for taking the time to provide your comment here in Community. I have passed this over to the mortgage department, and they will be reaching out to you in regards to your concerns. Thank you.

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Wow!!!! It's times like these that we have to wonder.... ARE THEY LISTENING!?!?!?!? Are they READING these posts?!?!?!? It doesn't appear so but it is my sincere hope that they will and that they will react accordingly. We will see, and we will take our money and business elsewhere if they don't. Be well fellow Veterans. We who have written a blank check paid to the USA for the sum of and TO INCLUDE our very lives, deserve better than this.
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Thank you SO VERY MUCH Angela!! It feels good to know that the concerns are being heard, read and responded to as well as action being taken to address them. Thank you again Angela. :-)
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Absolutely, Mr. Man! That is our job and we are more than happy to do so. Have a great weekend.