Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Troubles for Mortgage Insurance Companies ... Except United Guaranty

... Rating agency S&P has little faith in mortgage insurers, and has lowered its rating on PMI, Genworth and Old Republic's mortgage insurance units further into junk territory, and said the outlook for the companies was negative. ...
... Old Republic said it has not yet been able to get approval from regulators and the mortgage titans to have its newly-minted unit write insurance, and has warned the new business production could cease, at least temporarily, by the end of this month. ...
... And new rules that will pare back government involvement in the mortgage market and may require banks to keep part of the loans they make on their books for all but the safest loans, will also hurt the insurers.
"New regulatory proposals may cripple mortgage insurers and limit their ability to write the business they badly need to rebuild their capital," said Standard & Poors analyst Ron Joas. ...
... It also has analysts asking questions about a large-scale restructuring of the private mortgage insurance sector, in which stronger companies, with rich parents, could consolidate the smaller or at-risk players.
One of the few mortgage insurers still doing relatively well is AIG's (AIG.N) United Guaranty, which prompted one analyst to ask AIG Chief Executive Bob Benmosche on a conference call whether he was interested in rolling up competitors.
His response is in many ways emblematic of the state the industry finds itself in.
Link Here

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