Thursday, February 14, 2008

Triad Visits the Confessional

by Tanta on 2/14/2008 11:38:00 AM

While we're on the subject of mortgage insurance:

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Feb 13, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Triad Guaranty Inc. today reported a net loss for the quarter ended December 31, 2007 of $75.0 million compared with net income of $8.1 million for the same quarter in 2006. . . .

Mark K. Tonnesen, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "The trends we encountered in the third quarter accelerated in the fourth, especially the rise in defaults in locations where home prices are under pressure. While the total portfolio default counts increased 38% during the quarter, in California and Florida, default counts rose a combined 85%. The rapid and significant deterioration in the housing markets and its effect on our portfolio performance has prompted us to implement various measures reflected in our underwriting standards, capital management, loss mitigation and expense management."

Mr. Tonnesen continued, "During the fourth quarter, we took a leadership role in our industry by tightening underwriting guidelines. Our new guidelines, which address loan to value limitations, credit scores and loan documentation, and incorporate volume limitations in distressed markets, led to our reduced fourth quarter production and are expected to further limit production in 2008. The Company has developed and is actively pursuing a plan to manage and enhance its capital resources. Although, at this time, we can give no assurance that we will be able to successfully implement our plan, we realize these efforts are critically important to the future of Triad Guaranty. Thus, enhancing capital resources is a top priority. Capital management dictated our decision during the quarter to withdraw from Canada and contribute this capital to our U.S. insurance subsidiary." . . .

Net losses and loss adjustment expenses of $191.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to $106.8 million for the third quarter of 2007 and $41.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, reflect the substantial changes that have occurred in the mortgage and housing markets during the second half of 2007 and especially during the fourth quarter. Net losses and loss adjustment expenses for the fourth quarter of 2007 include a reserve increase of $150.7 million compared to $76.6 million and $23.3 million for the third quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2006, respectively. Paid claims totaled $36.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to $28.5 million for the third quarter of 2007 and $16.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2006.

Average severity on Primary paid claims was $41,600 in the fourth quarter of 2007, up from $36,900 in the third quarter of 2007 and $28,100 in the fourth quarter of 2006. The average severity on Modified Pool paid claims in the fourth quarter was $57,900, which also was up significantly compared to $41,300 in the third quarter of 2007 and $26,200 in the fourth quarter of 2006. The Primary delinquency rate was 3.81% at December 31, 2007 compared with 2.80% at September 30, 2007 and 2.47% at December 31, 2006. The Modified Pool delinquency rate rose to 6.09% at December 31, 2007 compared with 4.42% and 2.67% at September 30, 2007 and December 31, 2006, respectively.