The counterparty credit rating of Triad Guaranty Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C., has been downgraded from A to A-minus by Standard & Poor's, and the counterparty credit and financial strength ratings of its mortgage insurance subsidiary, Triad Guaranty Insurance Corp., have been cut from AA to AA-minus.Commenting on the rating actions, Triad Guaranty president and chief executive Mark Tonnesen said it is "unfortunate that concerns regarding the mortgage and housing industries and their effect on near-term performance" had prompted the moves. S&P credit analyst James Brender said the rating agency believes it is harder to estimate insured loan portfolio losses for Triad than for some of its peers. "Triad has an above-average concentration of risk in force from products that have not been tested in a difficult environment," such as alternative-A loans (23% of Triad's risk in force) and negative amortization loans (13%), Mr. Brender said. S&P did say that Triad has strong capitalization and liquidity. "We believe the S&P comment regarding our capital strength and prospects for the future are particularly important in these uncertain times," Mr. Tonnesen said. The mortgage insurer can be found on the Web at http://www.triadguaranty.com.

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