After surging in March, the number of borrowers using private mortgage insurance fell in April, an industry group reports.

Members of the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America issued 161,100 private mortgage insurance policies in April, down 12.4 percent from March, MICA said in a press release.

The dollar volume of primary insurance written on newly originated 1- to 4-family conventional mortgage loans totaled $20.7 million for the month, a 22.2 percent decrease from the $26.6 million mark achieved in March.

The statistics are based on policies issued by MICA members AIG United Guaranty, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Republic Mortgage Insurance Co. and Triad Guaranty Insurance Corp.

Issuance of private mortgage insurance — which many lenders require with down payments smaller than 20 percent — can ebb and flow with housing sales and loan refinancing activity.

One possible reason for the surge in March is that Congress made premiums on private mortgage insurance policies taken out in 2007 tax deductible for families who don’t exceed income thresholds.

MICA estimates tax savings of $300 to $350 per year for families who qualify for a full deduction because their adjusted gross income is $100,000 or less. Families with incomes of up to $109,000 are eligible for partial deductions.

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