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M.I. Volume Falls, Default Rise

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After five months of rising volume, mortgage insurers wrote 7 percent fewer policies last month. But when compared to the frenetic pace set earlier in the decade — monthly M.I. business is down by more than 90 percent. Defaults rose for the second consecutive month.

The number of mortgage insurance policies issued increased each month from January until June, when 28,160 certificates were issued by members of the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America.

But the trade group reported today that just 26,266 policies were written during July. A year earlier, the count was 33,481.

On a dollar basis M.I. volume was up each month from February to June, when $5.9 billion in policies were written. Last month’s policies written amounted to $5.8 billion. During the same month last year, $7.7 billion in mortgage insurance was written.

From Jan. 1 through July 31, mortgage insurance companies issued 155,398 policies for $33.7 billion. In contrast, during just the month of March 2003 — when record refinances hit the mortgage market — 266,862 mortgage insurance policies were written for $43.3 billion.

MICA members received 32,829 mortgage insurance applications in July, fewer than the previous month’s 34,342.

Primary insurance in force fell to $787.8 billion from $793.1 billion on June 30 and has been down each month since December 2009, when the balance was $952.2 billion and Radian Guaranty Inc. joined the suppliers of data.

Meanwhile, primary insurance defaults rose for the second straight month to 68,862 from June’s 65,792. Defaults were lower, however, than 94,571 in July 2009.

Primary insurance cures declined to 56,086 from 60,337 in June but were higher than 53,399 during July of last year.

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