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Private mortgage insurers write $3.7 billion worth of new policies in April

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As private mortgage insurers continue to fight for a future in the mortgage origination space, the industry is reporting that insurance firms wrote $3.691 billion in primary insurance on newly originated, conventional mortgages during the month of April. Mortgage Insurance Companies of America — which represents member firms such as Genworth Mortgage Insurance, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance, PMI Mortgage Insurance, Radian Guaranty and Republic Mortgage Insurance — said all of the firms had a total of $615.7 billion of primary insurance in force during the same month. During the same month-long period, about 17,400 borrowers used private mortgage insurance to buy or refinance a home, according to MICA. In addition, mortgage insurance companies received 20,733 insurance applications in April and reported 40,875 defaults as well as 43,362 cures. The mortgage insurance industry has continued to advocate for the proposed 'qualified residential mortgage' standard to include a role for private mortgage insurance. The current proposal does not create an exemption for private mortgage insurance when a borrower falls short of the proposed minimum standard. Instead, QRMs are defined narrowly, requiring a 20% down payment in the current proposed form. Standard & Poor's believes the rule as written will cut into the private mortgage insurers' business. Standard & Poor's credit analyst Ron Joas, said in a recent report "as the QRM definition is currently written, mortgage insurance is not included as a credit enhancement. Absent the GSE exemption, this would significantly limit the loans on which MIs could write mortgage insurance." Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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