The year has gotten off to a rotten start for the private mortgage insurance companies.For 2004, January was the worst month of the year for members of the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America in terms of applications received and the second-worst in terms of the dollar volume of primary new insurance written. The first month of 2005 ushered in a steep drop in applications when compared with those of the previous year. Application volume was 103,901, compared with 122,642 for January 2004. The dollar volume of primary new insurance written totaled $13.99 billion, compared with $14.69 billion in January 2004. The low month for 2004 was February, with volume of $14.44 billion. Only $10.9 billion of this January's volume was from "traditional" mortgage insurance, compared with $12.8 billion one year ago. New pool risk written in January totaled $30.2 million. The cure/default ratio for the month was 72.1%, with 34,141 cures and 47,366 defaults reported. MICA membership consists of six of the seven private mortgage insurers; only Radian Guaranty is not a member of the group. MICA can be found online at http://www.micanews.com.

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