National MI Receives Approval to Insure California Mortgages

A startup private mortgage insurance company headed by former PMI officials has received approval to write policies in California, a key state in its efforts to become an insurer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.

To date, National Mortgage Insurance Corp. has been cleared to issue MI policies in 13 states. The Emeryville, Calif.-based company is seeking approvals in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., so it can serve mortgage bankers nationwide.

MI National is still waiting on final Fannie and Freddie approvals.

“A decision is pending,” said Glen Corso, the insurer’s general counsel. “We are making good progress in working with both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to receive their approvals, and are on track to do business in early 2013,” Corso said.

The new mortgage insurance company has $550 million in capital and no legacy portfolio to deal with.

“We thank the California Insurance Department for issuing its conclusive assessment in a timely manner, and recognizing the benefit that increased mortgage insurance capacity provides in supporting American homeownership,” said National MI president and chief executive Bradley Shuster.

Private mortgage insurance is typically required on mortgages with loan-to-value ratios greater than 80%.

Shuster left the PMI Group in 2008. The MI filed for bankruptcy protection in late 2012.