Industry NewsMortgage

MGIC writing fewer premiums, posting higher losses

Mortgage insurer sees increase in Alt-A, subprime delinquencies

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Losses are up and profits down at the nation's largest private mortgage insurer, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. MGIC -- which insures 1.3 million mortgages valued at $176.5 billion -- said today that fourth-quarter earnings were down largely because the slowdown in the housing market cut into the generation of new premiums. But the company is also facing a rise in the percentage of delinquent A-minus and subprime loans it insures, and disclosed that regulators in New York and Minnesota have investigated its captive reinsurance practices.  Parent company MGIC Investment Corp. reported fourth-quarter earnings dropped 5 percent to $121.5 million, or $1.47 per share, compared to the same quarter last year. At $564.7 million, earnings for the year are down 9.9 percent from 2005. Premiums written during the quarter totaled $305.6 million, down 3.5 percent from the same time last year, the company said. The $1.22 billion in premiums written for the year was 2.8 percent less th...