Mortgage insurance business slightly higher in February

Members of trade group Mortgage Insurance Companies of America wrote $5.4 billion of primary new insurance in February, up from $5 billion in January and $4.2 billion from February 2011, the group said Friday.

The members, who include Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation, and Radian Guaranty Inc., posted number for primary insurance in force was $397.7 billion, which is down from $399.2 in January and down greatly from $625,764.7 the February before. 

February’s cure to default ration was 113.5%, that’s up from January’s 80.9% ratio and slightly up from February of last year, when the rate sat at 112.2%, continuing the trend of February, March and April seeing cure to default ratios of above 100%, which is not so for the rest of the year.

The Federal Housing Administration will increase its insurance premiums April 9.

But already, the FHA insurance premiums have risen significantly over the past 18 months, according to Genworth Financial, increasing a mortgage payment by $95 a month for borrowers at or above 95% loan-to-value ratios.

While many mortgage insurers are operating under state capital ratio waivers, some claim they are ready to take over market share from the FHA.

“Private mortgage insurance is more competitive than ever with FHA, and is well-positioned to take on new risk,” according to statement from Genworth Financial. “By contrast, the FHA is dealing with an unprecedented increase in delinquencies and defaults, and this precarious financial position suggests that FHA may continue to increase costs for FHA loans.”

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