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Mortgage insurers write $4.8 billion in new business in June

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Private mortgage insurers, who are fighting for a place in the future mortgage finance space, wrote $4.8 billion in new insurance on mortgage loans originated in June, up from $3.92 billion in May. The Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MICA), which represents Genworth Mortgage Insurance (GNW), Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. (MTG), PMI Mortgage Insurance (PMI), Radian Guaranty (RDN) and Republic Mortgage Insurance Co., released the data Friday. Insurers under the MICA umbrella had $606.3 billion in primary mortgage insurance in force last month, down from $610.8 billion a month earlier. Insurers who are part of MICA received 28,214 applications for private mortgage insurance in June. Of that group, 24,161 borrowers ended up using private mortgage insurance to refinance or purchase a mortgage. During the same month, the companies also reported 45,573 defaults and 38,753 cures on troubled mortgages. The future of the private mortgage insurance business has been the subject of much speculation this year. While some analysts came to the defense of mortgage insurers saying insolvency in the short-term is unlikely, they did discuss some of the liquidity pressures that are currently challenging the firms. Second-quarter earnings from some of the players represented by MICA suggest defaults on older business is still a challenge. This past week, private mortgage insurer MGIC Investment Corp. swung to a second-quarter loss of $151.7 million, or 75 cents a share, as the company reported fewer cured loans and paid more claims on mortgages that fell into distress. Meanwhile, Genworth Financial reported a net loss of $96 million, or 20 cents per share, in the second quarter, more than double the $42 million lost one year ago. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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