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Mortgage Insurers Step Up New Business Again

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New policies written by private mortgage insurers have been on the rise for four consecutive months now, and the latest data suggests that another monthly gain is ahead. But the news wasn’t quite as good for defaults on existing policies.

Mortgage insurance policies were issued on 35,431 conventional mortgages for $8.658 billion during May by members of the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America.

Business increased from April, when MICA members insured 30,575 loans for $7.109 billion. Activity has risen each month since January, when 21,904 policies were issued for $4.9680 billion.

Volume likely continued higher this month based on new mortgage insurance applications, which increased to 38,355 in May from 33,013 in April.

Data reflects activity from MICA members Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. and Radian Guaranty Inc.

Mortgage insurance activity has accelerated from May 2011, a month that saw 20,032 policies issued for $3.922 billion. The improvement was even more impressive when considering that the year-earlier numbers included business from former MICA members PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. and Republic Mortgage Insurance Co.

From Jan. 1 through the end of May, 142,869 policies were written for $32.869 billion.

The runoff continued with primary insurance in force, which declined to $395.582 billion as of May 31 from $395.677 billion a month earlier. A year earlier, when PMI’s and Republic’s numbers were still included, primary insurance in force was $610.843 billion.

Primary insurance defaults climbed last month to 23,687 from April’s 22,569. The May 2011 total, which is distorted by the inclusion of the two former MICA members, was 44,853 defaults.

Primary insurance cures declined to 18,397 in May from 20,678 the previous month.

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