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MTG > SEC Filings for MTG > Form 10-K on 28-Feb-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for MGIC INVESTMENT CORP



Annual Report

Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.


Through our subsidiaries Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation ("MGIC") and MGIC Indemnity Corporation ("MIC"), we are a leading provider of private mortgage insurance in the United States, as measured by $158.7 billion of primary insurance in force at December 31, 2013. For our rank based on new insurance written in 2013, see Item 1, "Our Products and Services-Sales and Marketing and Competition."

As used below, "we" and "our" refer to MGIC Investment Corporation's consolidated operations. In the discussion below, we refer to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collectively as the "GSEs." Also in the discussion below, we classify, in accordance with industry practice, as "full documentation" loans approved by GSE and other automated underwriting systems under "doc waiver" programs that do not require verification of borrower income. For additional information about such loans, see footnote (3) to the composition of primary default inventory table under "Results of Consolidated Operations-Losses-Losses Incurred" below. The discussion of our business in this document generally does not apply to our Australian operations which have historically been immaterial. The results of our operations in Australia are included in the consolidated results disclosed. For additional information about our Australian operations, see our risk factor titled "Our Australian operations may suffer significant losses" in Item 1A of this Report and "Overview-Australia" below.

Forward Looking and Other Statements

As discussed under "Forward Looking Statements and Risk Factors" in Item 1A of Part 1 of this Report, actual results may differ materially from the results contemplated by forward looking statements. We are not undertaking any obligation to update any forward looking statements or other statements we may make in the following discussion or elsewhere in this document even though these statements may be affected by events or circumstances occurring after the forward looking statements or other statements were made. Therefore no reader of this document should rely on these statements being current as of any time other than the time at which this document was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


For a number of years, substantially all of the loans we insured have been sold to the GSEs, which have been in conservatorship since late 2008. When the conservatorship will end and what role, if any, the GSEs will play in the secondary mortgage market post-conservatorship will be determined by Congress. The scope of the FHA's large market presence may also change in connection with the determination of the future of the GSEs. There are also pending regulatory changes that could affect demand for private mortgage insurance; see our risk factor titled "The amount of insurance we write could be adversely affected if the definition of Qualified Residential Mortgage results in a reduced number of low down payment loans available to be insured or if lenders and investors select alternatives to private mortgage insurance." Furthermore, capital standards for private mortgage insurers are being revised; see "Capital" below. While we strongly believe private mortgage insurance should be an integral part of credit enhancement in a future mortgage market, its role in that market cannot be predicted.

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As mentioned above, substantially all of our insurance written is for loans sold to the GSEs, each of which has mortgage insurer eligibility requirements to maintain the highest level of eligibility. The existing eligibility requirements include a minimum financial strength rating of Aa3/AA-. Because MGIC does not meet such financial strength rating requirements (its financial strength rating from Moody's is Ba3 (with a stable outlook) and from Standard & Poor's is BB (with a positive outlook)), MGIC is currently operating with each GSE as an eligible insurer under a remediation plan. We believe that the GSEs view remediation plans as a continuing process of interaction with a mortgage insurer and MGIC will continue to operate under a remediation plan for the foreseeable future. The GSEs may include new eligibility requirements as part of our current remediation plan. There can be no assurance that MGIC will be able to continue to operate as an eligible mortgage insurer under a remediation plan.

The GSEs previously advised us that, at the direction of their conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency ("FHFA"), they will be revising the eligibility requirements for all mortgage insurers and replacing their existing financial strength rating requirements with capital standards (the "GSE Capital Standards"). In early 2014, the FHFA is expected to provide state insurance regulators a draft of the proposed eligibility requirements and to allow the state insurance regulators a comment period of up to six weeks in which to review the eligibility standards on a confidential basis. After considering any changes suggested by the state insurance regulators, the FHFA is expected to release the proposed eligibility requirements for public comment. We have not been informed of the content of the new eligibility requirements, including the GSE Capital Standards, their timeframes for effectiveness, or the length of the public comment period.

We have various alternatives available to improve our existing risk-to-capital position, including contributing additional funds that are on hand today from our holding company to MGIC, entering into additional external reinsurance transactions, seeking approval to write business in MIC and raising additional capital, which could be contributed to MGIC. While there can be no assurance that MGIC would meet the GSE Capital Standards by their effective date, we believe we could implement one or more of these alternatives so that we would continue to be an eligible mortgage insurer after the GSE Capital Standards are fully effective. If MGIC (or MIC, under certain circumstances) ceases to be eligible to insure loans purchased by one or both of the GSEs, it would significantly reduce the volume of our new business writings.

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State Regulations

The insurance laws of 16 jurisdictions, including Wisconsin, our domiciliary state, require a mortgage insurer to maintain a minimum amount of statutory capital relative to the risk in force (or a similar measure) in order for the mortgage insurer to continue to write new business. We refer to these requirements as the "State Capital Requirements" and, together with the GSE Capital Standards, the "Capital Requirements." While they vary among jurisdictions, the most common State Capital Requirements allow for a maximum risk-to-capital ratio of 25 to 1. A risk-to-capital ratio will increase if the percentage decrease in capital exceeds the percentage decrease in insured risk. Therefore, as capital decreases, the same dollar decrease in capital will cause a greater percentage decrease in capital and a greater increase in the risk-to-capital ratio. Wisconsin does not regulate capital by using a risk-to-capital measure but instead requires a minimum policyholder position ("MPP"). The "policyholder position" of a mortgage insurer is its net worth or surplus, contingency reserve and a portion of the reserves for unearned premiums.

During part of 2012 and 2013, MGIC's risk-to-capital ratio exceeded 25 to 1. In March 2013, our holding company issued additional equity and convertible debt securities and transferred $800 million to increase MGIC's capital. In April 2013, we entered into a quota share reinsurance transaction with a group of unaffiliated reinsurers. That transaction applies to new insurance written between April 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015 (with certain exclusions). In December 2013, we entered into an Addendum to the quota share transaction that applies to certain insurance written before April 1, 2013. Although the quota share transaction was approved by the GSEs, it is possible that under the GSE Capital Standards, discussed above, and/or the revised State Capital Requirements discussed below, MGIC will not be allowed full credit for the risk ceded to the reinsurers under the transaction. If MGIC is disallowed full credit, MGIC may terminate the transaction, without penalty, when such disallowance becomes effective. At December 31, 2013, MGIC's risk-to-capital ratio was 15.8 to 1, below the maximum allowed by the jurisdictions with State Capital Requirements, and its policyholder position was $454 million above the required MPP of $1.0 billion. Excluding the effects of the Addendum, MGIC's preliminary risk-to-capital would have been 19.2 to 1. At this time, we expect MGIC to continue to comply with the current State Capital Requirements, although we cannot assure you of such compliance.

In November 2013, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC") presented for discussion proposed changes to its Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Model Act. In connection with that, the NAIC announced that it plans to revise the minimum capital and surplus requirements for mortgage insurers, although it has not established a date by which it must make proposals to revise such requirements. Depending on the scope of the revisions made by the NAIC, MGIC may be prevented from writing new business in the jurisdictions adopting such proposals.

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Qualified Residential Mortgages

The financial reform legislation that was passed in July 2010 (the "Dodd-Frank Act" or "Dodd-Frank") requires lenders to consider a borrower's ability to repay a home loan before extending credit. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") rule defining "Qualified Mortgage" ("QM") for purposes of implementing the "ability to repay" law became effective in January 2014. There is a temporary category of QMs for mortgages that satisfy the general product feature requirements of QMs and meet the GSEs' underwriting requirements (the "temporary category"). The temporary category will phase out when the GSEs' conservatorship ends, or if sooner, after seven years. In May 2013, the FHFA directed the GSEs to limit their mortgage acquisitions to loans that meet the requirements of a QM, including those that meet the temporary category, and loans that are exempt from the "ability to repay" requirements. We may insure loans that do not qualify as QMs, however, we are unsure the extent to which lenders will make non-QM loans because they will not be entitled to the presumptions about compliance with the "ability to repay" requirements that the law allows lenders with respect to QM loans. We are also unsure whether lenders will purchase private mortgage insurance for loans that cannot be sold to the GSEs.

In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") proposed a definition of QM that will apply to loans the Federal Housing Administration ("FHA") insures. HUD's QM definition is less restrictive than the CFPB's definition in certain respects, including that (i) it has no limit on the debt-to-income ratio of a borrower, and (ii) it allows the lender certain presumptions about compliance with the "ability to repay" requirements on higher priced loans. It is possible that lenders will prefer FHA-insured loans to loans insured by private mortgage insurance as a result of the FHA's less restrictive QM definition.

Given the credit characteristics presented to us, we estimate that approximately 87% of our new risk written in 2013 was for loans that would have met the CFPB's general QM definition. We estimate that approximately 99% of our new risk written in 2013 was for loans that would have met the CFPB's QM definition, when giving effect to the temporary category. In making these estimates, we have not considered the limitation on points and fees because the information is not available to us. We do not believe such limitation would materially affect the percentage of our new risk written meeting the QM definitions.

The Dodd-Frank Act requires a securitizer to retain at least 5% of the risk associated with mortgage loans that are securitized, and in some cases the retained risk may be allocated between the securitizer and the lender that originated the loan. This risk retention requirement does not apply to mortgage loans that are Qualified Residential Mortgages ("QRMs") or that are insured by the FHA or another federal agency. In 2011, federal regulators released a proposed risk retention rule that included a definition of QRM. In response to public comments regarding the proposed rule, federal regulators issued a revised proposed rule in August 2013. The revised proposed rule generally defines QRM as a mortgage meeting the requirements of a QM. The regulators also proposed an alternative QRM definition ("QM-plus") which utilizes certain QM criteria but also includes a maximum loan-to-value ratio ("LTV") of 70%. Neither of the revised definitions of QRM considers the use of mortgage insurance. While substantially all of our new risk written in 2013 was on loans that met the QM definition (and, therefore, the proposed general QRM definition), none of our new insurance written met the QM-plus definition. The public comment period for the revised proposed rule expired in October 2013. The final timing of the adoption of any risk retention regulation and the definition of QRM remains uncertain. Because of the capital support provided by the U.S. Government, the GSEs satisfy the Dodd-Frank risk-retention requirements while they are in conservatorship. Therefore, lenders that originate loans that are sold to the GSEs while they are in conservatorship would not be required to retain risk associated with those loans.

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The amount of new insurance that we write may be materially adversely affected depending on, among other things, (a) the final definition of QRM and its LTV requirements and (b) whether lenders choose mortgage insurance for non-QRM loans. In addition, changes in the final regulations regarding treatment of GSE-guaranteed mortgage loans, or changes in the conservatorship or capital support provided to the GSEs by the U.S. Government, could impact the manner in which the risk-retention rules apply to GSE securitizations, originators who sell loans to GSEs and our business. For other factors that could decrease the demand for mortgage insurance, see our risk factor titled "If the volume of low down payment home mortgage originations declines, the amount of insurance that we write could decline, which would reduce our revenues" in Item 1A.

GSE Reform

The FHFA is the conservator of the GSEs and has the authority to control and direct their operations. The increased role that the federal government has assumed in the residential mortgage market through the GSE conservatorship may increase the likelihood that the business practices of the GSEs change in ways that have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, these factors may increase the likelihood that the charters of the GSEs are changed by new federal legislation. The Dodd-Frank Act required the U.S. Department of the Treasury to report its recommendations regarding options for ending the conservatorship of the GSEs. This report was released in February 2011 and while it does not provide any definitive timeline for GSE reform, it does recommend using a combination of federal housing policy changes to wind down the GSEs, shrink the government's footprint in housing finance (including FHA insurance), and help bring private capital back to the mortgage market. Since then, Members of Congress introduced several bills intended to scale back the GSEs, however, no legislation has been enacted. As a result of the matters referred to above, it is uncertain what role the GSEs, FHA and private capital, including private mortgage insurance, will play in the domestic residential housing finance system in the future or the impact of any such changes on our business. In addition, the timing of the impact of any resulting changes on our business is uncertain. Most meaningful changes would require Congressional action to implement and it is difficult to estimate when Congressional action would be final and how long any associated phase-in period may last.

For additional information about the business practices of the GSEs, see our risk factor titled "Changes in the business practices of the GSEs, federal legislation that changes their charters or a restructuring of the GSEs could reduce our revenues or increase our losses" in Item 1A.

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Loan Modification and Other Similar Programs

Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008, the federal government, including through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the GSEs, and several lenders have adopted programs to modify loans to make them more affordable to borrowers with the goal of reducing the number of foreclosures. During 2011, 2012 and 2013, we were notified of modifications that cured delinquencies that had they become paid claims would have resulted in approximately $1.8 billion, $1.2 billion and $1.0 billion, respectively, of estimated claim payments. As noted below, we cannot predict with a high degree of confidence what the ultimate re-default rate on these modifications will be. Although the recent re-default rate has been lower, for internal reporting and planning purposes, we assume approximately 50% of these modifications will ultimately re-default, and those re-defaults may result in future claim payments. Because modifications cure the defaults with respect to the previously defaulted loans, our loss reserves do not account for potential re-defaults unless at the time the reserve is established, the re-default has already occurred. Based on information that is provided to us, most of the modifications resulted in reduced payments from interest rate and/or amortization period adjustments; from 2011 through 2013, approximately 7% resulted in principal forgiveness.

One loan modification program is the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP"). Some of HAMP's eligibility criteria relate to the borrower's current income and non-mortgage debt payments. Because the GSEs and servicers do not share such information with us, we cannot determine with certainty the number of loans in our delinquent inventory that are eligible to participate in HAMP. We believe that it could take several months from the time a borrower has made all of the payments during HAMP's three month "trial modification" period for the loan to be reported to us as a cured delinquency. We rely on information provided to us by the GSEs and servicers. We do not receive all of the information from such sources that is required to determine with certainty the number of loans that are participating in, or have successfully completed, HAMP. We are aware of approximately 7,600 loans in our primary delinquent inventory at December 31, 2013 for which the HAMP trial period has begun and which trial periods have not been reported to us as completed or cancelled. Through December 31, 2013 approximately 52,700 delinquent primary loans have cured their delinquency after entering HAMP and are not in default. In each of 2012 and 2013, approximately 17% of our primary cures were the result of a modification, with HAMP accounting for approximately 70% of those modifications in 2012 and 68% in 2013. Although the HAMP program has been extended through 2015, we believe that we have realized the majority of the benefits from HAMP because the number of loans insured by us that we are aware are entering HAMP trial modification periods has decreased significantly since 2010.

In 2009, the GSEs began offering the Home Affordable Refinance Program ("HARP"). HARP, which has been extended through 2015, allows borrowers who are not delinquent but who may not otherwise be able to refinance their loans under the current GSE underwriting standards, to refinance their loans. We allow the HARP refinances on loans that we insure, regardless of whether the loan meets our current underwriting standards, and we account for the refinance as a loan modification (even where there is a new lender) rather than new insurance written. To incent lenders to allow more current borrowers to refinance their loans, in October 2011, the GSEs and their regulator, FHFA, announced an expansion of HARP. The expansion includes, among other changes, releasing certain representations in certain circumstances benefitting the GSEs. We have agreed to allow these additional HARP refinances, including releasing the insured in certain circumstances from certain rescission rights we would have under our policy. While an expansion of HARP may result in fewer delinquent loans and claims in the future, our ability to rescind coverage will be limited in certain circumstances. We are unable to predict what net impact these changes may have on our incurred or paid losses. Approximately 15% of our primary insurance in force has benefitted from HARP and is still in force.

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The effect on us of loan modifications depends on how many modified loans subsequently re-default, which in turn can be affected by changes in housing values. Re-defaults can result in losses for us that could be greater than we would have paid had the loan not been modified. At this point, we cannot predict with a high degree of confidence what the ultimate re-default rate will be. In addition, because we do not have information in our database for all of the parameters used to determine which loans are eligible for modification programs, our estimates of the number of loans qualifying for modification programs are inherently uncertain. If legislation is enacted to permit a portion of a borrower's mortgage loan balance to be reduced in bankruptcy and if the borrower re-defaults after such reduction, then the amount we would be responsible to cover would be calculated after adding back the reduction. Unless a lender has obtained our prior approval, if a borrower's mortgage loan balance is reduced outside the bankruptcy context, including in association with a loan modification, and if the borrower re-defaults after such reduction, then under the terms of our policy the amount we would be responsible to cover would be calculated net of the reduction.

As shown in the following table, as of December 31, 2013 approximately 27% of our primary risk in force has been modified.

HARP (1)

            Policy Year                HAMP Modifications       Other Modifications        Modifications
          2003 and Prior                               9.2 %                     9.8 %                 7.9 %
               2004                                    9.7 %                     8.9 %                12.6 %
               2005                                   11.6 %                     9.6 %                16.9 %
               2006                                   14.1 %                    10.6 %                20.2 %
               2007                                   15.2 %                     6.7 %                28.6 %
               2008                                    8.9 %                     3.0 %                42.2 %
               2009                                    0.5 %                     0.4 %                16.3 %
            2010 - 2013                                0.0 %                     0.0 %                 0.0 %
               Total                                   7.3 %                     4.4 %                15.3 %

(1) Includes proprietary programs that are substantially the same as HARP

As of December 31, 2013 based on loan count, the loans associated with 98.5% of all HARP modifications, 75.6% of HAMP modifications and 66.4% of other modifications were current.

Eligibility under certain loan modification programs can also adversely affect us by creating an incentive for borrowers who are able to make their mortgage payments to become delinquent in an attempt to obtain the benefits of a modification. New notices of delinquency increase our incurred losses.

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Over the past several years, the average time it takes to receive a claim associated with a defaulted loan has increased. This is, in part, due to new loss mitigation protocols established by servicers and to changes in some state foreclosure laws that may include, for example, a requirement for additional review and/or mediation processes. Unless a loan is cured during a foreclosure delay, at the completion of the foreclosure, additional interest and expenses may be due to the lender from the borrower. In some circumstances, our paid claim amount may include some additional interest and expenses.

Factors Affecting Our Results

Our results of operations are affected by:

Premiums written and earned

Premiums written and earned in a year are influenced by:

New insurance written, which increases insurance in force, and is the aggregate principal amount of the mortgages that are insured during a period. Many factors affect new insurance written, including the volume of low down payment home mortgage originations and competition to provide credit enhancement on those mortgages, including competition from the FHA, other mortgage insurers, GSE programs that may reduce or eliminate the demand for mortgage insurance and other alternatives to mortgage insurance. New insurance written does not include loans previously insured by us which are modified, such as loans modified under HARP.

Cancellations, which reduce insurance in force. Cancellations due to refinancings are affected by the level of current mortgage interest rates compared to the mortgage coupon rates throughout the in force book. Refinancings are also affected by current home values compared to values when the loans in the in force book became insured and the terms on which mortgage credit is available. Cancellations also include rescissions, which require us to return any premiums received related to the rescinded policy, and policies cancelled due to claim payment, which require us to return any premium received from the date of default. Finally, cancellations are affected by home price appreciation, which can give homeowners the right to cancel the mortgage insurance on their loans.

Premium rates, which are affected by the risk characteristics of the loans insured and the percentage of coverage on the loans.

Premiums ceded under risk sharing arrangements. See Note 11 - "Reinsurance" to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 for a discussion of our new quota share agreement, under which premiums are ceded net of a profit commission.

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Premiums are generated by the insurance that is in force during all or a portion of the period. A change in the average insurance in force in the current period compared to an earlier period is a factor that will increase (when the average in force is higher) or reduce (when it is lower) premiums written and earned in the current period, although this effect may be enhanced (or mitigated) by differences in the average premium rate between the two periods as well as by premiums that are returned or expected to be returned in connection with claim payments and rescissions, and premiums ceded under risk sharing arrangements. . . .
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