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Private M.I. Firms Gain on FHA

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While government mortgage insurance has gained market share over its private insuring rivals during the past year, the latest month was in favor of private mortgage insurance companies.

Activity wasn’t much changed for private mortgage insurers in September, with 32,554 policies issued for $7.0 billion in September, the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America reported. A month earlier, volume was 32,215 policies for $6.4 billion, while business also improved from September 2009, when the sector closed 22,768 in policies for $4.8 billion.

New MICA applications were mostly unchanged from August at 39,846.

While MICA’s reporting members — Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Radian Guaranty Inc., Republic Mortgage Insurance Co. and United Guaranty Corp. — provide mortgage insurance for conventional loans securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration provides mortgage insurance for loans that will wind up in Ginnie Mae securitizations.

FHA reported that endorsements declined to 126,326 mortgages for $24.4 billion in September from August, when 139,045 loans were endorsed for $25.9 billion. Since private insurers increased activity in September, they wound up with more market share.

But FHA gained ground based on its annual endorsements.

MICA’s members have generated 220,167 policies for $47.1 billion so far this year versus 376,019 policies for $66.2 billion at the same point last year — a 29 percent decline in dollar volume.

But FHA said its dollar volume during its fiscal year ended Sept. 30 was $318.8 billion, down just 12 percent from fiscal-year 2009.

Private mortgage insurance in force ended last month at $772.9 billion, lower than $780.3 billion on Aug. 31 and $892.7 billion last year at the same time.

Performance deteriorated, with primary insurance defaults rising to 65,481 from 63,882 last month. Defaults, however, were much better than 92,292 in September of last year.

Primary insurance cures declined to 57,720 from 58,094 a month earlier and 59,750 a year earlier.

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