Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mortgage Insurers Loosen Standards Slightly

by Calculated Risk on 12/19/2009 12:11:00 AM

From the WSJ: Down-Payment Standards Eased

Earlier this month, MGIC removed New Orleans, Dover, Del., Akron, Ohio, and four other areas in Ohio from its list of restricted markets. ...

Under the looser requirements, a borrower with a credit score of 680 or higher in New Orleans, for instance, can finance up to 95% of a home's value. Before the change, a borrower who wanted to finance that much of a home's value would have needed a credit score of at least 700.

In September, Genworth Financial Inc. winnowed its list of declining and distressed markets to five states: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada.
The changes are small. As the article notes, this is due to slightly improved markets and an attempt to regain market share from the FHA.

I wonder if this is related - just two weeks ago: Wisconsin Regulator Approves MGIC Regulatory Cap Waiver Thru 2011 (ht jb)
Mortgage insurance giant MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG) announced, Thursday, that the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Wisconsin approved the company’s revised business plan and agreed to waive minimum regulatory capital requirements until Dec. 31, 2011.