Struggling borrowers get fresh start under new plan

Part 5: Fixing the housing finance system

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(This is Part 5 of a five-part series. Read Part 1, "Lenders wise to beef up default-risk reserves"; Part 2, "Borrowers, insurers would save with new mortgage insurance"; Part 3, "Mortgage insurance cheaper under new plan"; and Part 4, "Help from feds not a bailout.")

This series of articles introduced a new type of mortgage insurance called mortgage payment insurance, or MPI. Under MPI, insurers guarantee timely receipt of the mortgage payments after the borrower defaults, as well as protection against loss if the loan goes to foreclosure.

Despite the fact that the insurer under MPI assumes virtually the entire risk of default, because MPI also reduces the rate on high-risk loans, MPI on such loans will cost the insurer less than traditional mortgage insurance (TMI).