MGIC Sings Mortgage Insurance Blues

MGIC Investment Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage insurer, posted its first quarterly loss in 16 years and said it won’t be profitable in 2008 as foreclosures increase from record levels. The net loss of $372.5 million, or $4.60 a share, was the worst quarter for MGIC. Consider the bad exposure and MGIC is singing the mortgage blues. Their disputes with Radian did not help matters, as many Americans discovered a relationship between MGIC, Radian, and debt collectors.

Costs to bail out lenders more than tripled to $602.3 million from a year earlier as U.S. home prices in the nation’s biggest markets fell, making it harder for lenders to recover when loans go sour. Chief Executive Officer Curt Culver said on a conference call today that U.S. real estate prices may drop 10 percent over the next 18 months.