WASHINGTON, June 7, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI), the association representing five of the top six private mortgage insurance (MI) companies in the United States, today released a report on the role of MI in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report finds that nearly 30 million homeowners have been served by MI for more than 60 years, and breaks down on a state-by-state basis low down payment mortgage lending. The report underscores the historic importance of MI, how MI has helped promote homebuying in the U.S., and the significant protection against undue mortgage credit risk that MI provides to American taxpayers and the federal government.
"Private mortgage insurance has helped millions of first-time and middle-income homebuyers across the United States for more than 60 years. This report confirms what we have long known: MI is a critical piece of the U.S. housing finance system, helping Americans realize the dream of homeownership while providing important protections to taxpayers and the federal government," said Lindsey Johnson, President of USMI. "For decades, low down payment borrowers have relied on MI to help them affordably and responsibly buy a home, and MI will continue to serve countless more prospective homebuyers in the years to come."
The report looks at how MI helps bridge the down payment gap that affects many borrowers and analyzes at a state level who specifically benefits from MI. The report presents data that highlights:
- The number of years it takes to save a 20 percent down payment in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia
- The total number of homeowners helped by MI in 2017 broken down by state—and key lending characteristics including average home price and credit scores of borrowers with MI
- The number of minority borrowers who have obtained or refinanced mortgages broken down by state
Since 1957, MI has helped more than 30 million families qualify for a mortgage by bridging the gap between the down payment and home financing. In 2017 alone, MI helped more than one million borrowers purchase or refinance a mortgage; of that total number of borrowers, 56 percent were first-time homebuyers and more than 40 percent had annual incomes below $75,000. The top five states in which MI was used by borrowers to purchase homes in 2017 are:
- Texas: 79,030 borrowers (55 percent first-time homebuyers)
- California: 72,938 borrowers (66 percent first-time homebuyers)
- Florida: 69,827 borrowers (58 percent first-time homebuyers)
- Illinois: 47,866 borrowers (63 percent first-time homebuyers)
- Michigan: 41,810 borrowers (57 percent first-time homebuyers)
The report also focuses on how MI reduces taxpayers' exposure to mortgage credit risk and protects the federal government from that risk. MI serves as credit protection against mortgage credit risk in the event of a borrower defaulting on his or her mortgage, meaning every dollar that an MI company covers when a borrower defaults on his or her mortgage is a dollar that the GSEs and taxpayers do not have to pay. In fact, since the 2008 financial crisis the MI industry has paid over $50 billion in claims – losses the government and taxpayers did not have to bear.
"Coming out of the financial crisis, the MI industry is even stronger with more robust underwriting standards, stronger capital positions, and improved risk management. The MI industry follows a strict set of requirements to insure mortgages acquired by the GSEs, which are known as Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements, and has implemented Master Policy Agreements to bring more efficiency and greater transparency to payment of claims," added Johnson. "MI has played a critical role in protecting taxpayers and the federal government from undue mortgage credit risk for six decades, and will continue to provide this important function in the housing finance system moving forward."
U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI) is dedicated to a housing finance system backed by private capital that enables access to housing finance for borrowers while protecting taxpayers. Mortgage insurance offers an effective way to make mortgage credit available to more people. USMI is ready to help build the future of homeownership. Learn more at www.usmi.org.
SOURCE U.S. Mortgage Insurers