In its latest effort to regain market share from piggyback mortgages, PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Walnut Creek, Calif., has introduced a mortgage calculator that will take a first mortgage, along with some mortgage insurance options, and compare it with a first mortgage combined with a second.The new tool, the eCompare Calculator, is Web-based for use by mortgage brokers and Realtors. Piggyback mortgages, also known as 80-10-10 mortgages, have made inroads as an alternative to mortgage insurance. "The eCompare Calculator shows us that market economics are changing," said David Katkov, executive vice president of sales, field operations, and product development at PMI. "In 2004 and 2005, we were in a unique economic environment, with record low interest rates and very high home price appreciation. In that environment, a piggyback, interest-only loan or option ARM may have offered a lower payment than a fixed-rate loan with mortgage insurance. Today, with interest rates going up and home price appreciation slowing, mortgage insurance is almost always competitive and is often the better deal for the consumer." PMI can be found on the Web at http://www.pmigroup.com.

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