PMI Mortgage Insurance is the latest private mortgage insurer to launch a Web site aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Citing a Freddie Mac study that showed lenders are unable to contact more than half of all borrowers in foreclosures — and knowing that many homeowners look for help on the Internet — PMI said today the company created the site to make accurate information available.

The site, HomeSafePMI, includes information on alternatives to foreclosure including loan workouts, loan modifications, short sales, loan assumptions, and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. PMI has also posted several videos on YouTube, with links to two of the videos on the new site.

Troubled borrowers are advised to call the HOPE NOW alliance of loan servicers, who provide outreach and counseling that can lead to workouts or loan modifications for qualified borrowers. The toll-free HOPE NOW number is 1-888-995-4673.

Mortgage insurer Radian Guaranty Inc. last month rolled out a homeowner education Web site that provides customized workout arrangements based on a borrower’s specific circumstances.

Radian mailed brochures to troubled borrowers with unique ID code that the recipient can type into the Web site along with their ZIP code for a customized summary of their options for avoiding foreclosure.

Radian is also offering to facilitate short sales by instructing borrowers to have their Realtor call the company toll-free at (800) 523-1988 x1243 to discuss the probable final sale price and anticipated net proceeds. Once borrowers refer their realtor to Radian, the company is authorized to discuss details such as the amount owed, Radian’s approval requirements, and other information needed to work out a resolution.

Genworth Financial also provides information on its homeowner assistance program, which it says helped 2,800 families avoid foreclosure in the first quarter of 2008, on SmarterMi.com.

Mounting losses at private mortgage insurance companies led Standard & Poor’s in April to lower their insurer financial strength ratings on PMI, Radian and MGIC Investment Corp. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are requiring the companies to submit remediation plans showing how they plan to raise the capital they need to restore the ratings required of "top tier" insurers (see Inman News story).

PMI posted a $1 billion fourth-quarter 2007 loss and $274 million in losses during the first quarter (see story).

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