MGIC streamlines PMI approvals

Inman News

The nation's largest private mortgage insurer is making it easier to process the applications of borrowers who have been approved through the automated underwriting systems of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Milwaukee, Wis.-based Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) is the principal subsidiary of MGIC Investment Corporation.

Under the company's new underwriting program, MGIC Go!, loans that have received an "Approve" response from Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter or an "Accept" response from Freddie Mac Loan Prospector and meet certain requirements beyond those of Fannie or Freddie are automatically eligible for MGIC mortgage insurance.

Those requirements, known as overlays, include maximum loan-to-value ratios, maximum loans amounts, and minimum credit scores, depending on the loan. Borrowers must follow the company's application requirements.

"MGIC Go! simplifies the process and fits into our customers' daily operations," Sal Miosi , MGIC vice president of marketing, in a statement. "MGIC Go! allows our company to insure quality loans by exercising its own judgment and underwriting criteria, while allowing our customers to take advantage of their existing underwriting processes."

During the housing bust, MGIC and other private mortgage insurers lost market share to the Federal Housing Administration, with FHA boosting its market share from 3.1 percent in 2005 to 21.1 percent in 2009. More recently, FHA has seen its market share slip to an estimated 15 percent during the second quarter of 2012.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has been tightening FHA underwriting requirements and raising insurance premiums in an effort to both shore up its reserves and encourage the return of private capital to the market, and MGIC's new streamlined underwriting program could help accelerate that process.

As of Sept. 30, 2012, MGIC had $164.9 billion primary insurance in force covering 1 million mortgages, making it the largest private mortgage insurer in the U.S., the company said.

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