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Mortgage Insurance Defaults Hit Record

Washington-While mortgage insurers remain under stress, they saw a slight improvement in a key measure of credit performance in October, despite a record high default rate.

The cure/default ratio for October 2008 improved by 10 basis points over the prior month, to 54%, with 43,211 cures and 80,071 defaults. It's unclear what impact widespread loan modification programs are having on the data.

The default number is the highest reported in 2008, an increase of 3,295 over September. MICA's numbers do not include any information from Radian or Triad. Both are no longer members of the group. Radian dropped out in a dispute over policy, while Triad left this year when the company decided to go into runoff.

For the third consecutive month, the amount of primary new insurance written by members of the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America hit a new low. The $7.7 billion written in October is down from $8.1 billion in September.

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