The dichotomy in the mortgage insurance world continued in January as the amount of traditional primary new insurance written held strong while the cure/default ratio tanked. The members of the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America wrote $22.2 billion of primary new insurance in January 2008, down from $25.8 billion in December but well ahead of the $16.0 billion in January 2007 (which was the worst month of the calendar year for business). Nearly all the business, $21.7 billion, came through the traditional channel, down from $22.8 billion in December (but its ninth month in a row over the $20 billion mark). But the bulk category continued to sink, with just $496 million coming through this channel, the third month of the last four in which less than $1 billion in volume was written. The number of applications received fell from 154,637 in December to 138,679 in January. Primary insurance in force continued to climb, going from $819.8 billion in December to $832.7 billion in January. The cure/default ratio sank from 54.1% in December to 51.4% in January, with 35,468 cures and 68,950 defaults.

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