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Record Low M.I. Volume, But Defaults Improve

Mortgage News

Just when it looked like mortgage insurance volume couldn’t fall any further — a new record was set. In addition, the balance of insured mortgages has dropped around $100 billion from a year ago. But new applications rose, suggesting an increase in upcoming volume, and defaults tumbled.

February volume was 14,924 policies for $3.6 billion, the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America reported today. The number of policies was higher than 14,378 in January, but the dollar volume fell from $4.2 billion. During February 2009, 56,210 policies were written for $8.5 billion.

The trade group noted that February figures reflected data submitted by MICA members Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Radian Guaranty Inc., Republic Mortgage Insurance Co. and United Guaranty Corp.

So far this year, 29,302 mortgage insurance policies have been written for $7.8 billion.

While last month’s mortgage insurance business was the lowest on record, applications picked up — signaling a potential increase in upcoming policy volume. February applications were 20,128, higher than January’s 19,438.

Primary insurance in force continued to descend — falling to $844.4 billion as of Feb. 28 from $851.0 billion one month earlier. A year earlier, insurance in force stood at $944.9 billion.

MICA said primary insurance defaults tumbled to 68,675 from 98,685 in January. Primary defaults were also lower than February 2009, when there were 89,722.

Primary insurance cures, meanwhile, increased to 80,758 from 61,195 a month earlier and 67,767 a year earlier.

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