The dollar volume of primary private mortgage insurance written during February totaled $14.4 billion, down 1.7% from $14.7 billion in January, according to data from the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America.However, the number of certificates issued increased by 8.2% from 126,677 in January to 137,948 in February. (More certificates issued means more borrowers served.) A better sign of the interest rate environment in February was that application volume was up 12.8%, to 140,648 -- not as high as the levels seen during the refinance boom, but comparable to those of the last two months of 2003. Any industry data garnered since July 2003 must be taken with the caveat that it no longer includes The Radian Group, which withdrew as a MICA member. Another number that hit bottom in January was the cure/default ratio, which stood at 67.9%. In February that turned around and, for the first time since April 2003, there were more cures than defaults. The ratio is now 111.8%, with 45,900 cures and 41,010 defaults. MICA can be found online at http://www.micanews.com.

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