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Private MI Activity Up Despite Concerns About Future

The number of borrowers using private mortgage insurance (MI) keeps going up, according to Friday's monthly statistics release from ""Mortgage Insurance Companies of America"":http://www.privatemi.com/news/statistics/detail.cfv?id=204 (MICA).


MICA's member companies â€" which include ""Genworth Mortgage Insurance"":http://mortgageinsurance.genworth.com/, ""Mortgage Guaranty Insurance"":http://www.mgic.com/, and ""Radian Guaranty"":http://www.radian.biz/page?name=HomePage â€" reported a total of $397.5 billion in primary insurance in force for August, an increase from $396.4 billion in July.

The total primary insurance in force received a boost from reported month-to-month increases in dollar volume, certificates issued, and applications.


MICA member companies reported a total $11.2 billion volume of new MI written on newly-originated conventional mortgage loans in August, a step up from $10.1 billion in July. Dollar volume on new insurance has risen steadily each month since the start of the year.

In addition, members estimated that 43,949 borrowers used private MI to buy or refinance a home during the month, continuing July's upward trend. Meanwhile, the number of private MI applications received was an estimated 46,891 in August, up from 42,229 a month prior.

MICA members also posted an increase in cures, reporting 20,612 during the month of August. The only statistic that fell from July was the number of defaults â€" 24,731 in August â€" indicating a positive trend among distressed mortgages.

The good news comes at a tempestuous time for an industry whose future is uncertain as guidelines evolve. ""Moody's announced"":http://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-continues-its-review-for-downgrade-of-Genworth-and-its--PR_256274 Friday it is continuing its review of Genworth and its MI companies that may result in a downgrade.

In its announcement, Moody's said it may confirm its current rating of Genworth's MI subsidiaries if the investors service sees an improvement in the rate of new delinquencies or cures and if a regulatory framework is provided that ""improves the market opportunity for private mortgage insurers.""