10-K 1 form10k.htm MGIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION 10-K 12-31-2014

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

 x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from ____ to ____

Commission file number 1-10816

MGIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

WISCONSIN
39-1486475
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

MGIC PLAZA, 250 EAST KILBOURN AVENUE,
 
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN
53202
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip Code)

(414) 347-6480
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 
Title of Each Class:
Common Stock, Par Value $1 Per Share
   
Common Share Purchase Rights
 
Name of Each Exchange on Which
 
 
Registered:
New York Stock Exchange

Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

 
Title of Class:
None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
☒Yes ☐No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
☐ Yes ☒ No

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. ☒Yes ☐ No
 



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).☒Yes No

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of Registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
 
Large accelerated filer ☒
Accelerated filer
   
Non-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).   Yes ☒No

State the aggregate market value of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of June 30, 2014: Approximately $3.1 billion*

* Solely for purposes of computing such value and without thereby admitting that such persons are affiliates of the Registrant, shares held by directors and executive officers of the Registrant are deemed to be held by affiliates of the Registrant. Shares held are those shares beneficially owned for purposes of Rule 13d-3 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 but excluding shares subject to stock options.

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the Registrant’s classes of common stock as of February 13, 2015: 338,920,963

The following documents have been incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K, as indicated:

Document
 
Part and Item Number of Form 10-K Into Which Incorporated*
Proxy Statement for the 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders
 
Items 10 through 14 of Part III

* In each case, to the extent provided in the Items listed.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
PART I 
 
Item 1. 
Business. 1
 
Item 1A.
37
 
Item 1B.
62
 
Item 2.
62
 
Item 3.
62
 
Item 4.
64
PART II
   
 
Item 5.
66
 
Item 6.
67
 
Item 7.
69
 
Item 7A.
114
 
Item 8.
115
 
Item 9.
192
 
Item 9A.
192
 
Item 9B.
193
PART III
 
 
Item 10.
193
 
Item 11.
193
 
Item 12.
193
 
Item 13.
194
 
Item 14.
194
PART IV
   
 
Item 15.
194
  196
EX-10.2.12
   
EX-10.2.13
   
EX-10.6
   
EX-10.8
   
EX-10.11.1
   
EX-10.11.2
   
EX-21
 
 
EX-23
 
 
EX-31.1
 
 
EX-31.2
 
 
EX-32
 
 
EX-99.20
   
EX-99.21
   
EX-99.22
EX-99.23
EX-99.24 

PART I

Item 1. Business.

A.    General

We are a holding company and through wholly-owned subsidiaries we provide private mortgage insurance and ancillary services. In 2014, our net premiums written were $882.0 million and our primary new insurance written was $33.4 billion. As of December 31, 2014, our primary insurance in force was $164.9 billion and our direct primary risk in force was $42.9 billion. For further information about our results of operations, see our consolidated financial statements in Item 8. As of December 31, 2014, our principal mortgage insurance subsidiary, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (“MGIC”), was licensed in all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  During 2014, we wrote new insurance in each of those jurisdictions.

Overview of the Private Mortgage Insurance Industry and its Operating Environment

We established the private mortgage insurance industry in 1957 to provide a private market alternative to federal government insurance programs. Private mortgage insurance covers losses from homeowner defaults on residential mortgage loans, reducing, and in some instances eliminating, the loss to the insured institution if the homeowner defaults.

The Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) have been the major purchasers of the mortgage loans underlying new insurance written by private mortgage insurers. In this annual report, we refer to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collectively as the “GSEs.” The GSEs purchase residential mortgages as part of their governmental mandate to provide liquidity in the secondary mortgage market. The GSEs cannot buy low down payment mortgage loans without certain forms of credit enhancement, the primary form of which is private mortgage insurance. Therefore, private mortgage insurance facilitates the sale of low down payment mortgages in the secondary mortgage market to the GSEs and plays an important role in the housing finance system by assisting consumers, especially first-time and lower net-worth homebuyers, to affordably finance homes with less than a 20% down payment. In this annual report, we refer to loans with less than 20% down payments as “low down payment” mortgages or loans. Private mortgage insurance also reduces the regulatory capital that depository institutions are required to hold against certain low down payment mortgages that they hold as assets.

The private mortgage insurance industry is greatly impacted by macroeconomic conditions that affect home loan originations and credit performance of home loans, including unemployment rates, housing prices, restrictions on mortgage credit due to stringent underwriting standards, interest rates and household formations. The financial crisis and the downturn in the housing market that began in 2007 had a significant negative impact on the industry and our company. The operating environment for private mortgage insurers has been improving in recent years as the economy has started to recover.
 
Currently, our business strategy is focused on 1) maximizing the amount of new insurance written while maintaining rational underwriting guidelines and pricing for appropriate returns given the credit risk undertaken, 2) continuing to manage our capital and liquidity position, 3) helping to shape the future of housing policy, and 4) maintaining our industry leading cost advantage.

During 2014, $176 billion of mortgages were insured with primary coverage by private mortgage insurers, compared to $207 billion in 2013 and $175 billion in 2012. These figures include $8 billion, $32 billion and $44 billion of refinance transactions that were originated under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (“HARP”) in 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. We do not include HARP transactions in our new insurance written total because we consider them a modification of the coverage on existing insurance in force. The volume of mortgages insured by private mortgage insurers decreased in 2014 compared to 2013, primarily as a result of decreased refinance activity in 2014. Although the 2014 volume was significantly greater than the recent low in 2010 of $70 billion, it remains significantly below the volumes of 2001 through 2007 when, on average, approximately $311 billion of mortgages were insured with primary coverage by private mortgage insurers.

For most of our business, we and other private mortgage insurers compete directly with federal and state governmental and quasi-governmental agencies that sponsor government-backed mortgage insurance programs, principally the Federal Housing Administration (the “FHA”) and the Veterans Administration (“VA”). The combined market share of the FHA and VA increased significantly following the financial crisis. In 2009, the FHA and VA accounted for 84.7% of all low down payment residential mortgages that were subject to FHA, VA or primary private mortgage insurance, up from 22.7% in 2007, according to statistics reported by Inside Mortgage Finance, a mortgage industry publication that computes and publishes primary market share information.

The combined market share of the FHA and VA has decreased since 2009, a trend that has been positive for the private mortgage insurance industry (although the VA has maintained its gains). The combined market share of the FHA and VA was 63.5% in 2013 and 59.4% in 2014. The decrease has been influenced by the different rate structures and changes to underwriting criteria implemented by several private mortgage insurers, including MGIC, as well as increases to FHA’s pricing and changes to its policy terms. The FHA reduced its annual mortgage insurance premiums significantly in January 2015. How this price reduction will impact the FHA’s future market share will depend in part on the future level of fees charged by the GSEs (which increases the costs to borrowers including those who purchase private mortgage insurance) and the total profitability that may be realized by mortgage lenders from securitizing FHA-insured loans through Ginnie Mae when compared to delivering loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. For more information, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Consolidated Operations – New Insurance Written,” in Item 7.

Depending on market conditions and expectations, the private mortgage insurance industry also competes with alternatives to mortgage insurance, such as capital market transactions structured to transfer risk of default on residential mortgages, investors willing to hold credit risk on their own balance sheets without credit enhancement, and “piggyback loans,” which combine a first lien loan with a second lien loan.
 
Our new insurance written increased to $33.4 billion in 2014 from $29.8 billion in 2013 and $24.1 billion in 2012. This increase is primarily the result of the decrease in the combined market share of the FHA and VA and the increase in MGIC’s market share within the private mortgage insurance industry. By comparison, the combined effects of the elevated market share of the FHA and VA and the depressed levels of mortgage loan originations following the financial crisis, contributed to a decrease in our new insurance written from $76.8 billion in 2007 to $12.3 billion in 2010.

For 2014, we reported net income of $251.9 million, our first year of annual profitability since 2006. During the last several years preceding the financial crisis, the mortgage lending industry increasingly made home loans to individuals with higher risk credit profiles, at higher loan-to-value (“LTV”) ratios, and based on less documentation and verification of information regarding the borrower. Beginning in 2007, job creation slowed and the housing markets began slowing in certain areas, with declines in certain other areas. In 2008 and 2009, employment in the U.S. decreased substantially and nearly all geographic areas in the U.S. experienced home price declines. Together, these conditions resulted in significant adverse developments for us and our industry. After earning an average of approximately $580 million annually from 2004 through 2006 and $169 million in the first half of 2007, we had aggregate net losses of $5.3 billion for the years 2007-2013.

Beginning in late 2007 and into 2008, we implemented a series of changes to our underwriting requirements that were designed to improve the risk profile of our new business. The loans insured in the periods leading up to the effectiveness of the new requirements continue to experience significantly higher than historical lifetime claim rates and incurred losses. From time to time, in response to market conditions, we continue to change the types of loans that we insure and the requirements under which we insure them. In 2013, we liberalized our underwriting guidelines somewhat, in part through aligning most of our underwriting requirements with the GSEs for loans that receive and are processed in accordance with certain approval recommendations from a GSE automated underwriting system. Our underwriting requirements are available on our website at http://www.mgic.com/underwriting/index.html.

Because the GSEs have been the major purchasers of the mortgages underlying new insurance written by private mortgage insurers, the private mortgage insurance industry in the U.S. is defined in large part by the requirements and practices of the GSEs. These requirements and practices, as well as those of the federal regulators that oversee the GSEs and lenders, impact the operating results and financial performance of companies in the mortgage insurance industry. In 2008, the federal government took control of the GSEs through a conservatorship process. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) is the conservator of the GSEs and has the authority to control and direct their operations. The U.S. Department of the Treasury reported its recommendations regarding options for ending the conservatorship of the GSEs 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 have 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. See the 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.
 
The GSEs have mortgage insurer eligibility requirements for private mortgage insurers that insure loans delivered to the GSEs. In July 2014, the FHFA released draft Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements (“draft PMIERs”). The draft PMIERs include revised financial requirements for mortgage insurers (the “GSE Financial Requirements”) that require a mortgage insurer’s “Available Assets” (generally only the most liquid assets of an insurer) to meet or exceed “Minimum Required Assets” (which are based an insurer’s book and are calculated from tables of factors with several risk dimensions and are subject to a floor amount). We currently expect the PMIERs to be published in final form no earlier than late in the first quarter of 2015 and their effective date to occur 180 days thereafter. The draft PMIERs provided mortgage insurers with up to two years after the final PMIERs are published to meet the GSE Financial Requirements (the “transition period”).
Shortly after the draft PMIERs were released, we estimated that we would have a shortfall in Available Assets on December 31, 2014, which would be somewhat reduced over a two year period. We have various alternatives available to improve MGIC’s Available Assets position, including modifying our reinsurance agreement executed in 2013, contributing additional funds that are on hand today from our holding company to MGIC, using a portion of assets available in regulated insurance affiliates of MGIC, and seeking non-dilutive debt capital.  While there can be no assurance that MGIC will meet the GSE Financial Requirements by their effective date, we believe we will implement one or more of these alternatives so that we would continue to be an eligible mortgage insurer. If MGIC 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.

As noted in “—Reinsurance Agreements” below, in April 2013, we entered into a quota share reinsurance agreement with a group of unaffiliated reinsurers. That agreement 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 agreement that applies to certain insurance written before April 1, 2013. We do not expect that we would receive full credit under the GSE Financial Requirements for our existing reinsurance agreement. We have recently been in discussions with the participating reinsurers regarding modifications to the agreement so that we would receive additional credit for the agreement under the GSE Financial Requirements.

In addition to the FHA, VA, other governmental agencies and the alternatives to mortgage insurance discussed above, we also compete with other mortgage insurers. The U.S. private mortgage insurance industry has historically been very competitive and has become even more so with the addition of three new entrants, including two newly capitalized start-ups that are not encumbered with a portfolio of pre-financial crisis mortgages and one mortgage insurer where customer focus was significantly expanded following its acquisition by a worldwide insurer and reinsurer. The industry currently consists of seven active mortgage insurers and their affiliates.
 
As market conditions change, we change the types of loans that we insure as well as the underwriting requirements and terms under which we insure them. Price competition has been present in the market for some time: in the third quarter of 2014, we reduced many of our standard lender-paid single premium rates to match competition; and in the fourth quarter of 2013, we reduced all of our standard borrower-paid monthly premium rates and most of our standard single premium rates to match competition. Currently, we are seeing price competition in the form of lender-paid single premium programs customized for individual lenders with rates materially lower than those on the standard rate card. During most of 2013, when almost all of our single premium rates were above those most commonly used in the market, single premium policies were approximately 10% of our total new insurance written; they were approximately 15% in 2014 and we expect a higher percentage in 2015 primarily as a result of us selectively matching reduced rates. The premium from a single premium policy is collected upfront and generally earned over the estimated life of the policy. In contrast, premiums from a monthly premium policy are received and earned each month over the life of the policy. Depending on the actual life of a single premium policy and its premium rate relative to that of a monthly premium policy, a single premium policy may generate more or less premium than a monthly premium policy over its life. Currently, we expect to receive less lifetime premium from a new lender-paid single premium policy than we would from a new borrower-paid monthly premium policy. As a result of the recent increase in the percentage of our new insurance written from lender-paid single premium policies, our weighted average premium rate on new insurance written has decreased from 2013 to 2014. As the percentage of our new business represented by lender-paid single premium policies continues to grow, all other things equal, our weighted average premium rates on new insurance written in the future will decrease. If we reduce or discount prices on any premium plan in response to future price competition, it may further decrease our weighted average premium rates.

Our losses incurred from our risk in force have declined in recent years in part due to the improving economy and the run-off of the insurance policies we wrote before the financial crisis, both of which resulted in fewer defaulted loans, as well as an improved cure rate on defaulted loans. Our losses incurred were $496.1 million in 2014, compared to $838.7 million in 2013 and $2.1 billion in 2012. Although rescissions materially reduced our incurred losses in 2009 and 2010, they had no significant impact on our losses incurred in 2011 through 2014, other than a 2012 reduction in the rescission benefit in loss reserves of $0.2 billion due to probable rescission settlement agreements. Although our loss reserves as of December 31, 2014 continued to be impacted by expected rescission activity, the impact was less than as of December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, and significantly less than as of December 31, 2011, in part due to the run-off of insurance policies we wrote between 2005-2008 and the effects of rescission settlement agreements we entered into.
 
The circumstances in which we are entitled to rescind coverage have narrowed for insurance we have written in recent years. During the second quarter of 2012, we began writing a portion of our new insurance under an endorsement to our then existing master policy (the “Gold Cert Endorsement”), which limited our ability to rescind coverage compared to that master policy. To comply with requirements of the GSEs, in 2014 we introduced a new master policy. Our rescission rights under our new master policy are comparable to those under our previous master policy, as modified by the Gold Cert Endorsement, but may be further narrowed if the GSEs permit modifications to them. All of our primary new insurance on loans with mortgage insurance application dates on or after October 1, 2014, will be written under our new master policy. As of December 31, 2014, approximately 29% of our flow, primary insurance in force was written under our Gold Cert Endorsement or our new master policy.

Although loan modification programs continued to mitigate our losses in 2014, the number of completed loan modifications in 2014 was somewhat less than in 2013 and 2012. We currently expect new loan modifications will continue to only modestly mitigate our losses in 2015. For more information, see the risk factor titled “Loan modifications and other similar programs may not continue to provide benefits to us and our losses on loans that re-default can be higher than what we would have paid had the loan not been modified” in Item 1A.

Private mortgage insurers are subject to comprehensive, detailed regulation by state insurance departments. 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.” While they vary among jurisdictions, currently the most common State Capital Requirements allow for a maximum risk-to-capital ratio of 25 to 1. 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. We funded MGIC Indemnity Corporation (“MIC”), a direct subsidiary of MGIC, to write new business in jurisdictions where MGIC no longer met, and was not able to obtain a waiver of, the State Capital Requirements. In the third quarter of 2012, we began writing new mortgage insurance in MIC in those jurisdictions. In March 2013, our holding company issued additional equity and convertible debt securities and transferred $800 million to increase MGIC’s capital. As a result, later in 2013, MGIC was again able to write new business in all jurisdictions and MIC suspended writing new business. At December 31, 2014, MGIC’s risk-to-capital ratio was 14.6 to 1, below the maximum allowed by the jurisdictions with State Capital Requirements, and its policyholder position was $673 million above the required MPP of $1.0 billion.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) previously announced that it plans to revise the minimum capital and surplus requirements for mortgage insurers that are provided for in its Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Model Act. A working group of state regulators is considering this issue, although no date has been established by which the NAIC must propose changes to such requirements.
 
Due to the changing environment described above, as well as other factors discussed below, at this time we are facing the following significant uncertainties:

· Whether we will comply with the new GSE Financial Requirements when they become effective and, therefore, may continue to write insurance on new residential mortgage loans that are sold to the GSEs. For additional information about this uncertainty, see Note 1 – “Nature of Business – Capital” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 and our risk factor titled “We may not continue to meet the GSEs’ mortgage insurer eligibility requirements and our returns may decrease if we are required to maintain significantly more capital in order to maintain our eligibility” in Item 1A.

· Whether competition from other mortgage insurers, the FHA and VA will result in a loss of our market share, a decrease in our revenues as a result of price competition or an increase in our losses as a result of the effects of competition on underwriting guidelines. For additional information about this uncertainty, see our risk factor titled “Competition or changes in our relationships with our customers could reduce our revenues, reduce our premium yields and/or increase our losses” in Item 1A.

· Whether private mortgage insurance will remain a significant credit enhancement alternative for low down payment single family mortgages. A possible restructuring or change in the charters of the GSEs could significantly affect our business. For additional information about this uncertainty, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Overview — GSE Reform” in Item 7 and 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.

General Information About Our Company

We are a Wisconsin corporation organized in 1984. Our principal office is located at MGIC Plaza, 250 East Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202 (telephone number (414) 347-6480).

As used in this annual report, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to MGIC Investment Corporation’s consolidated operations. 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 information about our Australian operations, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Overview — Australia” in Item 7.

Our revenues and losses may be materially affected by the risk factors applicable to us that are included in Item 1A of this annual report. These risk factors are an integral part of this annual report. These risk factors may also cause actual results to differ materially from the results contemplated by forward looking statements that we may make. Forward looking statements consist of statements which relate to matters other than historical fact. Among others, statements that include words such as we “believe,” “anticipate” or “expect,” or words of similar import, are forward looking statements. We are not undertaking any obligation to update any forward looking statements or other statements we may make even though these statements may be affected by events or circumstances occurring after the forward looking statements or other statements were made. No reader of this annual report should rely on these statements being current at any time other than the time at which this annual report was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
B. Our Products and Services

Mortgage Insurance

In general, there are two principal types of private mortgage insurance: “primary” and “pool.” In our industry, a “book” is a group of loans that a mortgage insurer insures in a particular period, normally a calendar year. We refer to the insurance that has been written by MGIC (including MIC for portions of 2012 and 2013) as the “MGIC Book.”

Primary Insurance. Primary insurance provides mortgage default protection on individual loans and covers a percentage of the unpaid loan principal, delinquent interest and certain expenses associated with the default and subsequent foreclosure or sale approved by us (collectively, the “claim amount”). In addition to the loan principal, the claim amount is affected by the mortgage note rate and the time necessary to complete the foreclosure or sale process, which over the past several years has been lengthened, 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. The insurer generally pays the coverage percentage of the claim amount specified in the primary policy, but has the option to pay 100% of the claim amount and acquire title to the property. Primary insurance is generally written on first mortgage loans secured by owner occupied single-family homes, which are one-to-four family homes and condominiums. Primary insurance can be written on first liens secured by non-owner occupied single-family homes, which are referred to in the home mortgage lending industry as investor loans, and on vacation or second homes. Primary coverage can be used on any type of residential mortgage loan instrument approved by the mortgage insurer.

References in this document to amounts of insurance written or in force, risk written or in force and other historical data related to our insurance refer only to direct (before giving effect to reinsurance) primary insurance, unless otherwise indicated. Primary insurance may be written on a flow basis, in which loans are insured in individual, loan-by-loan transactions, or may be written on a bulk basis, in which each loan in a portfolio of loans is individually insured in a single, bulk transaction. New primary insurance written was $33.4 billion in 2014, compared to $29.8 billion in 2013 and $24.1 billion in 2012.
 
The following table shows, on a direct basis, primary insurance in force (the unpaid principal balance of insured loans as reflected in our records) and primary risk in force (the coverage percentage applied to the unpaid principal balance) for the MGIC Book as of the dates indicated.
 
Primary Insurance and Risk In Force
 
 
December 31,
 
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
   
(In billions)        
 
Direct Primary Insurance In Force
 
$
164.9
     
158.7
   
$
162.1
   
$
172.9
   
$
191.3
 
                                         
Direct Primary Risk In Force
 
$
42.9
     
41.1
   
$
41.7
   
$
44.5
   
$
49.0
 

For loans sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the coverage percentage must comply with the requirements established by the particular GSE to which the loan is delivered. The GSEs have different loan purchase programs that allow different levels of mortgage insurance coverage. Under the “charter coverage” program, on certain loans lenders may choose a mortgage insurance coverage percentage that is less than the GSEs’ “standard coverage” and only the minimum required by the GSEs’ charters, with the GSEs paying a lower price for such loans. In 2014, nearly all of our volume was on loans with GSE standard or higher coverage.

For loans that are not sold to the GSEs, the lender determines the coverage percentage from those that we offer. Higher coverage percentages generally result in increased severity, which is the amount paid on a claim, and lower coverage percentages generally result in decreased severity. We charge higher premium rates for higher coverage percentages. However, there can be no assurance that the higher premium rates adequately reflect the risks associated with higher coverage percentages. In accordance with GAAP for the mortgage insurance industry, reserves for losses are only established for loans in default. Because, historically, relatively few defaults occur in the early years of a book of business, the higher premium revenue from higher coverage has historically been recognized before any significant higher losses resulting from that higher coverage may be incurred. For more information, see “- Exposure to Catastrophic Loss; Defaults; Claims; Loss Mitigation - Claims.”

In general, mortgage insurance coverage cannot be terminated by the insurer. However, subject to any restrictions, such as are in our Gold Cert Endorsement or our revised master policy, we may terminate or rescind coverage for, among other reasons, non-payment of premium, and in the case of fraud, certain material misrepresentations made in connection with the application for the insurance policy or if the loan was never eligible for coverage under our policy. For more information, see “— Exposure to Catastrophic Loss; Defaults; Claims; Loss Mitigation — Loss Mitigation.” Mortgage insurance coverage is renewable at the option of the insured lender, at the renewal rate fixed when the loan was initially insured. Lenders may cancel insurance written on a flow basis at any time at their option or because of mortgage repayment, which may be accelerated because of the refinancing of mortgages. In the case of a loan purchased by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, a borrower meeting certain conditions may require the mortgage servicer to cancel insurance upon the borrower’s request when the principal balance of the loan is 80% or less of the home’s current value.
 
Mortgage insurance for loans secured by one-family, primary residences can be canceled under the federal Homeowners Protection Act (the “HPA”). In general, the HPA requires a servicer to cancel the mortgage insurance if a borrower requests cancellation when the principal balance of the loan is first scheduled to reach 80% of the original value, or reaches that percentage through payments, if 1) the borrower is current on the loan and has a “good payment history” (as defined by the HPA), 2) the value of the property has not declined below the original value, and 3) if required by the mortgage owner, the borrower’s equity in the property is not subject to a subordinate lien. Additionally, the HPA requires mortgage insurance to terminate automatically when the principal balance of the loan is first scheduled to reach 78% of the original value and the borrower is current on loan payments or thereafter becomes current. Annually, servicers must inform borrowers of their right to cancel or terminate mortgage insurance. The provisions of the HPA described above apply only to borrower paid mortgage insurance, which is described below.

Coverage tends to continue for borrowers experiencing economic difficulties and living in areas experiencing housing price depreciation. The persistency of coverage for those borrowers coupled with cancellation of coverage for other borrowers can increase the percentage of an insurer’s portfolio comprised of loans with more credit risk. This development can also occur during periods of heavy mortgage refinancing because borrowers experiencing property value appreciation are less likely to require mortgage insurance at the time of refinancing, while borrowers not experiencing property value appreciation are more likely to continue to require mortgage insurance at the time of refinancing or not qualify for refinancing at all (including if they have experienced economic difficulties) and thus remain subject to the mortgage insurance coverage.

The percentage of primary new insurance written with respect to loans representing refinances was 13% in 2014, compared to 26% in 2013 and 36% in 2012. When a borrower refinances a mortgage loan insured by us by paying it off in full with the proceeds of a new mortgage that is also insured by us, the insurance on that existing mortgage is cancelled, and insurance on the new mortgage is considered to be new primary insurance written. Therefore, continuation of our coverage from a refinanced loan to a new loan results in both a cancellation of insurance and new insurance written. When a lender and borrower modify a loan rather than replace it with a new one, or enter into a new loan pursuant to a loan modification program, our insurance continues without being cancelled, assuming that we consent to the modification or new loan. As a result, such modifications or new loans, including those modified under HARP, are not included in our new insurance written.

In addition to varying with the coverage percentage, our premium rates for insurance vary depending upon the perceived risk of a claim on the insured loan and thus take into account, among other things, the loan-to-value ratio, the borrower’s credit score, whether the loan is a fixed payment loan or a non-fixed payment loan (a non-fixed payment loan is referred to in the home mortgage lending industry as an adjustable rate mortgage), the mortgage term and whether the property is the borrower’s primary residence. Prior to 2010, only our premium rates for A-, subprime loans and certain other loans varied based on the borrower’s credit score. See footnote 2 to the table titled “Default Statistics for the MGIC Book” in “ — Exposure to Catastrophic Loss; Defaults; Claims; Loss Mitigation — Defaults” below for the definitions of A-, subprime and reduced documentation loans, as such terms are used in this annual report.
 
Premium rates cannot be changed after the issuance of coverage. Because we believe that over the long term each region of the United States is subject to similar factors affecting risk of loss on insurance written, we generally utilize a nationally based, rather than a regional or local, premium rate policy. However, depending upon regional economic conditions, we have made, and may make, changes to our underwriting requirements to implement more restrictive standards in certain markets and for loan characteristics that we categorize as higher risk.

The borrower’s mortgage loan instrument may require the borrower to pay the mortgage insurance premium. Our industry refers to the related mortgage insurance as “borrower paid.” If the borrower is not required to pay the premium and mortgage insurance is required in connection with the origination of the loan, then the premium is paid by the lender, who may recover the premium through an increase in the note rate on the mortgage or higher origination fees. Our industry refers to mortgage insurance on such loans as “lender paid.” Most of our primary insurance in force is borrower paid mortgage insurance.

There are several payment plans available to the borrower, or lender, as the case may be. Under the single premium plan, the borrower or lender pays us in advance a single payment covering a specified term exceeding twelve months. Under the monthly premium plan, the borrower or lender pays us a monthly premium payment to provide only one month of coverage. Under the annual premium plan, an annual premium is paid to us in advance, and we earn and recognize the premium over the next twelve months of coverage, with annual renewal premiums paid in advance thereafter and earned over the subsequent twelve months of coverage.
 
During 2014, 2013 and 2012, the single premium plan represented approximately 15%, 10% and 9%, respectively, of our new insurance written. The monthly premium plan represented approximately 85%, 90% and 91%, respectively. The annual premium plan represented less than 1% of new insurance written in each of those years. As noted above, our single premium plan policies have increased in part as a result of the 2014 and 2013 reductions in our single premium rates and our selectively matching reduced rates being offered by competitors. We expect a higher percentage of business from single premium plans, including lender-paid single premium plans, in 2015. Currently, we expect to receive less lifetime premium from a new lender-paid single premium policy than we would from a new borrower-paid monthly premium policy. As the percentage of our new business represented by lender-paid single premium policies continues to grow, all other things equal, our weighted average premium rates on new insurance written in the future will decrease. If we reduce or discount prices on any premium plan in response to future price competition, it may further decrease our weighted average premium rates.

Pool Insurance. Pool insurance is generally used as an additional “credit enhancement” for certain secondary market mortgage transactions. Pool insurance generally covers the excess of the loss on a defaulted mortgage loan which exceeds the claim payment under the primary coverage, if primary insurance is required on that mortgage loan, as well as the total loss on a defaulted mortgage loan which did not require primary insurance. Pool insurance may have a stated aggregate loss limit for a pool of loans and may also have a deductible under which no losses are paid by the insurer until losses on the pool of loans exceed the deductible.
 
We have written no new pool risk since 2009, however, for a variety of reasons, including responding to capital market alternatives to private mortgage insurance and customer demands, we may write pool risk in the future. Our direct pool risk in force was $0.8 billion ($0.3 billion on pool policies with aggregate loss limits and $0.5 billion on pool policies without aggregate loss limits) at December 31, 2014, compared to $1.0 billion ($0.4 billion on pool policies with aggregate loss limits and $0.6 billion on pool policies without aggregate loss limits) at December 31, 2013, and $1.3 billion ($0.4 billion on pool policies with aggregate loss limits and $0.9 billion on pool policies without aggregate loss limits) at December 31, 2012.

Wall Street Bulk Transactions. In the fourth quarter of 2007, we stopped writing bulk insurance for loans that served as collateral in home equity securitizations (we refer to these as “Wall Street bulk transactions”). These securitizations represented approximately 6% of our risk in force at December 31, 2014. In general, the loans insured by us in Wall Street bulk transactions consisted of loans with reduced underwriting documentation, cash out refinances that exceed the standard underwriting requirements of the GSEs, A- loans, subprime loans and jumbo loans. A jumbo loan has an unpaid principal balance that exceeds the conforming loan limit. The conforming loan limit is the maximum unpaid principal amount of a mortgage loan that can be purchased by the GSEs. For more information about conforming loan limits, see footnote 4 to the table titled “Characteristics of Primary Risk in Force” in “— Risk in Force and Product Characteristics of Risk in Force” below.

Geographic Dispersion

The following tables reflect the percentage of primary risk in force in the top 10 states and top 10 core-based statistical areas for the MGIC Book at December 31, 2014:

Dispersion of Primary Risk in Force

Top 10 States
   
       
1.
California
   
7.7
%
2.
Texas
   
6.5
 
3.
Florida
   
5.9
 
4.
Pennsylvania
   
5.2
 
5.
Ohio
   
4.7
 
6.
Illinois
   
4.0
 
7.
Michigan
   
3.7
 
8.
New York
   
3.6
 
9.
Washington
   
3.4
 
10.
Georgia
   
3.3
 
Total
   
48.0
%
 
Top 10 Core-Based Statistical Areas
   
       
1.
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet
   
2.7
%
2.
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta
   
2.3
 
3.
Houston-Baytown-Sugarland
   
2.1
 
4.
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria
   
1.9
 
5.
Philadelphia
   
1.9
 
6.
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale
   
1.9
 
7.
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington
   
1.8
 
8.
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett
   
1.5
 
9.
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield
   
1.5
 
10.
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro
   
1.5
 
Total
   
19.1
%

The percentages shown above for various core-based statistical areas can be affected by changes, from time to time, in the federal government’s definition of a core-based statistical area.

Insurance In Force by Policy Year

The following table sets forth for the MGIC Book the dispersion of our primary insurance in force as of December 31, 2014, by year(s) of policy origination since we began operations in 1985:
 
Primary Insurance In Force by Policy Year
 
Policy Year
 
Total
(In millions)
   
Percent of
Total
 
1985-2003
 
$
5,590
     
3.4
%
2004
   
4,440
     
2.7
 
2005
   
8,520
     
5.2
 
2006
   
13,333
     
8.1
 
2007
   
28,311
     
17.2
 
2008
   
15,654
     
9.5
 
2009
   
4,979
     
3.0
 
2010
   
4,199
     
2.5
 
2011
   
6,177
     
3.8
 
2012
   
16,868
     
10.2
 
2013
   
25,269
     
15.3
 
2014
   
31,578
     
19.1
 
Total
 
$
164,918
     
100.0
%

Risk In Force and Product Characteristics of Risk in Force

At each of December 31, 2014 and 2013, 98% of our risk in force was primary insurance and the remaining risk in force was pool insurance. The following table sets forth for the MGIC Book the dispersion of our primary risk in force as of December 31, 2014, by year(s) of policy origination since we began operations in 1985:
 
Primary Risk In Force by Policy Year

Policy Year
 
Total
(In millions)
   
Percent of
Total
 
1985-2003
 
$
1,573
     
3.7
%
2004
   
1,276
     
2.9
 
2005
   
2,422
     
5.6
 
2006
   
3,634
     
8.5
 
2007
   
7,285
     
17.0
 
2008
   
3,938
     
9.2
 
2009
   
1,133
     
2.6
 
2010
   
1,098
     
2.5
 
2011
   
1,627
     
3.8
 
2012
   
4,375
     
10.2
 
2013
   
6,523
     
15.2
 
2014
   
8,062
     
18.8
 
Total
 
$
42,946
     
100.0
%
 
The following table reflects at the dates indicated the (1) total dollar amount of primary risk in force for the MGIC Book and (2) percentage of that primary risk in force, as determined on the basis of information available on the date of mortgage origination, by the categories indicated.
 
14

Characteristics of Primary Risk in Force

   
December 31,
2014
   
December 31,
2013
 
Primary Risk in Force (In Millions):
 
$
42,946
   
$
41,060
 
                 
Loan-to-value ratios:(1)
               
95.01% and above
   
18.7
%
   
22.1
%
90.01-95%
   
44.5
     
39.6
 
85.01-90%
   
30.4
     
31.3
 
80.01-85%
   
4.6
     
4.9
 
80% and below
   
1.8
     
2.1
 
Total
   
100.0
%
   
100.0
%
Loan Type:
               
Fixed(2)
   
93.8
%
   
95.0
%
Adjustable rate mortgages (“ARMs”)(3)
   
6.2
     
5.0
 
Total
   
100.0
%
   
100.0
%
Original Insured Loan Amount:(4)
               
Conforming loan limit and below
   
96.1
%
   
95.4
%
Non-conforming
   
3.9
     
4.6
 
Total
   
100.0
%
   
100.0
%
Mortgage Term:
               
15-years and under
   
3.1
%
   
3.3
%
Over 15 years
   
96.9
     
96.7
 
Total
   
100.0
%
   
100.0
%
Property Type:
               
Single-family detached
   
87.0
%
   
90.9
%
Condominium/Townhouse/Other attached
   
12.3
     
8.4
 
Other(5)
   
0.7
     
0.7
 
Total
   
100.0
%
   
100.0
%
Occupancy Status:
               
Owner occupied
   
96.4
%
   
95.9
%
Second home
   
2.3
     
2.4
 
Investor property
   
1.3
     
1.7
 
Total
   
100.0
%
   
100.0
%
Documentation:
               
Reduced documentation(6)
   
4.8
%
   
5.8
%
Full documentation
   
95.2
     
94.2
 
Total
   
100.0
%
   
100.0
%
FICO Score:(7)
               
Prime (FICO 620 and above)
   
94.4
%
   
93.3
%
A Minus (FICO 575 – 619)
   
4.3
     
5.1
 
Subprime (FICO below 575)
   
1.3
     
1.6
 
Total
   
100.0
%
   
100.0
%

(1) Loan-to-value ratio represents the ratio (expressed as a percentage) of the dollar amount of the first mortgage loan to the value of the property at the time the loan became insured and does not reflect subsequent housing price appreciation or depreciation. Subordinate mortgages may also be present.

(2) Includes fixed rate mortgages with temporary buydowns (where in effect the applicable interest rate is typically reduced by one or two percentage points during the first two years of the loan), ARMs in which the initial interest rate is fixed for at least five years and balloon payment mortgages (a loan with a maturity, typically five to seven years, that is shorter than the loan’s amortization period).
 
(3) Includes ARMs where payments adjust fully with interest rate adjustments. Also includes pay option ARMs and other ARMs with negative amortization features, which collectively at December 31, 2014 and 2013, represented 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively, of primary risk in force. As indicated in note (2), does not include ARMs in which the initial interest rate is fixed for at least five years. As of December 31, 2014 and 2013, ARMs with loan-to-value ratios in excess of 90% represented 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively, of primary risk in force.

(4) Loans within the conforming loan limit have an original principal balance that does not exceed the maximum original principal balance of loans that the GSEs are eligible to purchase. The conforming loan limit, for one unit properties, is subject to annual adjustment and was $417,000 for 2007 and early 2008; this amount was temporarily increased to up to $729,500 in the most costly communities in early 2008 and remained at such level through September 30, 2011. The limit was decreased to $417,000 although it remains $625,500 in high cost communities for loans originated after September 30, 2011. Non-conforming loans are loans with an original principal balance above the conforming loan limit.

(5) Includes cooperatives and manufactured homes deemed to be real estate.

(6) Reduced documentation loans, many of which are commonly referred to as “Alt-A” loans, are originated under programs in which there is a reduced level of verification or disclosure compared to traditional mortgage loan underwriting, including programs in which the borrower’s income and/or assets are disclosed in the loan application but there is no verification of those disclosures and programs in which there is no disclosure of income or assets in the loan application. At December 31, 2014 and 2013, reduced documentation loans represented 4.8% and 5.8% respectively, of primary risk in force. In accordance with industry practice, loans approved by GSE and other automated underwriting (AU) systems under “doc waiver” programs that do not require verification of borrower income are classified by us as “full documentation.” Based in part on information provided by the GSEs, we estimate full documentation loans of this type were approximately 4% of 2007 new insurance written. Information for other periods is not available. We understand these AU systems grant such doc waivers for loans they judge to have higher credit quality. We also understand that the GSEs terminated their “doc waiver” programs in the second half of 2008.

(7) Represents the FICO score at loan origination. The weighted average “decision FICO score” at loan origination for new insurance written in 2014 and 2013 was 743 and 752, respectively. The FICO credit score for a loan with multiple borrowers is the lowest of the borrowers’ decision FICO scores. A borrower’s “decision FICO score” is determined as follows: if there are three FICO scores available, the middle FICO score is used; if two FICO scores are available, the lower of the two is used; if only one FICO score is available, it is used. A FICO credit score is a score based on a borrower’s credit history generated by a model developed by Fair Isaac Corporation.

Other Products and Services

Contract Underwriting. A non-insurance subsidiary of ours performs contract underwriting services for lenders. In performing those services, we underwrite loans to conform to prescribed guidelines. The guidelines might be the lender's own guidelines or the guidelines of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or a non-GSE investor. These services are provided for loans that require private mortgage insurance as well as for loans that do not require private mortgage insurance. The complaint in the RESPA litigation that we settled in 2003, which litigation is referred to in our risk factor titled “We are involved in legal proceedings and are subject to the risk of additional legal proceedings in the future” in Item 1A, alleged, among other things, that the pricing of contract underwriting provided by us violated RESPA.
 
Under our contract underwriting agreements, we may be required to provide certain remedies to our customers if certain standards relating to the quality of our underwriting work are not met, and we have an established reserve for such future obligations. The contract remedy expense of the subsidiary performing the contract underwriting services was approximately $4 million, $5 million and $27 million for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Claims for remedies may be made a number of years after the underwriting work was performed.

Other. We provide various fee-based services for the mortgage finance industry, such as analysis of loan originations, loan portfolios and servicing portfolios; training; and mortgage lead generation.

Reinsurance Agreements.
 
At December 31, 2014, approximately 61% of our insurance in force is subject to reinsurance agreements, compared to 55% at December 31, 2013. For the fourth quarter of 2014 approximately 87% of our new insurance written was subject to reinsurance agreements, compared to 92% in the fourth quarter of 2013.
 
External Reinsurance. In April 2013, we entered into a quota share reinsurance agreement with a group of unaffiliated reinsurers. These reinsurers are not captive reinsurers. The April 2013 agreement applies to new insurance written between April 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015 (with certain exclusions) and covers incurred losses, with renewal premium through December 31, 2018. Early termination is possible under specified scenarios. The structure of the reinsurance agreement is a 30% quota share, with a 20% ceding commission as well as a profit commission. In December 2013, we entered into an Addendum to that quota share agreement that includes a 40% quota share that applies to certain insurance written before April 1, 2013.  Although reinsuring against possible loan losses does not discharge us from liability to a policyholder, it may reduce the amount of capital we are required to retain against potential future losses for rating agency and insurance regulatory purposes. Although our quota share reinsurance agreement has been approved by the GSEs, we do not expect it would be given full credit under the GSE Financial Requirements when they become effective. We have been in discussions with the participating reinsurers regarding modifications to the agreement so that we would receive additional credit under the GSE Financial Requirements. If MGIC is disallowed full credit under either the GSE Financial Requirements or the State Capital Requirements, MGIC may terminate the agreement, without penalty.

Captive Reinsurance. In a captive reinsurance arrangement, the reinsurer is affiliated with the lender for whom MGIC provides mortgage insurance. Since June 2005, various state and federal regulators have conducted investigations or requested information regarding captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements in which we participated, in part, in order to consider compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”). In 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida approved a settlement between MGIC and the CFPB that resolved federal investigation of MGIC’s participation in captive reinsurance arrangements in the mortgage insurance industry. The settlement concludes the investigation with respect to MGIC without the CFPB or the court making any findings of wrongdoing. Three other mortgage insurers agreed to similar settlements. As part of the settlements, MGIC and the other mortgage insurers agreed that they would not enter into any new captive reinsurance agreement or reinsure any new loans under any existing captive reinsurance agreement for a period of ten years. In accordance with this settlement, all of our active captive arrangements have been placed into run-off.
 
We received requests from the Minnesota Department of Commerce (the “MN Department”) beginning in February 2006 regarding captive mortgage reinsurance and certain other matters in response to which MGIC has provided information on several occasions, including as recently as May 2011. In August 2013, MGIC and several competitors received a draft Consent Order from the MN Department containing proposed conditions to resolve its investigation, including unspecified penalties. We are engaged in discussions with the MN Department regarding the draft Consent Order. We also received a request in June 2005 from the New York Department of Financial Services for information regarding captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements and other types of arrangements in which lenders receive compensation. Other insurance departments or other officials, including attorneys general, may also seek information about, investigate, or seek remedies regarding captive mortgage reinsurance.

Seven mortgage insurers, including MGIC, were involved in litigation alleging that “inflated” captive reinsurance premiums were paid in violation of RESPA. MGIC’s settlement of this class action litigation against it became final in October 2003. Since December 2006, class action litigation has been brought against a number of large lenders alleging that their captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements violated RESPA. Beginning in December 2011, MGIC, together with various mortgage lenders and other mortgage insurers, has been named as a defendant in twelve lawsuits, alleged to be class actions, filed in various U.S. District Courts.  The complaints in all of the cases allege various causes of action related to the captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements of the mortgage lenders, including that the lenders’ captive reinsurers received excessive premiums in relation to the risk assumed by those captives, thereby violating RESPA. Seven of those cases had been dismissed prior to February 2015 without any further opportunity to appeal. Of the remaining five cases, three were dismissed with prejudice in February 2015 pursuant to stipulations of dismissal from the plaintiffs, and the remaining two cases are expected to be dismissed with prejudice in connection with plaintiffs' stipulations in such cases. There can be no assurance that we will not be subject to further litigation under RESPA or that the outcome of any such litigation, including the lawsuits mentioned above, would not have a material adverse effect on us.

For further information about our reinsurance agreements, see Note 11, “Reinsurance,” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8.

Customers

Originators of residential mortgage loans such as savings institutions, commercial banks, mortgage brokers, credit unions, mortgage bankers and other lenders have historically determined the placement of mortgage insurance written on a flow basis and as a result are our customers. To obtain primary insurance from us written on a flow basis, a mortgage lender must first apply for and receive a mortgage guaranty master policy from us. Our top 10 customers, none of whom represented more than 10% of our consolidated revenues, generated 19.5% of our new insurance written on a flow basis in 2014, compared to 23.0% in 2013 and 24.8% in 2012.  Our largest customer accounted for approximately 4% of our flow new insurance written in 2014 compared to approximately 7% in 2013. Our relationships with our customers could be adversely affected by a variety of factors, including tightening of and adherence to our underwriting requirements, which have resulted in our declining to insure some of the loans originated by our customers and insurance rescissions that affect the customer.  Information about some of the other factors that can affect a mortgage insurer’s relationship with its customers can be found in our risk factor titled “Competition or changes in our relationships with our customers could reduce our revenues, reduce our premium yields and/or increase our losses” in Item 1A.
 
Sales and Marketing and Competition

Sales and Marketing. We sell our insurance products through our own employees, located throughout all regions of the United States and in Puerto Rico.

Competition. Our competition includes other mortgage insurers, governmental agencies and products designed to eliminate the need to purchase private mortgage insurance. For flow business, we and other private mortgage insurers compete directly with federal and state governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, principally the FHA and the VA. These agencies sponsor government-backed mortgage insurance programs, which during 2014, 2013 and 2012 accounted for approximately 59.4%, 63.5% and 68.1%, respectively, of the total low down payment residential mortgages which were subject to governmental or primary private mortgage insurance. For more information about the market share of the FHA and VA, see “Overview of the Private Mortgage Insurance Industry and its Operating Environment” above.
In addition to competition from the FHA and the VA, we and other private mortgage insurers face competition from state-supported mortgage insurance funds in several states, including California and New York. From time to time, other state legislatures and agencies consider expanding the authority of their state governments to insure residential mortgages.

The private mortgage insurance industry is highly competitive. We believe that we currently compete with other private mortgage insurers based on pricing, underwriting requirements, financial strength, customer relationships, name recognition, reputation, the strength of our management team and field organization, the ancillary products and services provided to lenders (including contract underwriting services), the depth of our databases covering insured loans and the effective use of technology and innovation in the delivery and servicing of our mortgage insurance products.

The U.S. private mortgage insurance industry currently consists of seven active mortgage insurers and their affiliates. The names of these mortgage insurers can be found in our risk factor titled “Competition or changes in our relationships with our customers could reduce our revenues, reduce our premium yields and/or increase our losses” in Item 1A. Until 2010 the mortgage insurance industry had not had new entrants in many years. Since 2010, two new public companies were formed and began writing business and a worldwide insurer and reinsurer with mortgage insurance operations in Europe completed the purchase of a competitor and is currently writing business. At December 31, 2014, we had the third largest book of direct primary insurance in force. According to Inside Mortgage Finance, through 2010, we had been the largest private mortgage insurer (as measured by new insurance written) for more than ten years. In 2014, we had the third largest market share (as measured by new insurance written) and it was 19.8% in 2014, compared to 16.4% in 2013 and 18.4% in 2012, in each case excluding HARP refinances.
 
The mortgage insurance industry historically viewed a financial strength rating of Aa3/AA- as critical to writing new business, in part because it was required in order to maintain the highest level of eligibility with the GSEs. At the time that this annual report was finalized, the financial strength of MGIC was rated Ba3 (with a stable outlook) by Moody’s Investors Service and BB+ (with a stable outlook) by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services. As a result of MGIC’s financial strength rating being below Aa3/AA-, it has been operating with each GSE as an eligible insurer under a remediation plan. As noted above, the GSEs are revising their mortgage insurer eligibility requirements including by replacing the financial strength rating requirements with the GSE Financial Standards. For further information about the importance of MGIC’s capital, see our risk factor titled “We may not continue to meet the GSEs’ mortgage insurer eligibility requirements and our returns may decrease if we are required to maintain significantly more capital in order to maintain our eligibility” in Item 1A. Depending on the evolution of housing finance reform, the level of issuances of non-GSE mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) may increase in the future. Financial strength ratings may be considered by issuers of non-GSE MBS in determining whether to purchase private mortgage insurance for loans supporting such securities. In assigning financial strength ratings, in addition to considering the adequacy of the mortgage insurer’s capital to withstand very high claim scenarios under assumptions determined by the rating agency, we believe rating agencies review a mortgage insurer’s historical and projected operating performance, franchise risk, business outlook, competitive position, management, corporate strategy, and other factors. The rating agency issuing the financial strength rating can withdraw or change its rating at any time.

Risk Management

We believe that mortgage credit risk is materially affected by:

· the borrower’s credit profile, including the borrower’s credit history, debt-to-income ratios and cash reserves, and the willingness of a borrower with sufficient resources to make mortgage payments when the mortgage balance exceeds the value of the home;
 
· the loan product, which encompasses the loan-to-value ratio, the type of loan instrument, including whether the instrument provides for fixed or variable payments and the amortization schedule, the type of property and the purpose of the loan;
 
· origination practices of lenders and the percentage of coverage on insured loans;
 
· the size of insured loans; and
 
· the condition of the economy, including housing values and employment, in the area in which the property is located.
 
We believe that, excluding other factors, claim incidence increases:
 
· for loans to borrowers with lower FICO credit scores compared to loans to borrowers with higher FICO credit scores;
 
· for loans with less than full underwriting documentation compared to loans with full underwriting documentation;
 
· during periods of economic contraction and housing price depreciation, including when these conditions may not be nationwide, compared to periods of economic expansion and housing price appreciation;
 
· for loans with higher loan-to-value ratios compared to loans with lower loan-to-value ratios;
 
· for ARMs when the reset interest rate significantly exceeds the interest rate of loan origination;
 
· for loans that permit the deferral of principal amortization compared to loans that require principal amortization with each monthly payment;
 
· for loans in which the original loan amount exceeds the conforming loan limit compared to loans below that limit; and
 
· for cash out refinance loans compared to rate and term refinance loans.
 
Other types of loan characteristics relating to the individual loan or borrower may also affect the risk potential for a loan. The presence of a number of higher-risk characteristics in a loan materially increases the likelihood of a claim on such a loan unless there are other characteristics to lower the risk.

We charge higher premium rates to reflect the increased risk of claim incidence that we perceive is associated with a loan, although not all higher risk characteristics are reflected in the premium rate. There can be no assurance that our premium rates adequately reflect the increased risk, particularly in a period of economic recession, high unemployment, slowing home price appreciation or housing price declines. For additional information, see our risk factors in Item 1A, including the one titled “The premiums we charge may not be adequate to compensate us for our liabilities for losses and as a result any inadequacy could materially affect our financial condition and results of operations.”

Beginning in late 2007 and into 2008, we implemented a series of changes to our underwriting requirements that were designed to improve the risk profile of our new business. The changes primarily affected borrowers who had multiple risk factors such as a high loan-to-value ratio, a lower FICO score and limited documentation or are financing a home in a market we categorized as higher risk. Beginning in September 2009, we have made changes to our underwriting  requirements that have allowed certain loans to be eligible for insurance that were not eligible prior to those changes and we expect to continue to make changes in appropriate circumstances in the future.
 
Delegated Underwriting and Automated Underwriting. In the past, we allowed approved lenders to commit us to insure loans originated through the flow channel using their own underwriting guidelines that we had pre-approved. Subsequently, some lenders developed their own automated underwriting systems. After we reviewed such systems, we agreed to allow certain lenders to commit us to insure loans that their systems approved. From 2000 through January 2007, the use of automated underwriting systems by the GSEs and lenders increased materially. During this same period, we allowed loans approved by the automated underwriting systems of the GSEs and certain approved lenders to be automatically approved for MGIC mortgage insurance. As a result, during this period, a substantial majority of the loans insured by us through the flow channel were approved as a result of loan approvals by automated underwriting systems. Beginning in 2007 and continuing through 2012, loans would not automatically be insured by us even though the loans were approved by the underwriting systems described above. Beginning in 2013, we liberalized our underwriting guidelines somewhat, in part through aligning most of our underwriting requirements with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for loans that receive and are processed in accordance with certain approval recommendations from a GSE automated underwriting system. As a result of the liberalization of our underwriting requirements, the migration of marginally lower FICO business from the FHA to us (which we believe also occurred for  other private mortgage insurers) and other factors, our business written in the last several quarters is expected to have a somewhat higher claim incidence than business written in recent years. However, we believe this business presents an acceptable level of risk.
 
Most applications for mortgage insurance are submitted to us electronically and we rely upon the lender’s representations and warranties that the data submitted is true and correct when making our insurance decision. In the case of electronic submissions, a lender transmits application data to us through a variety of electronic interfaces and all submitted data is electronically evaluated against our underwriting requirements. If the loan meets the underwriting requirements, a commitment to insure the loan is issued. If the requirements are not met, the loan is reviewed by one of our underwriters. Substantially all of the remaining applications are accompanied by documents from the lender’s loan origination file. Data is entered from those applications and electronically evaluated against our underwriting requirements, in addition to a review of the documents by our underwriters. If the loan meets the underwriting requirements, a commitment to insure the loan is issued. Our underwriters are authorized to approve loans that do not meet all of our underwriting requirements, including after discussing the loan with the lender. Together, the number of loans for which underwriting exceptions were made accounted for fewer than 2% of the loans we insured in each of 2013 and 2014.
 
Exposure to Catastrophic Loss; Defaults; Claims; Loss Mitigation

Exposure to Catastrophic Loss. The private mortgage insurance industry has from time to time experienced catastrophic losses similar to the losses we have experienced in recent years. For background information about the current cycle of such losses, refer to “General – Overview of Private Mortgage Insurance Industry and its Operating Environment” above. To the extent our premium yield materially declines without either a corresponding decrease in our risk written or achieving other benefits, we become less likely to be able to withstand the occurrence of a catastrophic loss scenario. Prior to the most recent cycle of such losses, the last time that private mortgage insurers experienced substantial losses was in the mid-to-late 1980s. From the 1970s until 1981, rising home prices in the United States generally led to profitable insurance underwriting results for the industry and caused private mortgage insurers to emphasize market share. To maximize market share, until the mid-1980s, private mortgage insurers employed liberal underwriting practices, and charged premium rates which, in retrospect, generally did not adequately reflect the risk assumed, particularly on pool insurance. These industry practices compounded the losses which resulted from changing economic and market conditions which occurred during the early and mid-1980s, including (1) severe regional recessions and attendant declines in property values in the nation’s energy producing states; (2) the lenders’ development of new mortgage products to defer the impact on home buyers of double digit mortgage interest rates; and (3) changes in federal income tax incentives which initially encouraged the growth of investment in non-owner occupied properties.
 
Defaults. The claim cycle on private mortgage insurance generally begins with the insurer’s receipt of notification of a default on an insured loan from the lender. We consider a loan to be in default when it is two or more payments past due. Most lenders report delinquent loans to us within this two month period. The incidence of default is affected by a variety of factors, including the level of borrower income growth, unemployment, divorce and illness, the level of interest rates, rates of housing price appreciation or depreciation and general borrower creditworthiness. Defaults that are not cured result in a claim to us. See “- Claims.” Defaults may be cured by the borrower bringing current the delinquent loan payments or by a sale of the property and the satisfaction of all amounts due under the mortgage. In addition, when a policy is rescinded or a claim is denied we remove the default from our default inventory.

The following table shows the number of primary and pool loans insured in the MGIC Book, including A- and subprime loans, the related number of loans in default and the percentage of loans in default, or default rate, as of December 31, 2010-2014:

Default Statistics for the MGIC Book

   
December 31,
 
   
2014
   
2013
   
2012
   
2011
   
2010
 
                     
PRIMARY INSURANCE
                   
Insured loans in force
   
968,748
     
960,163
     
1,006,346
     
1,090,086
     
1,228,315
 
Loans in default (1)
   
79,901
     
103,328
     
139,845
     
175,639
     
214,724
 
Default rate – all loans
   
8.25
%
   
10.76
%
   
13.90
%
   
16.11
%
   
17.48
%
Prime loans in default (2)
   
50,307
     
65,724
     
90,270
     
112,403
     
134,787
 
Default rate – prime loans
   
5.82
%
   
7.82
%
   
10.44
%
   
12.20
%
   
13.11
%
A-minus loans in default (2)
   
13,021
     
16,496
     
20,884
     
25,989
     
31,566
 
Default rate – A-minus loans
   
27.61
%
   
30.41
%
   
32.92
%
   
35.10
%
   
36.69
%
Subprime loans in default (2)
   
5,228
     
6,391
     
7,668
     
9,326
     
11,132
 
Default rate – subprime loans
   
35.20
%
   
38.70
%
   
40.78
%
   
43.60
%
   
45.66
%
Reduced documentation loans delinquent (3)
   
11,345
     
14,717
     
21,023
     
27,921
     
37,239
 
Default rate – reduced doc loans
   
27.08
%
   
30.41
%
   
35.23
%
   
37.96
%
   
41.66
%
POOL INSURANCE
                                       
Insured loans in force (4)
   
62,869
     
87,584
     
119,061
     
374,228
     
468,361
 
Loans in default
   
3,797
     
6,563
     
8,594
     
32,971
     
43,329
 
Percentage of loans in default (default rate)
   
6.04
%
   
7.49
%
   
7.22
%
   
8.81
%
   
9.25
%
 
General Notes:
 
(a) Servicers continue to pay our premiums for nearly all of the loans in our default inventory, but in some cases, servicers stop paying our premiums. In those cases, even though the loans continue to be included in our default inventory, the applicable loans are removed from our insured loans in force. Loans where servicers have stopped paying premiums include 4,074 defaults with risk in force of $205 million as of December 31, 2014.
 
(b) During the 4th quarter of 2011 we conducted a review of our single life of loan policies and concluded that approximately 21,000 of these policies were no longer in force, and as a result we canceled these policies with insurance in force of approximately $2.3 billion and risk in force of approximately $0.5 billion.

(1)
 At December 31, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, 4,746, 6,948, 11,731, 12,610 and 20,898 loans in default, respectively, were in our claims received inventory.

(2)
 We define prime loans as those having FICO credit scores of 620 or greater, A-minus loans as those having FICO credit scores of 575-619, and subprime credit loans as those having FICO credit scores of less than 575, all as reported to MGIC at the time a commitment to insure is issued. In this annual report we classify loans without complete documentation as “reduced documentation” loans regardless of FICO credit score rather than as prime, “A-” or “subprime” loans; in the table above, such loans appear only in the reduced documentation category and they do not appear in any of the other categories.

(3) In accordance with industry practice, loans approved by GSE and other automated underwriting (AU) systems under “doc waiver” programs that do not require verification of borrower income are classified by us as “full documentation.” Based in part on information provided by the GSEs, we estimate full documentation loans of this type were approximately 4% of 2007 new insurance written. Information for other periods is not available. We understand these AU systems grant such doc waivers for loans they judge to have higher credit quality. We also understand that the GSEs terminated their “doc waiver” programs in the second half of 2008.

(4) The number of loans insured under pool policies declined significantly from 2011 to 2012, partly due to the cancellation of certain pool policies due to the exhaustion of their aggregate loss limits.

Different areas of the United States may experience different default rates due to varying localized economic conditions from year to year. The following table shows the percentage of primary loans we insured that were in default as of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 for the 15 states for which we paid the most losses during 2014:

State Default Rates

   
December 31,
 
   
2014
   
2013
   
2012
 
Florida
   
17.66
%
   
27.48
%
   
36.49
%
Illinois
   
10.28
     
14.28
     
20.12
 
California
   
5.87
     
8.22
     
13.79
 
Maryland
   
12.80
     
17.08
     
20.59
 
Pennsylvania
   
8.26
     
10.06
     
11.84
 
Ohio
   
6.48
     
8.46
     
10.76
 
New Jersey
   
18.72
     
21.87
     
24.76
 
Washington
   
5.59
     
8.26
     
13.25
 
Georgia
   
8.15
     
10.67
     
14.68
 
Michigan
   
5.45
     
7.43
     
10.35
 
New York
   
14.97
     
16.56
     
17.48
 
North Carolina
   
7.34
     
9.91
     
12.91
 
Arizona
   
5.66
     
8.45
     
14.63
 
Nevada
   
13.68
     
20.06
     
30.32
 
Wisconsin
   
5.07
     
6.27
     
8.65
 
All other states
   
7.05
     
8.75
     
10.62
 

The primary default inventory in those same states as of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 appears in a table found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Consolidated Operations – Losses – Losses Incurred,” in Item 7.
 
Claims. Claims result from defaults that are not cured or a short sale that we approve. Whether a claim results from an uncured default depends, in large part, on the borrower’s equity in the home at the time of default, the borrower’s or the lender’s ability to sell the home for an amount sufficient to satisfy all amounts due under the mortgage and the willingness and ability of the borrower and lender to enter into a loan modification that provides for a cure of the default. Various factors affect the frequency and amount of claims, including local housing prices and employment levels, and interest rates. If a default goes to claim, any premium collected from the time of default to time of the claim payment is returned to the servicer along with the claim payment.
  
Under the terms of our master policy, the lender is required to file a claim for primary insurance with us within 60 days after it has acquired title to the underlying property (typically through foreclosure). Until a few years ago, it took, on average, approximately twelve months for a default that is not cured to develop into a paid claim. Over the past several years, the average time it takes to receive a claim associated with a default 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. It is difficult to estimate how long it may take for current and future defaults that do not cure to develop into paid claims.

Within 60 days after a claim has been filed and all documents required to be submitted to us have been delivered, we have the option of either (1) paying the coverage percentage specified for that loan, with the insured retaining title to the underlying property and receiving all proceeds from the eventual sale of the property (we have elected this option for the vast majority of claim payments in the recent past), or (2) paying 100% of the claim amount in exchange for the lender’s conveyance of good and marketable title to the property to us. After we receive title to properties, we sell them for our own account. If we fail to pay a claim timely, we would be subject to additional interest expense.

Claim activity is not evenly spread throughout the coverage period of a book of primary business. Relatively few claims are typically received during the first two years following issuance of coverage on a loan. This is typically followed by a period of rising claims which, based on industry experience, has historically reached its highest level in the third and fourth years after the year of loan origination. Thereafter, the number of claims typically received has historically declined at a gradual rate, although the rate of decline can be affected by conditions in the economy, including slowing home price appreciation or housing price depreciation. Moreover, when a loan is refinanced, because the new loan replaces, and is a continuation of, an earlier loan, the pattern of claims frequency for that new loan may be different from the historical pattern for other loans. Persistency, the condition of the economy, including unemployment, and other factors can affect the pattern of claim activity. For example, a weak economy can lead to claims from older books increasing, continuing at stable levels or experiencing a lower rate of decline. As of December 31, 2014, 45% of our primary insurance in force was written subsequent to December 31, 2011, 48% was written subsequent to December 31, 2010, and 51% was written subsequent to December 31, 2009. See “Our Products and Services - Mortgage Insurance - Insurance In Force by Policy Year” above.
 
Another important factor affecting MGIC Book losses is the amount of the average claim size, which is generally referred to as claim severity. The primary average claim paid on the MGIC Book was $45,596 in 2014, compared to $46,375 in 2013, $48,722 in 2012, $49,887 in 2011 and $50,173 in 2010.The main determinants of claim severity are the amount of the mortgage loan, the coverage percentage on the loan, loss mitigation efforts and local market conditions.

Information about net claims we paid during 2014, 2013 and 2012 appears in the table below.

Net paid claims (In millions)
           
   
2014
   
2013
   
2012
 
Prime (FICO 620 & >)
 
$
755
   
$
1,163
   
$
1,558
 
A-Minus (FICO 575-619)
   
124
     
179
     
235
 
Subprime (FICO < 575)
   
38
     
50
     
65
 
Reduced doc (All FICOs) (1)
   
157
     
219
     
372
 
Pool (2)
   
84
     
104
     
334
 
Other (3)
   
1
     
107
     
5
 
Direct losses paid
 
$
1,159
   
$
1,822
   
$
2,569
 
Reinsurance
   
(34
)
   
(61
)
   
(90
)
Net losses paid
 
$
1,125
   
$
1,761
   
$
2,479
 
LAE
   
29
     
36
     
45
 
Net losses and LAE before terminations
 
$
1,154
   
$
1,797
   
$
2,524
 
Reinsurance terminations
   
-
     
(3
)
   
(6
)
Net losses and LAE paid
 
$
1,154
   
$
1,794
   
$
2,518
 

(1) In this annual report we classify loans without complete documentation as “reduced documentation” loans regardless of FICO credit score rather than as prime, “A-” or “subprime” loans; in the table above, such loans appear only in the reduced documentation category and they do not appear in any of the other categories.

(2) 2014, 2013 and 2012 include $42 million, $42 million and $100 million, respectively, paid under the terms of the settlement with Freddie Mac as discussed under Note 9 – “Loss Reserves” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8.

(3) 2013 includes $105 million associated with the implementation of the Countrywide settlement as discussed in Note 20 – “Litigation and Contingencies” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8.

Primary claims paid for the top 15 states (based on 2014 paid claims, excluding payments associated with the Countrywide settlement) and all other states for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 appear in a table found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Consolidated Operations – Losses – Losses Incurred,” in Item 7.

From time to time, proposals to give bankruptcy judges the authority to reduce mortgage balances in bankruptcy cases have been made. Such reductions are sometimes referred to as bankruptcy cramdowns. A bankruptcy cramdown is not an event that entitles an insured party to make a claim under our insurance policy. If a borrower ultimately satisfies his or her mortgage after a bankruptcy cramdown, then our insurance policies provide that we would not be required to pay any claim. Under our insurance policies, however, if a borrower re-defaults on a mortgage after a bankruptcy cramdown, the claim we would be required to pay would be based upon the original, unreduced loan balance. We are not aware of any bankruptcy cramdown proposals that would change these provisions of our insurance policies. 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 a reduction, then under the terms of our policy the amount we would be responsible to cover would be calculated net of the reduction.
 
Loss Mitigation. Before paying a claim, we review the loan and servicing files to determine the appropriateness of the claim amount. All of our insurance policies provide that we can reduce or deny a claim if the servicer did not comply with its obligations under our insurance policy, including the requirement to mitigate our loss by performing reasonable loss mitigation efforts or, for example, diligently pursuing a foreclosure or bankruptcy relief in a timely manner. We call such reduction of claims submitted to us “curtailments.” In 2014 and 2013, curtailments reduced our average claim paid by approximately 6.7% and 5.8%, respectively. In addition, the claims submitted to us sometimes include costs and expenses not covered by our insurance policies, such as hazard insurance premiums for periods after the claim date and losses resulting from property damage that has not been repaired. These other adjustments reduced claim amounts by less than the amount of curtailments. After we pay a claim, servicers and insureds sometimes object to our curtailments and other adjustments. We review these objections if they are sent to us within 90 days after the claim was paid.

When reviewing the loan file associated with a claim, we may determine that we have the right to rescind coverage on the loan. Prior to 2008, rescissions of coverage on loans and claim denials, which we collectively refer to as “rescissions” and variations of this term, were not a material portion of our claims resolved during a year. However, beginning in 2008, our rescissions of coverage on loans have materially mitigated our paid losses, however, the percentage of claims that have been resolved through rescission has significantly declined. We expect that the percentage of claims that will be resolved through rescissions will continue to decline. For further information, see our risk factor titled “We are involved in legal proceedings and are subject to the risk of additional legal proceedings in the future” in Item 1A.

When we rescind coverage, we return all premiums previously paid to us under the policy and are relieved of our obligation to pay a claim under the policy. If the insured disputes our right to rescind coverage, we generally engage in discussions in an attempt to settle the dispute. As part of those discussions, we may voluntarily suspend rescissions we believe may be part of a settlement. In 2011, Freddie Mac advised its servicers that they must obtain its prior approval for rescission settlements, Fannie Mae advised its servicers that they are prohibited from entering into such settlements, and Fannie Mae notified us that we must obtain its prior approval to enter into certain settlements. Since those announcements, the GSEs have consented to our settlement agreements with two customers, one of which is Countrywide, as discussed below, and have rejected other settlement agreements. We have reached and implemented settlement agreements that do not require GSE approval, but they have not been material in the aggregate.
 
If we are unable to reach a settlement, the outcome of the dispute ultimately would be determined by legal proceedings. Under our policies in effect prior to October 1, 2014, legal proceedings disputing our right to rescind coverage may be brought up to three years after the lender has obtained title to the property (typically through a foreclosure) or the property was sold in a sale that we approved, whichever is applicable, and under our master policy effective October 1, 2014, such proceedings may be brought up two years from the date of the notice of rescission. In a few jurisdictions there is a longer time to bring such proceedings.

Until a liability associated with a settlement agreement or litigation becomes probable and can be reasonably estimated, we consider our claim payment or rescission resolved for financial reporting purposes even though discussions and legal proceedings have been initiated and are ongoing. Under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 450-20, an estimated loss from such discussions and proceedings is accrued for only if we determine that the loss is probable and can be reasonably estimated.

As noted in the risk factor titled “We are involved in legal proceedings and are subject to the risk of additional legal proceedings in the future,” in Item 1A, in 2013, we entered into two agreements to resolve our dispute with Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (“CHL”) and its affiliate, Bank of America, N.A., as successor to Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP (“BANA” and collectively with CHL, “Countrywide”) regarding rescissions. The Agreement with BANA covers loans purchased by the GSEs. That original agreement was implemented beginning in November 2013 and we resolved all related suspended rescissions in November and December 2013 by paying the associated claim or processing the rescission. The agreement with CHL covers loans that were purchased by non-GSE investors, including securitization trusts (the “other investors”). That agreement will be implemented only as and to the extent that it is consented to by or on behalf of the other investors. While there can be no assurance that the agreement with CHL will be implemented, we have determined that its implementation is probable.

The estimated impact of the BANA and CHL agreements and other probable settlements has been recorded in our financial statements. The estimated impact that we recorded for probable settlements is our best estimate of our loss from these matters. We estimate that the maximum exposure above the best estimate provision we recorded is $626 million, of which about 60% is related to claims paying practices subject to the agreement with CHL and previously disclosed curtailment matters with Countrywide. If we are not able to implement the agreement with CHL or the other settlements we consider probable, we intend to defend MGIC vigorously against any related legal proceedings.

The flow policies at issue with Countrywide are in the same form as the flow policies that we used with all of our customers during the period covered by the Agreements, and the bulk policies at issue vary from one another, but are generally similar to those used in the majority of our Wall Street bulk transactions.

We are involved in discussions and legal proceedings with customers with respect to our claims paying practices. Although it is reasonably possible that, when these discussions or legal proceedings are completed, we will not prevail in all cases, we are unable to make a reasonable estimate of the potential liability. We estimate the maximum exposure associated with these discussions and legal proceedings to be approximately $16 million, although we believe we will ultimately resolve these matters for significantly less than this amount.
 
The estimates of our maximum exposure referred to above do not include interest or consequential or exemplary damages.

Our rescissions involve inaccurate information or fraud committed, regarding a borrower’s income, debts or intention to occupy the property, a faulty appraisal, negligence in the origination of the loan, or a failure to provide us with documentation we request under our policy (we use this documentation to investigate whether a claim must be paid). We do not expect future rescissions will be a significant portion of the claims we resolve over the next few years.

The circumstances in which we are entitled to rescind coverage have narrowed for insurance we have written in recent years. During the second quarter of 2012, we began writing a portion of our new insurance under the Gold Cert Endorsement, which limited our ability to rescind coverage compared to our master policy in effect at that time. Our rescission rights under our new master policy introduced in 2014 are comparable to those under our previous master policy, as modified by the Gold Cert Endorsement, but may be further narrowed if the GSEs permit modifications to them.
  
One of the loss mitigation techniques available to us is obtaining a deficiency judgment against the borrower and attempting to recover some or all of the paid claim from the borrower. Various factors, including state laws that limit or eliminate our ability to pursue deficiency judgments and borrowers’ financial conditions, have limited our recoveries in recent years to less than one-half of 1% of our paid claims.

Loss Reserves and Premium Deficiency Reserve

A significant period of time typically elapses between the time when a borrower defaults on a mortgage payment, which is the event triggering a potential future claim payment by us, the reporting of the default to us, the acquisition of the property by the lender (typically through foreclosure) or the sale of the property with our approval, and the eventual payment of the claim related to the uncured default or a rescission. To recognize the liability for unpaid losses related to outstanding reported defaults, or default inventory, we establish loss reserves.  Loss reserves are established by estimating the number of loans in our default inventory that will result in a claim payment, which is referred to as the claim rate, and further estimating the amount of the claim payment, which is referred to as claim severity. Our loss reserve estimates are established based upon historical experience, including rescission activity. In accordance with GAAP for the mortgage insurance industry, we generally do not establish loss reserves for future claims on insured loans that are not currently in default.

We also establish reserves to provide for the estimated costs of settling claims, general expenses of administering the claims settlement process, legal fees and other fees (“loss adjustment expenses”), and for losses and loss adjustment expenses from defaults that have occurred, but which have not yet been reported to us.
 
Our reserving process bases our estimates of future events on our past experience. However, estimation of loss reserves is inherently judgmental and conditions that have affected the development of the loss reserves in the past may not necessarily affect development patterns in the future, in either a similar manner or degree. For further information, see our risk factors in Item 1A, including the ones titled “Because we establish loss reserves only upon a loan default rather than based on estimates of our ultimate losses on risk in force, losses may have a disproportionate adverse effect on our earnings in certain periods,” and “Because loss reserve estimates are subject to uncertainties, paid claims may be substantially different than our loss reserves.”

After our reserves are initially established, we perform premium deficiency tests using best estimate assumptions as of the testing date. We establish a premium deficiency reserve, if necessary, when the present value of expected future losses and expenses exceeds the present value of expected future premiums and already established reserves. In the fourth quarter of 2007, we recorded a premium deficiency reserve of $1.2 billion relating to Wall Street bulk transactions remaining in our insurance in force. As of December 31, 2014, this premium deficiency reserve was $24 million.

C. Investment Portfolio

Policy and Strategy

At December 31, 2014, the fair value of our investment portfolio was approximately $4.6 billion. In addition, at December 31, 2014, our total assets included approximately $215 million of cash and cash equivalents. At December 31, 2014, of our portfolio plus cash and cash equivalents, approximately $491 million was held at our parent company and the remainder was held by our subsidiaries, primarily MGIC.

As of December 31, 2014, approximately 73% of our investment portfolio (excluding cash and cash equivalents) is managed by Wellington Management Company, LLP, although we maintain overall control of investment policy and strategy. We maintain direct management of the remainder of our investment portfolio. Unless otherwise indicated, the remainder of the discussion of our investment portfolio refers to our investment portfolio only and not to cash and cash equivalents.

Our current investment policy emphasizes preservation of capital. Therefore, our investment portfolio consists almost entirely of high-quality, investment grade, fixed-income securities. Our investment portfolio strategy encompasses tax efficiency. The mix of tax-exempt municipal securities in our investment portfolio will increase with sustained profitability of the company. The goal is maintain or grow net investment income through a combination of investment income and tax advantages. Also, our investment policies and strategies are subject to change depending upon regulatory, economic and market conditions and our existing or anticipated financial condition and operating requirements.
 
Our investment policies in effect at December 31, 2014 limit investments in the securities of a single issuer, other than the U.S. government, and generally limit the purchase of fixed income securities to those that are rated investment grade by at least one rating agency. They also limit the amount of investment in foreign governments and foreign domiciled securities and in any individual foreign country. The aggregate market value of the holdings of a single obligor, or type of investment, as applicable, is limited to:

U.S. government securities
 
No limit
Pre-refunded municipals escrowed in Treasury securities
 
No limit
U.S. government agencies (in total)(1)
 
15% of portfolio market value
Securities rated “AA” or “AAA”
 
3% of portfolio market value
Securities rated “BBB” or “A”
 
2% of portfolio market value
Foreign governments & foreign domiciled securities (in total)
 
10% of portfolio market value
Individual AAA rated foreign countries
 
3% of portfolio market value
Individual below AAA rated foreign countries
 
1% of portfolio market value
 
 
(1) As used with respect to our investment portfolio, U.S. government agencies include GSEs (which, in the sector table below are included as part of U.S. Treasuries) and Federal Home Loan Banks.

At December 31, 2014, approximately 83% of our total fixed income investment portfolio was invested in securities rated “A” or better, with 31% rated “AAA” and 17% rated “AA,” in each case by at least one nationally recognized securities rating organization. For information related to the portion of our investment portfolio that is insured by financial guarantors, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Financial Condition” in Item 7.

Investment Operations

At December 31, 2014, the sectors of our investment portfolio were as shown in the table below:

   
Percentage of
Portfolio’s
Fair Value
 
1.  Corporate
   
58.8
%
2.  Taxable Municipals
   
16.3
 
3.  U.S. Treasuries
   
7.5
 
4.  Asset Backed
   
7.3
 
5.  GNMA Pass-through Certificates
   
7.0
 
6.  Tax-Exempt Municipals
   
1.5
 
7.  Foreign Governments
   
0.8
 
8.  Escrowed/Prerefunded Municipals
   
0.7
 
9.  Other
   
0.1
 
     
100.0
%
 
We had no derivative financial instruments in our investment portfolio. Securities due within up to one year, after one year and up to five years, after five years and up to ten years, and after ten years, represented 7%, 48%, 25% and 20%, respectively, of the total fair value of our investment in debt securities. Our pre-tax yield was 2.2%, 1.7% and 1.7% for 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.

Our ten largest holdings at December 31, 2014 appear in the table below:

   
Fair Value
(In thousands)
 
1.  JP Morgan Chase
 
$
73,922
 
2.  Morgan Stanley
   
59,139
 
3.  Goldman Sachs Group Inc
   
50,929
 
4.  General Electric Capital Corp
   
45,460
 
5.  Bear Stearns Commercial Mortgage
   
41,728
 
6.  Met Life
   
40,329
 
7.  America Honda Finance
   
35,995
 
8.  American Express Credit
   
32,803
 
9.  Amazon.com
   
31,299
 
10. New York NY
   
31,058
 
   
$
442,662
 

Note: This table excludes securities issued by U.S. government, U.S. government agencies, GSEs and the Federal Home Loan Banks.  

For further information concerning investment operations, see Note 6, “Investments,” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8.

D. Regulation

Direct Regulation

We are subject to comprehensive, detailed regulation by state insurance departments. These regulations are principally designed for the protection of our insured policyholders, rather than for the benefit of investors. Although their scope varies, state insurance laws generally grant broad supervisory powers to agencies or officials to examine insurance companies and enforce rules or exercise discretion affecting almost every significant aspect of the insurance business. Given the recent significant losses incurred by many insurers in the mortgage and financial guaranty industries, our insurance subsidiaries have been subject to heightened scrutiny by insurance regulators.  In November 2013, the 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.

The CFPB was established by the Dodd-Frank Act to regulate the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services under federal law. The CFPB’s 2014 rules implementing laws that require mortgage lenders to make ability-to-pay determinations prior to extending credit affected the characteristics of loans being originated and the volume of loans available to be insured. We are uncertain whether the CFPB will issue any other rules or regulations that affect our business apart from any action it may take as a result of its investigation of captive mortgage reinsurance. Such rules and regulations could have a material adverse effect on us.
 
In general, regulation of our subsidiaries’ business relates to:

· licenses to transact business;
 
· policy forms;
 
· premium rates;
 
· insurable loans;
 
· annual and other reports on financial condition;
 
· the basis upon which assets and liabilities must be stated;
 
· requirements regarding contingency reserves equal to 50% of premiums earned;
 
· minimum capital levels and adequacy ratios;
 
· reinsurance requirements;
 
· limitations on the types of investment instruments which may be held in an investment portfolio;
 
· the size of risks and limits on coverage of individual risks which may be insured;
 
· deposits of securities;
 
· limits on dividends payable; and
 
· claims handling.
 
Most states also regulate transactions between insurance companies and their parents or affiliates and have restrictions on transactions that have the effect of inducing lenders to place business with the insurer. For a description of limits on dividends payable to us from MGIC, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis—Liquidity and Capital Resources” in Item 7 and Note 16, “Dividend restrictions,” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8.

Mortgage insurance premium rates are also subject to state regulation to protect policyholders against the adverse effects of excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory rates and to encourage competition in the insurance marketplace. Any increase in premium rates must be justified, generally on the basis of the insurer’s loss experience, expenses and future trend analysis. The general mortgage default experience may also be considered. Premium rates are subject to review and challenge by state regulators. See our risk factors “We may not continue to meet the GSEs’ mortgage insurer eligibility requirements and our returns may decrease if we are required to maintain significantly more capital in order to maintain our eligibility” and “State Capital requirements may prevent us from continuing to write new insurance on an uninterrupted basis” in Item 1A, for information about regulations governing our capital adequacy and our expectations regarding our future capital position. See "Management's Discussion and Analysis - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Capital" in Item 7 for information about our current capital position.
 
We are required to establish statutory accounting contingency loss reserves in an amount equal to 50% of net earned premiums. These amounts cannot be withdrawn for a period of 10 years, except as permitted by insurance regulations. With regulatory approval a mortgage guaranty insurance company may make early withdrawals from the contingency reserve when incurred losses exceed 35% of net premiums earned in a calendar year. For further information, see Note 17, “Statutory capital,” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8.

Mortgage insurers are generally single-line companies, restricted to writing residential mortgage insurance business only. Although we, as an insurance holding company, are prohibited from engaging in certain transactions with MGIC, MIC or our other insurance subsidiaries without submission to and, in some instances, prior approval of applicable insurance departments, we are not subject to insurance company regulation on our non-insurance businesses.

Wisconsin’s insurance regulations generally provide that no person may acquire control of us unless the transaction in which control is acquired has been approved by the Office of the Commissioner of the State of Wisconsin (the “OCI”). The regulations provide for a rebuttable presumption of control when a person owns or has the right to vote more than 10% of the voting securities. In addition, the insurance regulations of other states in which MGIC is licensed require notification to the state’s insurance department a specified time before a person acquires control of us. If regulators in these states disapprove the change of control, our licenses to conduct business in the disapproving states could be terminated. For further information about regulatory proceedings applicable to us and our industry, see “We are involved in legal proceedings and are subject to the risk of additional legal proceedings in the future” in Item 1A.

As the most significant purchasers and sellers of conventional mortgage loans and beneficiaries of private mortgage insurance, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae impose requirements on private mortgage insurers in order for them to be eligible to insure loans sold to the GSEs. These requirements are subject to change from time to time. Currently, MGIC is an approved mortgage insurer for both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae but its longer term eligibility could be negatively affected as discussed, under “We may not continue to meet the GSEs’ mortgage insurer eligibility requirements and our returns may decrease if we are required to maintain significantly more capital in order to maintain our eligibility” in Item 1A.
 
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 potential impact that any such changes in the GSE’s roles may have on us, see the 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.

In December 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office released a report that calls for federal standards and oversight for mortgage insurers to be developed and implemented. It is uncertain what form the standards and oversight will take and when and if they will become effective.

Indirect Regulation

We are also indirectly, but significantly, impacted by regulations affecting purchasers of mortgage loans, such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and regulations affecting governmental insurers, such as the FHA and the VA, and lenders. 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 for a discussion of how potential changes in the GSEs’ business practices could affect us. Private mortgage insurers, including MGIC, are highly dependent upon federal housing legislation and other laws and regulations to the extent they affect the demand for private mortgage insurance and the housing market generally. From time to time, those laws and regulations have been amended to affect competition from government agencies. Proposals are discussed from time to time by Congress and certain federal agencies to reform or modify the FHA and the Government National Mortgage Association, which securitizes mortgages insured by the FHA.

Subject to certain exceptions, in general, RESPA prohibits any person from giving or receiving any “thing of value” pursuant to an agreement or understanding to refer settlement services. For additional information, see our risk factor titled “We are involved in legal proceedings and are subject to the risk of additional legal proceedings in the future” in Item 1A.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have uniform guidelines on real estate lending by insured lending institutions under their supervision. The guidelines specify that a residential mortgage loan originated with a loan-to-value ratio of 90% or greater should have appropriate credit enhancement in the form of mortgage insurance or readily marketable collateral, although no depth of coverage percentage is specified in the guidelines.
 
Lenders are subject to various laws, including the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Community Reinvestment Act and the Fair Housing Act, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are subject to various laws, including laws relating to government sponsored enterprises, which may impose obligations or create incentives for increased lending to low and moderate income persons, or in targeted areas.

There can be no assurance that other federal laws and regulations affecting these institutions and entities will not change, or that new legislation or regulations will not be adopted which will adversely affect the private mortgage insurance industry. In this regard, see the 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.

E. Employees

At December 31, 2014, we had approximately 800 full- and part-time employees, of whom approximately 31% were assigned to our field offices. The number of employees given above does not include “on-call” employees. The number of “on-call” employees can vary substantially, primarily as a result of changes in demand for contract underwriting services. In recent years, the number of “on-call” employees has ranged from fewer than 70 to more than 220.

F. Website Access

We make available, free of charge, through our Internet website our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file these materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The address of our website is http://mtg.mgic.com, and such reports and amendments are accessible through the “Investor Information” and “Stockholder Information” links at such address.
 
Item 1A. Risk Factors

As used below, “we,” “our” and “us” refer to MGIC Investment Corporation’s consolidated operations or to MGIC Investment Corporation, as the context requires; “MGIC” refers to Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation; and “MIC” refers to MGIC Indemnity Corporation.

Our actual results could be affected by the risk factors below. These risk factors are an integral part of this annual report. These risk factors may also cause actual results to differ materially from the results contemplated by forward looking statements that we may make. Forward looking statements consist of statements which relate to matters other than historical fact, including matters that inherently refer to future events. Among others, statements that include words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “will” or “expect,” or words of similar import, are forward looking statements. We are not undertaking any obligation to update any forward looking statements or other statements we may make even though these statements may be affected by events or circumstances occurring after the forward looking statements or other statements were made. No reader of this annual report should rely on these statements being current at any time other than the time at which this annual report was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We may not continue to meet the GSEs’ mortgage insurer eligibility requirements and our returns may decrease if we are required to maintain significantly more capital in order to maintain our eligibility.
 
Since 2008, substantially all of our insurance written has been for loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the “GSEs”), each of which has mortgage insurer eligibility requirements. The existing eligibility requirements include a minimum financial strength rating of Aa3/AA-. Because MGIC does not meet the financial strength rating requirement (its financial strength rating from Moody’s is Ba3 (with a stable outlook) and from Standard & Poor’s is BB+ (with a stable outlook)), MGIC is currently operating with each GSE as an eligible insurer under a remediation plan.

In July 2014, the conservator of the GSEs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”), released draft Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements (“draft PMIERs”). The draft PMIERs include revised financial requirements for mortgage insurers (the “GSE Financial Requirements”) that require a mortgage insurer’s “Available Assets” (generally only the most liquid assets of an insurer) to meet or exceed “Minimum Required Assets” (which are based on an insurer’s book and are calculated from tables of factors with several risk dimensions and are subject to a floor amount).
 
The public input period for the draft PMIERs ended September 8, 2014. We currently expect the PMIERs to be published in final form no earlier than late in the first quarter of 2015 and the “effective date” to occur 180 days thereafter. Under the draft PMIERs, mortgage insurers would have up to two years after the final PMIERs are published to meet the GSE Financial Requirements (the “transition period”). A mortgage insurer that fails to certify by the effective date that it meets the GSE Financial Requirements would be subject to a transition plan having milestones for actions to achieve compliance. The transition plan would be submitted for the approval of each GSE within 90 days after the effective date, and if approved, the GSEs would monitor the insurer’s progress. During the transition period for an insurer with an approved transition plan, an insurer would be in remediation (a status similar to the one under which MGIC has been operating with the GSEs for over five years) and eligible to provide mortgage insurance on loans owned or guaranteed by the GSEs.

Shortly after the draft PMIERs were released, we estimated that we would have a shortfall in Available Assets of approximately $600 million on December 31, 2014, which was when the final PMIERs were expected to be published. We also estimated that the shortfall would be reduced to approximately $300 million through operations over a two year period. Those shortfall projections assumed the risk in force and capital of MGIC’s MIC subsidiary would be repatriated to MGIC, and full credit would be given in the calculation of Minimum Required Assets for our reinsurance agreement executed in 2013 (approximately $500 million of credit at December 31, 2014, increasing to $600 million of credit over two years).  However, as we said at the time, we do not expect our existing reinsurance agreement would be given full credit under the PMIERs. Applying the same assumptions, but considering the delay in publication of the final PMIERs, our shortfall projections have improved modestly. Also, we have been in discussions with the participating reinsurers regarding modifications to the agreement so that we would receive additional PMIERs credit.

In addition to modifying our reinsurance agreement, we believe we will be able to use a combination of the alternatives outlined below so that MGIC will meet the GSE Financial Requirements of the draft PMIERs even if they are implemented as released. As of December 31, 2014, we had approximately $491 million of cash and investments at our holding company, a portion of which we believe may be available for future contribution to MGIC. Furthermore, there are regulated insurance affiliates of MGIC that have approximately $100 million of assets as of December 31, 2014. We expect that, subject to regulatory approval, we would be able to use a material portion of these assets to increase the Available Assets of MGIC.  Additionally, if the draft PMIERs are implemented as released, we would consider seeking non-dilutive debt capital to mitigate the shortfall. Factors that may negatively impact MGIC’s ability to comply with the GSE Financial Requirements within the transition period include the following:
 
·
Changes in the actual PMIERs adopted from the draft PMIERs may increase the amount of MGIC’s Minimum Required Assets or reduce its Available Assets, with the result that the shortfall in Available Assets could increase;
·
We may not obtain regulatory approval to transfer assets from MGIC’s regulated insurance affiliates to the extent we are assuming because regulators project higher losses than we project or require a level of capital be maintained in these companies higher than we are assuming;
·
We may not be able to access the non-dilutive debt markets due to market conditions, concern about our creditworthiness, or other factors, in a manner sufficient to provide the funds we are assuming;
·
We may not be able to achieve modifications in our existing reinsurance agreement necessary to minimize the reduction in the credit for reinsurance under the draft PMIERs;
 
·
We may not be able to obtain additional reinsurance necessary to further reduce the Minimum Required Assets due to market capacity, pricing or other reasons (including disapproval of the proposed agreement by a GSE); and
·
Our future operating results may be negatively impacted by the matters discussed in the rest of these risk factors. Such matters could decrease our revenues, increase our losses or require the use of assets, thereby increasing our shortfall in Available Assets.
 
There also can be no assurance that the GSEs would not make the GSE Financial Requirements more onerous in the future; in this regard, the draft PMIERs provide that the tables of factors that determine Minimum Required Assets may be updated to reflect changes in risk characteristics and the macroeconomic environment. If MGIC 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.

If we are required to increase the amount of Available Assets we hold in order to continue to insure GSE loans, the amount of capital we hold may increase. If we increase the amount of capital we hold with respect to insured loans, our returns may decrease unless we increase premiums. An increase in premium rates may not be feasible for a number of reasons, including competition from other private mortgage insurers, the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), the Veteran’s Administration (“VA”) or other credit enhancement products.
 
The amount of insurance we write could be adversely affected if lenders and investors select alternatives to private mortgage insurance.
 
Alternatives to private mortgage insurance include:

·
lenders using government mortgage insurance programs, including those of the FHA and VA,

·
lenders and other investors holding mortgages in portfolio and self-insuring,

·
investors (including the GSEs) using risk mitigation techniques other than private mortgage insurance, such as obtaining insurance from non-mortgage insurers and engaging in credit-linked note transactions executed in the capital markets; using other risk mitigation techniques in conjunction with reduced levels of private mortgage insurance coverage; or accepting credit risk without credit enhancement, and

·
lenders originating mortgages using piggyback structures to avoid private mortgage insurance, such as a first mortgage with an 80% loan-to-value ratio and a second mortgage with a 10%, 15% or 20% loan-to-value ratio (referred to as 80-10-10, 80-15-5 or 80-20 loans, respectively) rather than a first mortgage with a 90%, 95% or 100% loan-to-value ratio that has private mortgage insurance.
 
The FHA’s market share substantially increased from 2008 to 2011, which we believe was due to a combination of factors including tightened underwriting guidelines of private mortgage insurers, increased loan level price adjustments of the GSEs, increased flexibility for the FHA to establish new products as a result of federal legislation and programs, and higher returns obtained by lenders for Ginnie Mae securitization of FHA-insured loans than for selling loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for securitization. The FHA’s market share declined from 2011 to 2014, due to a combination of factors including changes to the prices and fees of the FHA, the GSEs and the private mortgage insurers. In January 2015, it was announced that the FHA would significantly reduce its annual mortgage insurance premiums. Absent any other changes, the reduction in FHA premiums will make private mortgage insurance less competitive with the FHA for borrowers with certain credit characteristics. However, we believe our pricing continues to be more attractive than the FHA’s pricing for a substantial majority of borrowers with credit and loan characteristics similar to those whose loans we insured in 2014. We cannot predict how these factors will change in the future and we cannot predict whether the GSEs will reduce their fees, therefore, we cannot predict the FHA’s share of new insurance written in the future.

From 2009 through 2012 the VA’s market share increased and it has remained stable since 2012.  We believe that the VA’s market share increased as a result of offering 100% LTV loans, requiring a one-time funding fee that can be included in the loan amount but no additional monthly expense, and an increase in the number of borrowers that are eligible for the program. We do not expect any material changes in the VA market share in the future.

It is difficult to predict the FHA’s and VA’s future market share due to the factors discussed in our risk factor titled “The amount of insurance we write could be adversely affected if lenders and investors select alternatives to private mortgage insurance.”

Competition or changes in our relationships with our customers could reduce our revenues, reduce our premium yields and/or increase our losses.
 
Until 2010 the mortgage insurance industry had not had new entrants in many years. Since 2010, two new public companies were formed and began writing business and a worldwide insurer and reinsurer with mortgage insurance operations in Europe completed the purchase of a competitor and is currently writing business. Our private mortgage insurance competitors include:

·
Arch Mortgage Insurance Company,
 
·
Essent Guaranty, Inc.,
 
·
Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation,
 
·
National Mortgage Insurance Corporation,
 
·
Radian Guaranty Inc., and
 
·
United Guaranty Residential Insurance Company.
 
Historically, the level of competition within the private mortgage insurance industry has been intense and it is not expected to diminish given the presence of new entrants. Price competition has been present for some time: in the third quarter of 2014, we reduced many of our standard lender-paid single premium rates to match competition; and in the fourth quarter of 2013, we reduced all of our standard borrower-paid monthly premium rates and most of our standard single premium rates to match competition. Currently, we are seeing price competition in the form of lender-paid single premium programs customized for individual lenders with rates materially lower than those on the standard rate card. During most of 2013, when almost all of our single premium rates were above those most commonly used in the market, single premium policies were approximately 10% of our total new insurance written; they were approximately 15% in 2014 and we expect a higher percentage in 2015 primarily as a result of us selectively matching reduced rates. The premium from a single premium policy is collected upfront and generally earned over the estimated life of the policy. In contrast, premiums from a monthly premium policy are received and earned each month over the life of the policy. Depending on the actual life of a single premium policy and its premium rate relative to that of a monthly premium policy, a single premium policy may generate more or less premium than a monthly premium policy over its life. Currently, we expect to receive less lifetime premium from a new lender-paid single premium policy than we would from a new borrower-paid monthly premium policy. As a result of the recent increase in the percentage of our new insurance written from lender-paid single premium policies, our weighted average premium rate on new insurance written has decreased from 2013 to 2014. As the percentage of our new business represented by lender-paid single premium policies continues to grow, all other things equal, our weighted average premium rates on new insurance written in the future will decrease. If we reduce or discount prices on any premium plan in response to future price competition, it may further decrease our weighted average premium rates.

During 2013 and 2014, approximately 7% and 4%, respectively, of our new insurance written was for loans for which one lender was the original insured. Our relationships with our customers could be adversely affected by a variety of factors, including premium rates higher than can be obtained from competitors, tightening of and adherence to our underwriting requirements, which have resulted in our declining to insure some of the loans originated by our customers, and insurance rescissions that affect the customer. We have ongoing discussions with lenders who are significant customers regarding their objections to our rescissions.

In the past several years, we believe many lenders considered financial strength and compliance with the State Capital Requirements as important factors when selecting a mortgage insurer. Lenders may consider compliance with the GSE Financial Requirements important when selecting a mortgage insurer in the future. As noted above, we expect MGIC to be in compliance with the GSE Financial Requirements by the end of the transition period and we expect MGIC’s risk-to-capital ratio to continue to comply with the current State Capital Requirements discussed below. However, we cannot assure you that we will comply with such requirements or that we will comply with any revised State Capital Requirements proposed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”). For more information, see our risk factors titled “We may not continue to meet the GSEs’ mortgage insurer eligibility requirements and our returns may decrease if we are required to maintain significantly more capital in order to maintain our eligibility” and “State capital requirements may prevent us from continuing to write new insurance on an uninterrupted basis.”
 
We believe that financial strength ratings may be a significant consideration for participants seeking to secure credit enhancement in the non-GSE mortgage market, which includes most loans that are not “Qualified Mortgages” (for more information about “Qualified Mortgages,” 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”). While this market has been limited since the financial crisis, it may grow in the future. The financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries are lower than those of some competitors and below investment grade levels, therefore, we may be competitively disadvantaged with some market participants. For each of MGIC and MIC, the financial strength rating from Moody’s is Ba3 (with a stable outlook) and from Standard & Poor’s is BB+ (with a stable outlook). It is possible that MGIC’s and MIC’s financial strength ratings could decline from these levels. Our ability to participate in the non-GSE market could depend on our ability to secure investment grade ratings for our mortgage insurance subsidiaries.

If the GSEs no longer operate in their current capacities, for example, due to legislative or regulatory action, we may be forced to compete in a new marketplace in which financial strength ratings play a greater role. If we are unable to compete effectively in the current or any future markets as a result of the financial strength ratings assigned to our mortgage insurance subsidiaries, our future new insurance written could be negatively affected.

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.
 
Since 2008, substantially all of our insurance written has been for loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The business practices of the GSEs affect the entire relationship between them, lenders and mortgage insurers and include:

·
the level of private mortgage insurance coverage, subject to the limitations of the GSEs’ charters (which may be changed by federal legislation), when private mortgage insurance is used as the required credit enhancement on low down payment mortgages,

·
the amount of loan level price adjustments and guaranty fees (which result in higher costs to borrowers) that the GSEs assess on loans that require mortgage insurance,

·
whether the GSEs influence the mortgage lender’s selection of the mortgage insurer providing coverage and, if so, any transactions that are related to that selection,

·
the underwriting standards that determine what loans are eligible for purchase by the GSEs, which can affect the quality of the risk insured by the mortgage insurer and the availability of mortgage loans,

·
the terms on which mortgage insurance coverage can be canceled before reaching the cancellation thresholds established by law,

·
the programs established by the GSEs intended to avoid or mitigate loss on insured mortgages and the circumstances in which mortgage servicers must implement such programs,
 
·
the terms that the GSEs require to be included in mortgage insurance policies for loans that they purchase,

·
the extent to which the GSEs intervene in mortgage insurers’ rescission practices or rescission settlement practices with lenders. For additional information, see our risk factor titled We are involved in legal proceedings and are subject to the risk of additional legal proceedings in the future,” and

·
the maximum loan limits of the GSEs in comparison to those of the FHA and other investors.

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 financial reform legislation that was passed in July 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act” or “Dodd-Frank”) required the U.S. Department of the Treasury to report its recommendations regarding options for ending the conservatorship of the GSEs. This report did not provide any definitive timeline for GSE reform; however, it did 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 change the business practices of the GSEs and the FHA; 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.
 
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 and included 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, on January 21, 2021.
 
Dodd-Frank 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. In October 2014, a final rule implementing that requirement was released, which will become effective for asset-backed securities collateralized by residential mortgages on December 24, 2015. The final rule exempts securitizations of qualified residential mortgages (“QRMs”) from the risk retention requirement and generally aligns the QRM definition with that of QM. As noted above, there is a temporary category of QMs for mortgages that satisfy the general product feature requirements of QMs and meet the GSEs’ underwriting requirements. As a result, 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. The final rule requires the agencies to review the QRM definition no later than four years after its effective date and every five years thereafter, and allows each agency to request a review of the definition at any time.

We estimate that approximately 87% of our new risk written in 2013 and 83% of our new risk written in 2014 was for loans that would have met the CFPB’s general QM definition and, therefore, the QRM definition. We estimate that approximately 99% of our new risk written in each of 2013 and 2014 was for loans that would have met the temporary category in CFPB’s QM definition. Changes in the treatment of GSE-guaranteed mortgage loans in the regulations defining QM and QRM, 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.

The GSEs have different loan purchase programs that allow different levels of mortgage insurance coverage. Under the “charter coverage” program, on certain loans lenders may choose a mortgage insurance coverage percentage that is less than the GSEs’ “standard coverage” and only the minimum required by the GSEs’ charters, with the GSEs paying a lower price for such loans. In 2013 and 2014, nearly all of our volume was on loans with GSE standard or higher coverage. We charge higher premium rates for higher coverage percentages. To the extent lenders selling loans to the GSEs in the future choose lower coverage for loans that we insure, our revenues would be reduced and we could experience other adverse effects.
 
The benefit of our net operating loss carryforwards may become substantially limited.

As of December 31, 2014, we had approximately $2.4 billion of net operating losses for tax purposes that we can use in certain circumstances to offset future taxable income and thus reduce our federal income tax liability. Our ability to utilize these net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be significantly limited if we experience an “ownership change” as defined in Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). In general, an ownership change will occur if there is a cumulative change in our ownership by “5-percent shareholders” (as defined in the Code) that exceeds 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. A corporation that experiences an ownership change will generally be subject to an annual limitation on the corporation’s subsequent use of net operating loss carryovers that arose from pre-ownership change periods and use of losses that are subsequently recognized with respect to assets that had a built-in-loss on the date of the ownership change. The amount of the annual limitation generally equals the fair value of the corporation immediately before the ownership change multiplied by the long-term tax-exempt interest rate (subject to certain adjustments). To the extent that the limitation in a post-ownership-change year is not fully utilized, the amount of the limitation for the succeeding year will be increased.
 
While we have adopted a shareholder rights agreement to minimize the likelihood of transactions in our stock resulting in an ownership change, future issuances of equity-linked securities or transactions in our stock and equity-linked securities that may not be within our control may cause us to experience an ownership change. If we experience an ownership change, we may not be able to fully utilize our net operating losses, resulting in additional income taxes and a reduction in our shareholders’ equity.

We are involved in legal proceedings and are subject to the risk of additional legal proceedings in the future.
 
Before paying a claim, we review the loan and servicing files to determine the appropriateness of the claim amount. All of our insurance policies provide that we can reduce or deny a claim if the servicer did not comply with its obligations under our insurance policy, including the requirement to mitigate our loss by performing reasonable loss mitigation efforts or, for example, diligently pursuing a foreclosure or bankruptcy relief in a timely manner. We call such reduction of claims submitted to us “curtailments.” In 2013 and 2014, curtailments reduced our average claim paid by approximately 5.8% and 6.7%, respectively. In addition, the claims submitted to us sometimes include costs and expenses not covered by our insurance policies, such as hazard insurance premiums for periods after the claim date and losses resulting from property damage that has not been repaired. These other adjustments reduced claim amounts by less than the amount of curtailments. After we pay a claim, servicers and insureds sometimes object to our curtailments and other adjustments. We review these objections if they are sent to us within 90 days after the claim was paid.

When reviewing the loan file associated with a claim, we may determine that we have the right to rescind coverage on the loan. Prior to 2008, rescissions of coverage on loans were not a material portion of our claims resolved during a year. However, beginning in 2008, our rescissions of coverage on loans have materially mitigated our paid losses. In 2009 through 2011, rescissions mitigated our paid losses in the aggregate by approximately $3.0 billion; and in 2012, 2013 and 2014, rescissions mitigated our paid losses by approximately $0.3 billion, $135 million and $97 million, respectively (in each case, the figure includes amounts that would have either resulted in a claim payment or been charged to a deductible under a policy, and may have been charged to a captive reinsurer). In recent quarters, approximately 5% of claims received in a quarter have been resolved by rescissions, down from the peak of approximately 28% in the first half of 2009.
 
We estimate rescissions mitigated our incurred losses by approximately $2.5 billion in 2009 and $0.2 billion in 2010. These figures include the benefit of claims not paid in the period as well as the impact of changes in our estimated expected rescission activity on our loss reserves in the period. In 2012, we estimate that our rescission benefit in loss reserves was reduced by $0.2 billion due to probable rescission settlement agreements. We estimate that other rescissions had no significant impact on our losses incurred in 2011 through 2014. Our loss reserving methodology incorporates our estimates of future rescissions and reversals of rescissions. Historically, reversals of rescissions have been immaterial. A variance between ultimate actual rescission and reversal rates and our estimates, as a result of the outcome of litigation, settlements or other factors, could materially affect our losses.
 
If the insured disputes our right to rescind coverage, we generally engage in discussions in an attempt to settle the dispute. As part of those discussions, we may voluntarily suspend rescissions we believe may be part of a settlement. In 2011, Freddie Mac advised its servicers that they must obtain its prior approval for rescission settlements, Fannie Mae advised its servicers that they are prohibited from entering into such settlements and Fannie Mae notified us that we must obtain its prior approval to enter into certain settlements. Since those announcements, the GSEs have consented to our settlement agreements with two customers, one of which is Countrywide, as discussed below, and have rejected other settlement agreements. We have reached and implemented settlement agreements that do not require GSE approval, but they have not been material in the aggregate.

If we are unable to reach a settlement, the outcome of a dispute ultimately would be determined by legal proceedings. Under our policies in effect prior to October 1, 2014, legal proceedings disputing our right to rescind coverage may be brought up to three years after the lender has obtained title to the property (typically through a foreclosure) or the property was sold in a sale that we approved, whichever is applicable, and under our master policy effective October 1, 2014, such proceedings may be brought up to two years from the date of the notice of rescission. In a few jurisdictions there is a longer time to bring such proceedings.

Until a liability associated with a settlement agreement or litigation becomes probable and can be reasonably estimated, we consider our claim payment or rescission resolved for financial reporting purposes even though discussions and legal proceedings have been initiated and are ongoing. Under ASC 450-20, an estimated loss from such discussions and proceedings is accrued for only if we determine that the loss is probable and can be reasonably estimated.
 
Since December 2009, we have been involved in legal proceedings with Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (“CHL”) and its affiliate, Bank of America, N.A., as successor to Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP (“BANA” and collectively with CHL, “Countrywide”) in which Countrywide alleged that MGIC denied valid mortgage insurance claims. (In our SEC reports, we refer to insurance rescissions and denials of claims collectively as “rescissions” and variations of that term.) In addition to the claim amounts it alleged MGIC had improperly denied, Countrywide contended it was entitled to other damages of almost $700 million as well as exemplary damages. We sought a determination in those proceedings that we were entitled to rescind coverage on the applicable loans.

In April 2013, MGIC entered into separate settlement agreements with CHL and BANA, pursuant to which the parties will settle the Countrywide litigation as it relates to MGIC’s rescission practices (as amended, the “Agreements”). The original Agreements are described in our Form 8-K filed with the SEC on April 25, 2013. The original Agreements are filed as exhibits to that Form 8‑K and amendments were filed with our Forms 10-Q for the quarters ended September 30, 2013, March 31, 2014, June 30, 2014, and September 30, 2014, our Form 10-K for 2013 and this Form 10-K. Certain portions of the Agreements are redacted and covered by confidential treatment requests that have been granted.
 
The Agreement with BANA covers loans purchased by the GSEs. That original Agreement was implemented beginning in November 2013 and we resolved all related suspended rescissions in November and December 2013 by paying the associated claim or processing the rescission. The pending arbitration proceedings concerning the loans covered by that agreement have been dismissed, the mutual releases between the parties regarding such loans have become effective and the litigation between the parties regarding such loans is to be dismissed.

The Agreement with CHL covers loans that were purchased by non-GSE investors, including securitization trusts (the “other investors”). That Agreement will be implemented only as and to the extent that it is consented to by or on behalf of the other investors. While there can be no assurance that the Agreement with CHL will be implemented, we have determined that its implementation is probable.

The estimated impact of the Agreements and other probable settlements have been recorded in our financial statements. The estimated impact that we recorded for probable settlements is our best estimate of our loss from these matters. We estimate that the maximum exposure above the best estimate provision we recorded is $626 million, of which about 60% is related to claims paying practices subject to the Agreement with CHL and the previously disclosed curtailment matters with Countrywide. If we are not able to implement the Agreement with CHL or the other settlements we consider probable, we intend to defend MGIC vigorously against any related legal proceedings.
 
The flow policies at issue with Countrywide are in the same form as the flow policies that we used with all of our customers during the period covered by the Agreements, and the bulk policies at issue vary from one another, but are generally similar to those used in the majority of our Wall Street bulk transactions.
 
We are involved in discussions and legal and consensual proceedings with customers with respect to our claims paying practices. Although it is reasonably possible that when these discussions or proceedings are completed we will not prevail in all cases, we are unable to make a reasonable estimate or range of estimates of the potential liability. We estimate the maximum exposure associated with these discussions and proceedings to be approximately $16 million, although we believe we will ultimately resolve these matters for significantly less than this amount.

The estimates of our maximum exposure referred to above do not include interest or consequential or exemplary damages.

Consumers continue to bring lawsuits against home mortgage lenders and settlement service providers. Mortgage insurers, including MGIC, have been involved in litigation alleging violations of the anti-referral fee provisions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which is commonly known as RESPA, and the notice provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which is commonly known as FCRA. MGIC’s settlement of class action litigation against it under RESPA became final in October 2003. MGIC settled the named plaintiffs’ claims in litigation against it under FCRA in December 2004, following denial of class certification in June 2004. Since December 2006, class action litigation has been brought against a number of large lenders alleging that their captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements violated RESPA. Beginning in December 2011, MGIC, together with various mortgage lenders and other mortgage insurers, has been named as a defendant in twelve lawsuits, alleged to be class actions, filed in various U.S. District Courts. The complaints in all of the cases allege various causes of action related to the captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements of the mortgage lenders, including that the lenders’ captive reinsurers received excessive premiums in relation to the risk assumed by those captives, thereby violating RESPA. Seven of those cases had been dismissed prior to February 2015 without any further opportunity to appeal. Of the remaining five cases, three were dismissed with prejudice in February 2015 pursuant to stipulations of dismissal from the plaintiffs, and the remaining two cases are expected to be dismissed with prejudice in connection with plaintiffs' stipulations in such cases. There can be no assurance that we will not be subject to further litigation under RESPA (or FCRA) or that the outcome of any such litigation, including the lawsuits mentioned above, would not have a material adverse effect on us.
 
In 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida approved a settlement with the CFPB that resolved a federal investigation of MGIC’s participation in captive reinsurance arrangements in the mortgage insurance industry. The settlement concluded the investigation with respect to MGIC without the CFPB or the court making any findings of wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, MGIC agreed that it would not enter into any new captive reinsurance agreement or reinsure any new loans under any existing captive reinsurance agreement for a period of ten years. MGIC had voluntarily suspended most of its captive arrangements in 2008 in response to market conditions and GSE requests. In connection with the settlement, MGIC paid a civil penalty of $2.65 million and the court issued an injunction prohibiting MGIC from violating any provisions of RESPA.

We received requests from the Minnesota Department of Commerce (the “MN Department”) beginning in February 2006 regarding captive mortgage reinsurance and certain other matters in response to which MGIC has provided information on several occasions, including as recently as May 2011. In August 2013, MGIC and several competitors received a draft Consent Order from the MN Department containing proposed conditions to resolve its investigation, including unspecified penalties. We are engaged in discussions with the MN Department regarding the draft Consent Order. We also received a request in June 2005 from the New York Department of Financial Services for information regarding captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements and other types of arrangements in which lenders receive compensation. Other insurance departments or other officials, including attorneys general, may also seek information about, investigate, or seek remedies regarding captive mortgage reinsurance.
 
Various regulators, including the CFPB, state insurance commissioners and state attorneys general may bring actions seeking various forms of relief in connection with violations of RESPA. The insurance law provisions of many states prohibit paying for the referral of insurance business and provide various mechanisms to enforce this prohibition. While we believe our practices are in conformity with applicable laws and regulations, it is not possible to predict the eventual scope, duration or outcome of any such reviews or investigations nor is it possible to predict their effect on us or the mortgage insurance industry.
 
We are subject to comprehensive, detailed regulation by state insurance departments. These regulations are principally designed for the protection of our insured policyholders, rather than for the benefit of investors. Although their scope varies, state insurance laws generally grant broad supervisory powers to agencies or officials to examine insurance companies and enforce rules or exercise discretion affecting almost every significant aspect of the insurance business. State insurance regulatory authorities could take actions, including changes in capital requirements, that could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, the CFPB may issue additional rules or regulations, which may materially affect our business.
 
In December 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office released a report that calls for federal standards and oversight for mortgage insurers to be developed and implemented. It is uncertain what form the standards and oversight will take and when they will become effective.

We understand several law firms have, among other things, issued press releases to the effect that they are investigating us, including whether the fiduciaries of our 401(k) plan breached their fiduciary duties regarding the plan’s investment in or holding of our common stock or whether we breached other legal or fiduciary obligations to our shareholders. We intend to defend vigorously any proceedings that may result from these investigations. With limited exceptions, our bylaws provide that our officers and 401(k) plan fiduciaries are entitled to indemnification from us for claims against them.
 
A non-insurance subsidiary of our holding company is a shareholder of the corporation that operates the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”). Our subsidiary, as a shareholder of MERS, has been named as a defendant (along with MERS and its other shareholders) in eight lawsuits asserting various causes of action arising from allegedly improper recording and foreclosure activities by MERS. Seven of these lawsuits have been dismissed without any further opportunity to appeal. The remaining lawsuit had also been dismissed by the U.S. District Court, however, the plaintiff in that lawsuit filed a motion for reconsideration by the U.S. District Court and to certify a related question of law to the Supreme Court of the State in which the U.S. District Court is located. That motion for reconsideration was denied, however, in May 2014, the plaintiff appealed the denial. The damages sought in this remaining case are substantial. We deny any wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously against the allegations in the lawsuit.
 
In addition to the matters described above, we are involved in other legal proceedings in the ordinary course of business. In our opinion, based on the facts known at this time, the ultimate resolution of these ordinary course legal proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.
 
Resolution of our dispute with the Internal Revenue Service could adversely affect us.
 
As previously disclosed, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) completed examinations of our federal income tax returns for the years 2000 through 2007 and issued proposed assessments for taxes, interest and penalties related to our treatment of the flow-through income and loss from an investment in a portfolio of residual interests of Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (“REMICs”). The IRS indicated that it did not believe that, for various reasons, we had established sufficient tax basis in the REMIC residual interests to deduct the losses from taxable income. We appealed these assessments within the IRS and in August 2010, we reached a tentative settlement agreement with the IRS which was not finalized.

On September 10, 2014, we received Notices of Deficiency (commonly referred to as “90 day letters”) covering the 2000-2007 tax years. The Notices of Deficiency reflect taxes and penalties related to the REMIC matters of $197.5 million and at December 31, 2014, there would also be interest related to these matters of approximately $168.4 million. In 2007, we made a payment of $65.2 million to the United States Department of the Treasury which will reduce any amounts we would ultimately owe. The Notices of Deficiency also reflect additional amounts due of $261.4 million, which are primarily associated with the disallowance of the carryback of the 2009 net operating loss to the 2004-2007 tax years. We believe the IRS included the carryback adjustments as a precaution to keep open the statute of limitations on collection of the tax that was refunded when this loss was carried back, and not because the IRS actually intends to disallow the carryback permanently.
 
We filed a petition with the U.S. Tax Court contesting most of the IRS’ proposed adjustments reflected in the Notices of Deficiency and the IRS has filed an answer to our petition which continues to assert their claim. Litigation to resolve our dispute with the IRS could be lengthy and costly in terms of legal fees and related expenses. We can provide no assurance regarding the outcome of any such litigation or whether a compromised settlement with the IRS will ultimately be reached and finalized. Depending on the outcome of this matter, additional state income taxes and state interest may become due when a final resolution is reached. As of December 31, 2014, those state taxes and interest would approximate $47.4 million. In addition, there could also be state tax penalties. Our total amount of unrecognized tax benefits as of December 31, 2014 is $106.2 million, which represents the tax benefits generated by the REMIC portfolio included in our tax returns that we have not taken benefit for in our financial statements, including any related interest. We continue to believe that our previously recorded tax provisions and liabilities are appropriate. However, we would need to make appropriate adjustments, which could be material, to our tax provision and liabilities if our view of the probability of success in this matter changes, and the ultimate resolution of this matter could have a material negative impact on our effective tax rate, results of operations, cash flows, available assets and statutory capital. In this regard, see our risk factors titled “We may not continue to meet the GSEs’ mortgage insurer eligibility requirements and our returns may decrease if we are required to maintain significantly more capital in order to maintain our eligibility” and “State capital requirements may prevent us from continuing to write new insurance on an uninterrupted basis.”

Because we establish loss reserves only upon a loan default rather than based on estimates of our ultimate losses on risk in force, losses may have a disproportionate adverse effect on our earnings in certain periods.
 
In accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, commonly referred to as GAAP, we establish loss reserves only for loans in default. Reserves are established for insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses when notices of default on insured mortgage loans are received. Reserves are also established for insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses for loans we estimate are in default but for which notices of default have not yet been reported to us by the servicers (this is often referred to as “IBNR”). We establish reserves using estimated claim rates and claim amounts. Because our reserving method does not take account of losses that could occur from loans that are not delinquent, such losses are not reflected in our financial statements, except in the case where a premium deficiency exists. As a result, future losses on loans that are not currently delinquent may have a material impact on future results as such losses emerge.
 
Because loss reserve estimates are subject to uncertainties, paid claims may be substantially different than our loss reserves.
 
We establish reserves using estimated claim rates and claim amounts in estimating the ultimate loss on delinquent loans. The estimated claim rates and claim amounts represent our best estimates of what we will actually pay on the loans in default as of the reserve date and incorporate anticipated mitigation from rescissions. We rescind coverage on loans and deny claims in cases where we believe our policy allows us to do so. Therefore, when establishing our loss reserves, we do not include additional loss reserves that would reflect a possible adverse development from ongoing dispute resolution proceedings regarding rescissions and denials unless we have determined that a loss is probable and can be reasonably estimated. For more information regarding our legal proceedings, see our risk factor titled “We are involved in legal proceedings and are subject to the risk of additional legal proceedings in the future.”
 
The establishment of loss reserves is subject to inherent uncertainty and requires judgment by management. The actual amount of the claim payments may be substantially different than our loss reserve estimates. Our estimates could be adversely affected by several factors, including a deterioration of regional or national economic conditions, including unemployment, leading to a reduction in borrowers’ income and thus their ability to make mortgage payments and a drop in housing values, which may affect borrower willingness to continue to make mortgage payments when the value of the home is below the mortgage balance. Changes to our estimates could have a material impact on our future results, even in a stable economic environment. In addition, historically, losses incurred have followed a seasonal trend in which the second half of the year has weaker credit performance than the first half, with higher new default notice activity and a lower cure rate.
 
We rely on our management team and our business could be harmed if we are unable to retain qualified personnel or successfully develop and/or recruit their replacements.
 
Our industry is undergoing a fundamental shift following the mortgage crisis: long-standing competitors have gone out of business and two newly capitalized start-ups that are not encumbered with a portfolio of pre-crisis mortgages have been formed. Former executives from other mortgage insurers have joined these two new competitors. In addition, in 2014, a worldwide insurer and reinsurer with mortgage insurance operations in Europe completed the purchase of a competitor and is now operating as Arch Mortgage Insurance Company. Our success depends, in part, on the skills, working relationships and continued services of our management team and other key personnel. The unexpected departure of key personnel could adversely affect the conduct of our business. In such event, we would be required to obtain other personnel to manage and operate our business. In addition, we will be required to replace the knowledge and expertise of our aging workforce as our workers retire. In either case, there can be no assurance that we would be able to develop or recruit suitable replacements for the departing individuals, that replacements could be hired, if necessary, on terms that are favorable to us or that we can successfully transition such replacements in a timely manner. We currently have not entered into any employment agreements with our officers or key personnel. Volatility or lack of performance in our stock price may affect our ability to retain our key personnel or attract replacements should key personnel depart. Without a properly skilled and experienced workforce, our costs, including productivity costs and costs to replace employees may increase, and this could negatively impact our earnings.
 
Our reinsurance agreement with unaffiliated reinsurers allow each reinsurer to terminate such reinsurer’s portion of the transactions on a run-off basis if during any six month period prior to July 1, 2015, two or more of our top five executives depart, the departures result in a material adverse impact on our underwriting and risk management practices or policies, and such reinsurer timely objects to the replacements of such executives. We view such a termination as unlikely.

Loan modification and other similar programs may not continue to provide benefits to us and our losses on loans that re-default can be higher than what we would have paid had the loan not been modified.
 
Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008, the federal government, including through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the GSEs, and several lenders implemented programs to modify loans to make them more affordable to borrowers with the goal of reducing the number of foreclosures. During 2012, 2013 and 2014, we were notified of modifications that cured delinquencies that had they become paid claims would have resulted in approximately $1.2 billion, $1.0 billion and $0.8 billion, respectively, of estimated claim payments. 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 2012 through 2014, approximately 9% resulted in principal forgiveness.
 
One loan modification program is the Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”). We do not receive all of the information from servicers and the GSEs that is required to determine with certainty the number of loans that are participating in, have successfully completed, or are eligible to participate in, HAMP. We are aware of approximately 6,180 loans in our primary delinquent inventory at December 31, 2014 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, 2014, approximately 54,290 delinquent primary loans have cured their delinquency after entering HAMP and are not in default.  Although the majority of loans modified through HAMP are current, we cannot predict with a high degree of confidence what the ultimate re-default rate on these modifications will be. Our loss reserves do not account for potential re-defaults unless at the time the reserve is established, the re-default has already occurred.
 
In each of 2013 and 2014, approximately 16% of our primary cures were the result of modifications, with HAMP accounting for approximately 68% and 67%, respectively, of those modifications in 2013 and 2014. Although the HAMP program has been extended through December 2016, 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. The interest rates on certain loans modified under HAMP are subject to adjustment five years after the modification was entered into. Such adjustments are limited to an increase of one percentage point per year.
 
The GSEs’ Home Affordable Refinance Program (“HARP”), currently scheduled to expire December 31, 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 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. As of December 31, 2014, approximately 15% of our primary insurance in force had benefitted from HARP and was still in force. We believe that we have realized the majority of the benefits from HARP because the number of loans insured by us that we are aware are entering HARP has decreased significantly.

We cannot determine the total benefit we may derive from loan modification programs, particularly given the uncertainty around the re-default rates for defaulted loans that have been modified through these programs. Re-defaults can result in losses for us that could be greater than we would have paid had the loan not been modified. 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. 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.

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.

The factors that affect the volume of low down payment mortgage originations include:

·
restrictions on mortgage credit due to more stringent underwriting standards, liquidity issues and risk-retention requirements associated with non-QRM loans affecting lenders,

·
the level of home mortgage interest rates and the deductibility of mortgage interest for income tax purposes,

·
the health of the domestic economy as well as conditions in regional and local economies and the level of consumer confidence,
 
·
housing affordability,

·
population trends, including the rate of household formation,

·
the rate of home price appreciation, which in times of heavy refinancing can affect whether refinanced loans have loan-to-value ratios that require private mortgage insurance, and

·
government housing policy encouraging loans to first-time homebuyers.

A decline in the volume of low down payment home mortgage originations could decrease demand for mortgage insurance, decrease our new insurance written and reduce our revenues. For other factors that could decrease the demand for mortgage insurance, see our risk factor titled “The amount of insurance we write could be adversely affected if lenders and investors select alternatives to private mortgage insurance.”
 
State capital requirements may prevent us from continuing to write new insurance on an uninterrupted basis.
 
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 Financial Requirements, the “Financial 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 (i) the percentage decrease in capital exceeds the percentage decrease in insured risk, or (ii) the percentage increase in capital is less than the percentage increase in insured risk. 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.
 
At December 31, 2014, MGIC’s risk-to-capital ratio was 14.6 to 1, below the maximum allowed by the jurisdictions with State Capital Requirements, and its policyholder position was $673 million above the required MPP of $1.0 billion. In 2013, we entered into a quota share reinsurance agreement with a group of unaffiliated reinsurers that reduced our risk-to-capital ratio. It is possible that under the revised State Capital Requirements discussed below, MGIC will not be allowed full credit for the risk ceded to the reinsurers. If MGIC is disallowed full credit under either the State Capital Requirements or the GSE Financial Requirements, MGIC may terminate the reinsurance agreement, without penalty. At this time, we expect MGIC to continue to comply with the current State Capital Requirements; however, you should read the rest of these risk factors for information about matters that could negatively affect such compliance.
 
At December 31, 2014, the risk-to-capital ratio of our combined insurance operations (which includes reinsurance affiliates) was 16.4 to 1. Reinsurance transactions with affiliates permit MGIC to write insurance with a higher coverage percentage than it could on its own under certain state-specific requirements. A higher risk-to-capital ratio on a combined basis may indicate that, in order for MGIC to continue to utilize reinsurance arrangements with its affiliates, unless a waiver of the State Capital Requirements of Wisconsin continues to be effective, additional capital contributions to the reinsurance affiliates could be needed.
 
The NAIC previously announced that it plans to revise the minimum capital and surplus requirements for mortgage insurers that are provided for in its Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Model Act. A working group of state regulators is considering this issue, although no date has been established by which the NAIC must propose revisions to such requirements. Depending on the scope of revisions made by the NAIC, MGIC may be prevented from writing new business in the jurisdictions adopting such revisions.

If MGIC fails to meet the State Capital Requirements of Wisconsin and is unable to obtain a waiver of them from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of Wisconsin (“OCI”), MGIC could be prevented from writing new business in all jurisdictions. If MGIC fails to meet the State Capital Requirements of a jurisdiction other than Wisconsin and is unable to obtain a waiver of them, MGIC could be prevented from writing new business in that particular jurisdiction. It is possible that regulatory action by one or more jurisdictions, including those that do not have specific State Capital Requirements, may prevent MGIC from continuing to write new insurance in such jurisdictions. If we are unable to write business in all jurisdictions, lenders may be unwilling to procure insurance from us anywhere. In addition, a lender’s assessment of the future ability of our insurance operations to meet the Financial Requirements may affect its willingness to procure insurance from us. In this regard, see our risk factor titled “Competition or changes in our relationships with our customers could reduce our revenues, reduce our premium yields and/or increase our losses.”A possible future failure by MGIC to meet the Financial Requirements will not necessarily mean that MGIC lacks sufficient resources to pay claims on its insurance liabilities. While we believe MGIC has sufficient claims paying resources to meet its claim obligations on its insurance in force on a timely basis, you should read the rest of these risk factors for information about matters that could negatively affect MGIC’s claims paying resources.

Downturns in the domestic economy or declines in the value of borrowers’ homes from their value at the time their loans closed may result in more homeowners defaulting and our losses increasing.
 
Losses result from events that reduce a borrower’s ability or willingness to continue to make mortgage payments, such as unemployment, and whether the home of a borrower who defaults on his mortgage can be sold for an amount that will cover unpaid principal and interest and the expenses of the sale. In general, favorable economic conditions reduce the likelihood that borrowers will lack sufficient income to pay their mortgages and also favorably affect the value of homes, thereby reducing and in some cases even eliminating a loss from a mortgage default. A deterioration in economic conditions, including an increase in unemployment, generally increases the likelihood that borrowers will not have sufficient income to pay their mortgages and can also adversely affect housing values, which in turn can influence the willingness of borrowers with sufficient resources to make mortgage payments to do so when the mortgage balance exceeds the value of the home. Housing values may decline even absent a deterioration in economic conditions due to declines in demand for homes, which in turn may result from changes in buyers’ perceptions of the potential for future appreciation, restrictions on and the cost of mortgage credit due to more stringent underwriting standards, higher interest rates generally or changes to the deductibility of mortgage interest for income tax purposes, or other factors. The residential mortgage market in the United States had for some time experienced a variety of poor or worsening economic conditions, including a material nationwide decline in housing values, with declines continuing into early 2012 in a number of geographic areas. Although housing values in most markets have recently been increasing, in some markets they remain significantly below their peak levels. Changes in housing values and unemployment levels are inherently difficult to forecast given the uncertainty in the current market environment, including uncertainty about the effect of actions the federal government has taken and may take with respect to tax policies, mortgage finance programs and policies, and housing finance reform.
 
The mix of business we write affects the likelihood of losses occurring, our Minimum Required Assets for purposes of the draft GSE Financial Requirements, and our premium yields.
 
Even when housing values are stable or rising, mortgages with certain characteristics have higher probabilities of claims. These characteristics include loans with loan-to-value ratios over 95% (or in certain markets that have experienced declining housing values, over 90%), FICO credit scores below 620, limited underwriting, including limited borrower documentation, or higher total debt-to-income ratios, as well as loans having combinations of higher risk factors. As of December 31, 2014, approximately 18.7% of our primary risk in force consisted of loans with loan-to-value ratios greater than 95%, 5.6% had FICO credit scores below 620, and 5.7% had limited underwriting, including limited borrower documentation, each attribute as determined at the time of loan origination. A material portion of these loans were written in 2005 — 2007 or the first quarter of 2008. In accordance with industry practice, loans approved by GSEs and other automated underwriting systems under “doc waiver” programs that do not require verification of borrower income are classified by us as “full documentation.” 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” in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

The Minimum Required Assets for purposes of the draft GSE Financial Requirements are, in part, a function of the direct risk-in-force and the risk profile of the loans we insure, considering loan-to-value ratio, credit score, vintage, HARP status and delinquency status. Therefore, if our direct risk-in-force increases through increases in new insurance written, or if our mix of business changes to include loans with higher loan-to-value ratios or lower credit scores, for example, we will be required to hold more Available Assets in order to maintain GSE eligibility.

From time to time, in response to market conditions, we change the types of loans that we insure and the requirements under which we insure them. In 2013, we liberalized our underwriting guidelines somewhat, in part through aligning most of our underwriting requirements with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for loans that receive and are processed in accordance with certain approval recommendations from a GSE automated underwriting system. As a result of the liberalization of our underwriting requirements, the migration of marginally lower FICO business from the FHA to us and other private mortgage insurers and other factors, our business written in the last several quarters is expected to have a somewhat higher claim incidence than business written in recent years. However, we believe this business presents an acceptable level of risk. Although the GSEs recently lowered their minimum downpayment requirements for certain loans from 5% to 3%, we may not insure a significant number of those loans in the near future because the FHA pricing on those loans may be more favorable for borrowers. Our underwriting requirements are available on our website at http://www.mgic.com/underwriting/index.html. We monitor the competitive landscape and will make adjustments to our pricing and underwriting guidelines as warranted. We also make exceptions to our underwriting requirements on a loan-by-loan basis and for certain customer programs. Together, the number of loans for which exceptions were made accounted for fewer than 2% of the loans we insured in 2013 and 2014.
 
As noted above in our risk factor titled “State capital requirements may prevent us from continuing to write new insurance on an uninterrupted basis,” in 2013, we entered into a quota share reinsurance agreement with a group of unaffiliated reinsurers. Although that transaction, as currently structured, reduces our premiums, the transaction will have a lesser impact on our overall results, as losses ceded under this transaction reduce our losses incurred and the ceding commission we receive reduces our underwriting expenses. As of December 31, 2014, we have accrued a profit commission receivable of $92 million. This receivable is expected to grow materially through the term of the agreement, absent any modifications to the agreement, but the ultimate amount of the commission will depend on the premiums earned and losses incurred under the agreement. Any profit commission would be paid to us upon termination of the reinsurance agreement. The reinsurers are required to maintain trust funds or letters of credit to support recoverable balances for reinsurance, such as loss reserves, paid losses, prepaid reinsurance premiums and profit commissions. As such forms of collateral are in place, we have not established an allowance against these balances. We are in discussions with the participating reinsurers to modify the transaction in order to approximate full credit for the transaction under the draft GSE Financial Requirements.

The circumstances in which we are entitled to rescind coverage have narrowed for insurance we have written in recent years. During the second quarter of 2012, we began writing a portion of our new insurance under an endorsement to our then existing master policy (the “Gold Cert Endorsement”), which limited our ability to rescind coverage compared to that master policy. The Gold Cert Endorsement is filed as Exhibit 99.7 to our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 (filed with the SEC on May 10, 2012).
 
To comply with requirements of the GSEs, in 2014 we introduced a new master policy. Our rescission rights under our new master policy are comparable to those under our previous master policy, as modified by the Gold Cert Endorsement, but may be further narrowed if the GSEs permit modifications to them. Our new master policy is filed as Exhibit 99.19 to our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2014 (filed with the SEC on November 7, 2014). All of our primary new insurance on loans with mortgage insurance application dates on or after October 1, 2014, will be written under our new master policy. As of December 31, 2014, approximately 29% of our flow, primary insurance in force was written under our Gold Cert Endorsement or our new master policy.
 
As of December 31, 2014, approximately 2.9% of our primary risk in force consisted of adjustable rate mortgages in which the initial interest rate may be adjusted during the five years after the mortgage closing (“ARMs”). We classify as fixed rate loans adjustable rate mortgages in which the initial interest rate is fixed during the five years after the mortgage closing. If interest rates should rise between the time of origination of such loans and when their interest rates may be reset, claims on ARMs and adjustable rate mortgages whose interest rates may only be adjusted after five years would be substantially higher than for fixed rate loans. In addition, we have insured “interest-only” loans, which may also be ARMs, and loans with negative amortization features, such as pay option ARMs. We believe claim rates on these loans will be substantially higher than on loans without scheduled payment increases that are made to borrowers of comparable credit quality.

Although we attempt to incorporate these higher expected claim rates into our underwriting and pricing models, there can be no assurance that the premiums earned and the associated investment income will be adequate to compensate for actual losses even under our current underwriting requirements. We do, however, believe that given the various changes in our underwriting requirements that were effective beginning in the first quarter of 2008, our insurance written beginning in the second half of 2008 will generate underwriting profits.
 
The premiums we charge may not be adequate to compensate us for our liabilities for losses and as a result any inadequacy could materially affect our financial condition and results of operations.
 
We set premiums at the time a policy is issued based on our expectations regarding likely performance over the long-term. Our premiums are subject to approval by state regulatory agencies, which can delay or limit our ability to increase our premiums. Generally, we cannot cancel mortgage insurance coverage or adjust renewal premiums during the life of a mortgage insurance policy. As a result, higher than anticipated claims generally cannot be offset by premium increases on policies in force or mitigated by our non-renewal or cancellation of insurance coverage. The premiums we charge, and the associated investment income, may not be adequate to compensate us for the risks and costs associated with the insurance coverage provided to customers. An increase in the number or size of claims, compared to what we anticipate, could adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.
 
We continue to experience significant losses on our 2005-2008 books. The ultimate amount of these losses will depend in part on general economic conditions, including unemployment, and the direction of home prices, which in turn will be influenced by general economic conditions and other factors. Because we cannot predict future home prices or general economic conditions with confidence, there is significant uncertainty surrounding what our ultimate losses will be on our 2005-2008 books. Our current expectation is that the incurred and paid losses from these books, although declining, will continue to generate a material portion of our total incurred and paid losses for a number of years.
 
It is uncertain what effect the extended timeframes in the foreclosure process will have on us.
 
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.
 
We are susceptible to disruptions in the servicing of mortgage loans that we insure.
 
We depend on reliable, consistent third-party servicing of the loans that we insure. Over the last several years, the mortgage loan servicing industry has experienced consolidation. The resulting reduction in the number of servicers could lead to disruptions in the servicing of mortgage loans covered by our insurance policies. In addition, the increases in the number of delinquent mortgage loans requiring servicing since the financial crisis began have strained the resources of servicers, reducing their ability to undertake mitigation efforts that could help limit our losses, and have resulted in an increasing amount of delinquent loan servicing being transferred to specialty servicers. The transfer of servicing can cause a disruption in the servicing of delinquent loans. Future housing market conditions could lead to additional increases in delinquencies. Managing a substantially higher volume of non-performing loans could lead to increased disruptions in the servicing of mortgages.
 
If interest rates decline, house prices appreciate or mortgage insurance cancellation requirements change, the length of time that our policies remain in force could decline and result in declines in our revenue.
 
In each year, most of our premiums are from insurance that has been written in prior years. As a result, the length of time insurance remains in force, which is also generally referred to as persistency, is a significant determinant of our revenues. Future premiums on our insurance in force represent a material portion of our claims paying resources.

Our persistency rate was 82.8% at December 31, 2014, compared to 79.5% at December 31, 2013, and 79.8% at December 31, 2012. During the 1990s, our year-end persistency ranged from a high of 87.4% at December 31, 1990 to a low of 68.1% at December 31, 1998. Since 2000, our year-end persistency ranged from a high of 84.7% at December 31, 2009 to a low of 47.1% at December 31, 2003.
 
Our persistency rate is primarily affected by the level of current mortgage interest rates compared to the mortgage coupon rates on our insurance in force, which affects the vulnerability of the insurance in force to refinancing. Due to refinancing, we have experienced lower persistency on our 2009 through 2011 books of business. This has been partially offset by higher persistency on our older books of business reflecting the more restrictive credit policies of lenders (which make it more difficult for homeowners to refinance loans), as well as declines in housing values. Our persistency rate is also affected by mortgage insurance cancellation policies of mortgage investors along with the current value of the homes underlying the mortgages in the insurance in force.
 
Your ownership in our company may be diluted by additional capital that we raise or if the holders of our outstanding convertible debt convert that debt into shares of our common stock.
 
As noted above under our risk factor titled “We may not continue to meet the GSEs’ mortgage insurer eligibility requirements and our returns may decrease if we are required to maintain significantly more capital in order to maintain our eligibility,” if the draft PMIERs are implemented as released, we would consider seeking non-dilutive debt capital to mitigate the shortfall in Available Assets. However, there can be no assurance that we would not have to raise additional equity capital. Any future issuance of equity securities may dilute your ownership interest in our company. In addition, the market price of our common stock could decline as a result of sales of a large number of shares or similar securities in the market or the perception that such sales could occur.
 
We have $389.5 million principal amount of 9% Convertible Junior Subordinated Debentures outstanding. The principal amount of the debentures is currently convertible, at the holder’s option, at an initial conversion rate, which is subject to adjustment, of 74.0741 common shares per $1,000 principal amount of debentures. This represents an initial conversion price of approximately $13.50 per share. We have the right, and may elect, to defer interest payable under the debentures in the future. If a holder elects to convert its debentures, the interest that has been deferred on the debentures being converted is also convertible into shares of our common stock. The conversion rate for such deferred interest is based on the average price that our shares traded at during a 5-day period immediately prior to the election to convert the associated debentures. We may elect to pay cash for some or all of the shares issuable upon a conversion of the debentures. We also have $345 million principal amount of 5% Convertible Senior Notes and $500 million principal amount of 2% Convertible Senior Notes outstanding. The 5% Convertible Senior Notes are convertible, at the holder’s option, at an initial conversion rate, which is subject to adjustment, of 74.4186 shares per $1,000 principal amount at any time prior to the maturity date. This represents an initial conversion price of approximately $13.44 per share. Prior to January 1, 2020, the 2% Convertible Senior Notes are convertible only upon satisfaction of one or more conditions. One such condition is that during any calendar quarter commencing after March 31, 2014, the last reported sale price of our common stock for each of at least 20 trading days during the 30 consecutive trading days ending on, and including, the last trading day of the immediately preceding calendar quarter be greater than or equal to 130% of the applicable conversion price on each applicable trading day. The notes are convertible at an initial conversion rate, which is subject to adjustment, of 143.8332 shares per $1,000 principal amount. This represents an initial conversion price of approximately $6.95 per share. 130% of such conversion price is $9.03. On or after January 1, 2020, holders may convert their notes irrespective of satisfaction of the conditions. We do not have the right to defer interest on our Convertible Senior Notes. For a discussion of the dilutive effects of our convertible securities on our earnings per share, see Note 3 — “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies Earnings per Share” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8.
 
Our debt obligations materially exceed our holding company cash and investments.
 
At December 31, 2014, we had approximately $491 million in cash and investments at our holding company and our holding company’s debt obligations were $1,297 million in aggregate principal amount, consisting of $62 million of Senior Notes due in November 2015, $345 million of Convertible Senior Notes due in 2017, $500 million of Convertible Senior Notes due in 2020 and $390 million of Convertible Junior Debentures due in 2063. Annual debt service on the debt outstanding as of December 31, 2014, is approximately $66 million.
 
The Senior Notes, Convertible Senior Notes and Convertible Junior Debentures are obligations of our holding company, MGIC Investment Corporation, and not of its subsidiaries. Our holding company has no material sources of cash inflows other than investment income. The payment of dividends from our insurance subsidiaries, which other than raising capital in the public markets is the principal source of our holding company cash inflow, is restricted by insurance regulation. MGIC is the principal source of dividend-paying capacity. Since 2008, MGIC has not paid any dividends to our holding company. At this time, MGIC cannot pay any dividends to our holding company without approval from the OCI and the GSEs. Any additional capital contributions to our subsidiaries would decrease our holding company cash and investments.
 
We could be adversely affected if personal information on consumers that we maintain is improperly disclosed and our information technology systems may become outdated and we may not be able to make timely modifications to support our products and services.
 
We rely on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of complex information technology systems. All information technology systems are potentially vulnerable to damage or interruption from a variety of sources. As part of our business, we maintain large amounts of personal information on consumers. While we believe we have appropriate information security policies and systems to prevent unauthorized disclosure, there can be no assurance that unauthorized disclosure, either through the actions of third parties or employees, will not occur. Unauthorized disclosure could adversely affect our reputation and expose us to material claims for damages.

In addition, we are in the process of upgrading certain of our information systems that have been in place for a number of years. The implementation of these technological improvements is complex, expensive and time consuming. If we fail to timely and successfully implement the new technology systems, or if the systems do not operate as expected, it could have an adverse impact on our business, business prospects and results of operations.
 
Our Australian operations may suffer significant losses.
 
We began international operations in Australia, where we started to write business in June 2007. Since 2008, we are no longer writing new business in Australia. Our existing risk in force in Australia is subject to the risks described in the general economic and insurance business-related factors discussed above. In addition to these risks, we are subject to a number of other risks from having deployed capital in Australia, including foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations and interest-rate volatility particular to Australia.


Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 2. Properties.

At December 31, 2014, we leased office space in various cities throughout the United States under leases expiring between 2015 and 2021 and which required annual rental payments that in the aggregate are immaterial.

We own our headquarters facility and an additional office/warehouse facility, both located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which contain an aggregate of approximately 310,000 square feet of space.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

Since December 2011, MGIC, together with various mortgage lenders and other mortgage insurers has been named as a defendant in twelve lawsuits, alleged to be class actions, filed in various U.S. District Courts. The complaints in all of the cases allege various causes of action related to the captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements of the mortgage lenders, including that the lenders’ captive reinsurers received excessive premiums in relation to the risk assumed by those captives, thereby violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”). Seven of those cases had been dismissed prior to February 2015 without any further opportunity to appeal. Of the remaining five cases, the following three were dismissed with prejudice in February 2015 pursuant to stipulations of dismissal from the plaintiffs.
  
Date Filed
Court
 
06/28/2012
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of PA
12/06/2012
U.S. District Court for the Western District of PA
01/04/2013
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA
 
The remaining two cases listed below are expected to be dismissed with prejudice in connection with plaintiffs' stipulations in such cases.
 
Date Filed
Court
 
12/31/2011
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA
04/05/2012
U.S. District Court for the Western District of PA
 
In December 2009, Countrywide filed a complaint for declaratory relief in the Superior Court of the State of California in San Francisco against MGIC. In October 2011, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, to which the case had been removed, entered an order staying the litigation in favor of the arbitration proceeding we commenced against Countrywide in February 2010. In these proceedings, Countrywide alleged that MGIC denied valid mortgage insurance claims. (In our SEC reports, we refer to rescissions of insurance and denials of claims collectively as “rescissions” and variations of that term.) In addition to the claim amounts it alleged MGIC improperly denied, Countrywide contended it was entitled to other damages of almost $700 million as well as exemplary damages. We sought a determination in these proceedings that we are entitled to rescind coverage on the applicable loans. From January 1, 2008 through September 30, 2013, rescissions of coverage on Countrywide-related loans mitigated our paid losses on the order of $445 million. This amount is the amount we estimate we would have paid had the coverage not been rescinded. In addition, in connection with the mediation referred to below, we voluntarily suspended rescissions related to loans that we believed could be covered by a settlement.
 
We held a mediation to resolve this dispute and in 2013, MGIC entered into separate settlement agreements with Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (“CHL”) and its affiliate, Bank of America, N.A., as successor to Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP (“BANA”), pursuant to which the parties will settle the Countrywide litigation as it relates to MGIC’s rescission practices (as amended, the “Agreements”). The original Agreements are described in our Form 8-K filed with the SEC on April 25, 2013. The original Agreements are filed as exhibits to that Form 8‑K and amendments were filed with our Forms 10-Q for the quarters ended September 30, 2013, March 31, 2014, June 30, 2014, and September 30, 2014, our Form 10-K for 2013 and this Form 10-K. Certain portions of the Agreements are redacted and covered by confidential treatment requests that have been granted.

The Agreement with BANA covers loans purchased by the GSEs. That original Agreement was implemented beginning in November 2013 and we resolved all related suspended rescissions in November and December 2013 by paying the associated claim or processing the rescission. The pending arbitration proceedings concerning the loans covered by that agreement have been dismissed, the mutual releases between the parties regarding such loans have become effective and the litigation between the parties regarding such loans is to be dismissed.

The Agreement with CHL covers loans that were purchased by non-GSE investors, including securitization trusts (the “other investors”). That Agreement will be implemented only as and to the extent that it is consented to by or on behalf of the other investors. While there can be no assurance that the Agreement with CHL will be implemented, we have determined that its implementation is probable.

The pending arbitration proceeding between the parties regarding the loans subject to the CHL proceeding is stayed. Upon obtaining a specified number of consents by or on behalf of the other investors and also upon the conclusion of the period in the Agreement with CHL for obtaining consents by or on behalf of the other investors, all legal proceedings will be dismissed and the parties will provide mutual releases, in each case limited as to the loans held by the investors that consent to that agreement.

The estimated impact of the Agreements has been recorded in our financial statements. If we are not able to implement the Agreement with CHL, we intend to defend MGIC vigorously against any related legal proceedings.

The flow policies at issue with Countrywide are in the same form as the flow policies that we used with all of our customers during the period covered by the Agreements, and the bulk policies at issue vary from one another, but are generally similar to those used in the majority of our Wall Street bulk transactions.

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) completed examinations of our federal income tax returns for the years 2000 through 2007 and issued proposed assessments for taxes, interest and penalties related to our treatment of the flow-through income and loss from an investment in a portfolio of residual interests of Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (“REMICs”). The IRS indicated that it did not believe that, for various reasons, we had established sufficient tax basis in the REMIC residual interests to deduct the losses from taxable income. We appealed these assessments within the IRS and in August 2010, we reached a tentative settlement agreement with the IRS which was not finalized.
 
On September 10, 2014, we received Notices of Deficiency (commonly referred to as “90 day letters”) covering the 2000-2007 tax years. The Notices of Deficiency reflect taxes and penalties related to the REMIC matters of $197.5 million and at December 31, 2014, there would also be interest related to these matters of approximately $168.4 million. In 2007, we made a payment of $65.2 million to the United States Department of the Treasury which will reduce any amounts we would ultimately owe. The Notices of Deficiency also reflect additional amounts due of $261.4 million, which are primarily associated with the disallowance of the carryback of the 2009 net operating loss to the 2004-2007 tax years. We believe the IRS included the carryback adjustments as a precaution to keep open the statute of limitations on collection of the tax that was refunded when this loss was carried back, and not because the IRS actually intends to disallow the carryback permanently.

We filed a petition with the U.S. Tax Court contesting most of the IRS’ proposed adjustments reflected in the Notices of Deficiency and the IRS has filed an answer to our petition which continues to assert their claim. Litigation to resolve our dispute with the IRS could be lengthy and costly in terms of legal fees and related expenses. We can provide no assurance regarding the outcome of any such litigation or whether a compromised settlement with the IRS will ultimately be reached and finalized. Depending on the outcome of this matter, additional state income taxes and state interest may become due when a final resolution is reached. As of December 31, 2014, those state taxes and interest would approximate $47.4 million. In addition, there could also be state tax penalties. Our total amount of unrecognized tax benefits as of December 31, 2014 is $106.2 million, which represents the tax benefits generated by the REMIC portfolio included in our tax returns that we have not taken benefit for in our financial statements, including any related interest. We continue to believe that our previously recorded tax provisions and liabilities are appropriate. However, we would need to make appropriate adjustments, which could be material, to our tax provision and liabilities if our view of the probability of success in this matter changes, and the ultimate resolution of this matter could have a material negative impact on our effective tax rate, results of operations, cash flows, available assets and statutory capital. In this regard, see our risk factors titled “We may not continue to meet the GSEs’ mortgage insurer eligibility requirements and our returns may decrease if we are required to maintain significantly more capital in order to maintain our eligibility” and “State capital requirements may prevent us from continuing to write new insurance on an uninterrupted basis” in Item 1A.

In addition to the above litigation, we face other litigation, regulatory risks and disputes. For additional information about such other litigation and regulatory risks, you should review our risk factors titled “We are defendants in private and government litigation and are subject to the risk of additional private litigation, government litigation and regulatory proceedings in the future.”

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not Applicable.

Executive Officers of the Registrant

Certain information with respect to our executive officers as of February 27, 2015 is set forth below:
 
Name and Age
Title
Curt S. Culver, 62
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of MGIC Investment Corporation and MGIC until his retirement February 28, 2015; Director of MGIC Investment Corporation and MGIC
   
Patrick Sinks, 58
President and Chief Executive Officer of MGIC Investment Corporation and MGIC effective March 1, 2015; President and Chief Operating Officer of MGIC Investment Corporation and MGIC until February 28, 2015; Director of MGIC Investment Corporation and MGIC
   
Timothy J. Mattke, 39
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MGIC Investment Corporation and MGIC
   
Jeffrey H. Lane, 65
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of MGIC Investment Corporation and MGIC
   
Lawrence J. Pierzchalski, 62
Executive Vice President – Risk Management of MGIC
   
Gregory A. Chi, 54
Senior Vice President–Information Services and Chief Information Officer of MGIC
   
James J. Hughes, 52
Senior Vice President – Sales and Business Development of MGIC effective March 2, 2015

Mr. Culver has served as our Chief Executive Officer since January 2000 and as our Chairman of the Board since January 2005. He was our President from January 1999 to January 2006 and was President of MGIC from May 1996 to January 2006. Mr. Culver has been a senior officer of MGIC since 1988 having responsibility at various times during his career with MGIC for field operations, marketing and corporate development. From March 1985 to 1988, he held various management positions with MGIC in the areas of marketing and sales. Mr. Culver will retire as Chief Executive Officer February 28, 2015; however, he will remain Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Sinks will become our President and Chief Executive Officer effective March 1, 2015. He has been our and MGIC’s President and Chief Operating Officer since January 2006.  He was Executive Vice President-Field Operations of MGIC from January 2004 to January 2006 and was Senior Vice President-Field Operations of MGIC from July 2002 to January 2004. From March 1985 to July 2002, he held various positions within MGIC’s finance and accounting organization, the last of which was Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer. Mr. Sinks has been a director of MGIC Investment Corporation and MGIC since July 2014.

Mr. Mattke has been the Company’s Chief Financial Officer since March 2014. He served as the Company’s Controller from 2009 through March 2014. He joined the Company in 2006. Prior to his becoming Controller, he was Assistant Controller of MGIC beginning in August 2007 and prior to that was a manager in MGIC’s accounting department.  Before joining MGIC, Mr. Mattke was an audit manager and an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Company’s independent registered accounting firm.

Mr. Lane has served as our and MGIC’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since January 2008 and prior thereto as our Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary from August 1996 to January 2008. For more than five years prior to his joining us, Mr. Lane was a partner of Foley & Lardner, a law firm headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
 
Mr. Pierzchalski has served as Executive Vice President-Risk Management of MGIC since May 1996 and prior thereto as Senior Vice President-Risk Management or Vice President-Risk Management of MGIC from April 1990 to May 1996. From March 1985 to April 1990, he held various management positions with MGIC in the areas of market research, corporate planning and risk management. In October 2014, Mr. Pierzchalski informed us that he would be retiring in September 2015.
 
Mr. Chi joined MGIC in February 2012 and has served as MGIC’s Senior Vice President–Information Services and Chief Information Officer since March 2012. Prior to joining MGIC, Mr. Chi had been Senior Vice President of Enterprise Delivery Services with SunTrust Bank since 2008. Prior to joining SunTrust, Mr. Chi had been Vice President, Information Technology Development Application with MetLife, Inc. since 2005.  Prior to that, Mr. Chi held various senior management positions in the financial services industry.

Mr. Hughes will become Senior Vice President – Sales and Business Development of MGIC effective March 2, 2015. He served as Vice President, Managing Director in the sales area from October 2001 to March 2015. He joined MGIC in 1987 and prior to becoming Vice President, Managing Director, he had been an Account Manager and a Sales Manager.
 
PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

(a) Our Common Stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “MTG.” The following table sets forth for 2014 and 2013 by calendar quarter the high and low sales prices of our Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

   
2014
   
2013
 
Quarter
 
High
   
Low
   
High
   
Low
 
First
 
$
9.46
     
7.92
   
$
6.19
   
$
2.36
 
Second
   
9.50
     
7.65
     
6.60
     
4.55
 
Third
   
9.50
     
7.16
     
8.16
     
5.88
 
Fourth
   
9.67
     
7.27
     
8.69
     
6.62
 

In October 2008, the Board suspended payment of our cash dividend. Accordingly, no cash dividends were paid in 2014 or 2013. The payment of future dividends is subject to the discretion of our Board and will depend on many factors, including our operating results, financial condition and capital position.  See Note 8, “Debt,” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 for dividend restrictions during interest deferral periods related to our Convertible Junior Debentures.  We are a holding company and the payment of dividends from our insurance subsidiaries is restricted by insurance regulations. For a discussion of these restrictions, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis — Liquidity and Capital Resources” in Item 7 of this annual report and Note 16, “Dividend Restrictions,” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8.

As of February 13, 2015, the number of shareholders of record was 263. In addition, we estimate there are approximately 22,000 beneficial owners of shares held by brokers and fiduciaries.

Information regarding equity compensation plans is contained in Item 12.

(b) Not applicable.

(c) We did not repurchase any shares of Common Stock during the fourth quarter of 2014.
 
Item 6. Selected Financial Data

   
Year Ended December 31,
 
   
2014
   
2013
   
2012
   
2011
   
2010
 
   
(in thousands, except per share data)
 
Summary of Operations
                   
Revenues:
                   
Net premiums written
 
$
881,962
   
$
923,481
   
$
1,017,832
   
$
1,064,380
   
$
1,101,795
 
                                         
Net premiums earned
 
$
844,371
   
$
943,051
   
$
1,033,170
   
$
1,123,835
   
$
1,168,747
 
Investment income, net
   
87,647
     
80,739
     
121,640
     
201,270
     
247,253
 
Realized investment gains, net including  net impairment losses
   
1,357
     
5,731
     
195,409
     
142,715
     
92,937
 
Other revenue
   
8,422
     
9,914
     
28,145
     
36,459
     
11,588
 
                                         
Total revenues
   
941,797
     
1,039,435
     
1,378,364
     
1,504,279
     
1,520,525
 
                                         
Losses and expenses:
                                       
Losses incurred, net
   
496,077
     
838,726
     
2,067,253
     
1,714,707
     
1,607,541
 
Change in premium deficiency reserve
   
(24,710
)
   
(25,320
)
   
(61,036
)
   
(44,150
)
   
(51,347
)
Underwriting and other expenses
   
146,059
     
192,518
     
201,447
     
214,750
     
225,142
 
Interest expense
   
69,648
     
79,663
     
99,344
     
103,271
     
98,589
 
                                         
Total losses and expenses
   
687,074
     
1,085,587
     
2,307,008
     
1,988,578
     
1,879,925
 
                                         
Income (loss) before tax
   
254,723
     
(46,152
)
   
(928,644
)
   
(484,299
)
   
(359,400
)
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes
   
2,774
     
3,696
     
(1,565
)
   
1,593
     
4,335
 
                                         
Net income (loss)
 
$
251,949
   
$
(49,848
)
 
$
(927,079
)
 
$
(485,892
)
 
$
(363,735
)
                                         
Weighted average common shares outstanding (in thousands)
   
413,547
     
311,754
     
201,892
     
201,019
     
176,406
 
                                         
Diluted income (loss) per share
 
$
0.64
   
$
(0.16
)
 
$
(4.59
)
 
$
(2.42
)
 
$
(2.06
)
                                         
Dividends per share
 
$
-
   
$
-
   
$
-
   
$
-
   
$
-
 
                                         
Balance sheet data
                                       
Total investments
 
$
4,612,669
   
$
4,866,819
   
$
4,230,275
   
$
5,823,647
   
$
7,458,282
 
Cash and cash equivalents
   
197,882
     
332,692
     
1,027,625
     
995,799
     
1,304,154
 
Total assets
   
5,266,434
     
5,601,390
     
5,574,324
     
7,216,230
     
9,333,642
 
Loss reserves
   
2,396,807
     
3,061,401
     
4,056,843
     
4,557,512
     
5,884,171
 
Premium deficiency reserve
   
23,751
     
48,461
     
73,781
     
134,817
     
178,967
 
Short- and long-term debt
   
61,918
     
82,773
     
99,910
     
170,515
     
376,329
 
Convertible senior notes
   
845,000
     
845,000
     
345,000
     
345,000
     
345,000
 
Convertible junion debentures
   
389,522
     
389,522
     
379,609
     
344,422
     
315,626
 
Shareholders' equity
   
1,036,903
     
744,538
     
196,940
     
1,196,815
     
1,669,055
 
Book value per share
   
3.06
     
2.20
     
0.97
     
5.95
     
8.33
 
 
   
Year Ended December 31,
 
   
2014
   
2013
   
2012
   
2011
   
2010
 
     
New primary insurance written ($ millions)
   
33,439
     
29,796
     
24,125
     
14,234
     
12,257
 
New primary risk written ($ millions)
   
8,530
     
7,541
     
5,949
     
3,525
     
2,944
 
                                         
Insurance in force (at year-end) ($ millions)
                                       
Direct primary insurance
   
164,919
     
158,723
     
162,082
     
178,873
     
191,250
 
Risk in force (at year-end) ($ millions)
Direct primary risk in force
   
42,946
     
41,060
     
41,735
     
44,462
     
48,979
 
Direct pool risk in force
                                       
With aggregate loss limits
   
303
     
376
     
439
     
674
     
1,154
 
Without aggregate loss limits
   
505
     
636
     
879
     
1,177
     
1,532
 
                                         
Primary loans in default ratios
                                       
Policies in force
   
968,748
     
960,163
     
1,006,346
     
1,090,086
     
1,228,315
 
Loans in default
   
79,901
     
103,328
     
139,845
     
175,639
     
214,724
 
Percentage of loans in default
   
8.25
%
   
10.76
%
   
13.90
%
   
16.11
%
   
17.48
%
                                         
Insurance operating ratios (GAAP) (1)
                         
Loss ratio
   
58.8
%
   
88.9
%
   
200.1
%
   
152.6
%
   
137.5
%
Expense ratio
   
14.7
%
   
18.6
%
   
15.2
%
   
16.0
%
   
16.3
%
Combined ratio
   
73.5
%
   
107.5
%
   
215.3
%
   
168.6
%
   
153.8
%
                                         
Risk-to-capital ratio (statutory)
                                       
Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation
 
14.6:1
   
15.8:1
   
44.7:1
   
20.3:1
   
19.8:1
 
MGIC Indemnity Corporation
 
1.1:1
   
1.3:1
   
1.2:1
     
-
     
-
 
Combined insurance companies
 
16.4:1
   
18.4:1
   
47.8:1
   
22.2:1
   
23.2:1
 
 

 
(1)
The loss ratio is the ratio, expressed as a percentage of the sum of incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses to net premiums earned. The expense ratio is the ratio, expressed as a percentage, of the combined insurance operations underwriting expenses to net premium written.

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

Overview

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 $164.9 billion of primary insurance in force at December 31, 2014.

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.
 
General Business Environment

As a seller of mortgage insurance, our results are subject to macroeconomic conditions and specific events that impact the origination environment and the credit performance of the underlying insured assets. In 2014, the U.S. economy expanded at a moderate pace with declining unemployment rates, improving home price trends showing appreciation on a broad basis throughout the U.S., declining foreclosure activity, and good credit quality on new mortgage originations. We were also the beneficiary of the additional market share recaptured by the private mortgage industry from the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), which has been a trend since 2011. Our share within the private mortgage industry also increased during 2014. As a consequence of these and other factors, in 2014 we experienced improved financial results and achieved our first year of annual profitability since 2006. These results were primarily driven by a significant reduction in incurred losses as a result of a 17% decline in new primary mortgage insurance defaults compared to 2013. In addition to an improvement in our financial results, we also grew our primary insurance in force and risk in force by 3.9% and 4.6%, respectively, in 2014. We consider the current environment favorable for the U.S. housing market as housing remains affordable and interest rates remain historically low. The mortgage origination outlook for 2015 remains stable relative to 2014, however an increasing percentage of purchase originations relative to refinancing originations would be beneficial to our business. While we believe the conditions that impact our business are positive, we remain subject to significant regulatory oversight, the capital requirements of the GSEs, and competition from other private mortgage insurers and the FHA, all of which have implications on our ability to operate in the mortgage insurance industry.

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; 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.”  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.

Capital

GSEs

As mentioned above, substantially all of our insurance written has been for loans sold to the GSE, each of which has mortgage insurer eligibility requirements. The existing eligibility requirements include a minimum financial strength rating of Aa3/AA-. Because MGIC does not meet the financial strength rating requirement (its financial strength rating from Moody’s is Ba3 (with a stable outlook) and from Standard & Poor’s is BB+ (with a stable outlook)), MGIC is currently operating with each GSE as an eligible insurer under a remediation plan.

In July 2014, the conservator of the GSEs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”), released draft Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements (“draft PMIERs”). The draft PMIERs include revised financial requirements for mortgage insurers (the “GSE Financial Requirements”) that require a mortgage insurer’s “Available Assets” (generally only the most liquid assets of an insurer) to meet or exceed “Minimum Required Assets” (which are based on an insurer's book and calculated from tables of factors with several risk dimensions and are subject to a floor amount).
 
The public input period for the draft PMIERs ended September 8, 2014. We currently expect the PMIERs to be published in final form no earlier than late in the first quarter of 2015 and the “effective date” to occur 180 days thereafter. Under the draft PMIERs, mortgage insurers would have up to two years after the final PMIERs are published to meet the GSE Financial Requirements (the “transition period”). A mortgage insurer that fails to certify by the effective date that it meets the GSE Financial Requirements would be subject to a transition plan having milestones for actions to achieve compliance. The transition plan would be submitted for the approval of each GSE within 90 days after the effective date, and if approved, the GSEs would monitor the insurer’s progress. During the transition period for an insurer with an approved transition plan, an insurer would be in remediation (a status similar to the one under which MGIC has been operating with the GSEs for over five years) and eligible to provide mortgage insurance on loans owned or guaranteed by the GSEs.

Shortly after the draft PMIERs were released, we estimated that we would have a shortfall in Available Assets of approximately $600 million on December 31, 2014, which was when the final PMIERs were expected to be published. We also estimated that the shortfall would be reduced to approximately $300 million through operations over a two year period. Those shortfall projections assumed the risk in force and capital of MGIC’s MIC subsidiary would be repatriated to MGIC, and full credit would be given in the calculation of Minimum Required Assets for our  reinsurance agreement executed in 2013 (approximately $500 million of credit at December 31, 2014, increasing to $600 million of credit over two years).  However, we do not expect our existing reinsurance agreement would be given full credit under the PMIERs. Applying the same assumptions, but considering the delay in publication of the final PMIERs, our shortfall projections have improved modestly. Also, we have been in discussions with the participating reinsurers regarding modifications to the agreement so that we would receive additional PMIERs credit.

In addition to modifying our reinsurance agreement, we believe we will be able to use a combination of the alternatives outlined below so that MGIC will meet the GSE Financial Requirements of the draft PMIERs even if they are implemented as released. As of December 31, 2014, we had approximately $491 million of cash and investments at our holding company, a portion of which we believe may be available for future contribution to MGIC. Furthermore, there are regulated insurance affiliates of MGIC that have approximately $100 million of assets as of December 31, 2014. We expect that, subject to regulatory approval, we would be able to use a material portion of these assets to increase the Available Assets of MGIC.  Additionally, if the draft PMIERs are implemented as released, we would consider seeking non-dilutive debt capital to mitigate the shortfall. Factors that may negatively impact MGIC’s ability to comply with the GSE Financial Requirements within the transition period include the following:
 
· Changes in the actual PMIERs adopted from the draft PMIERs may increase the amount of MGIC’s Minimum Required Assets or reduce its Available Assets, with the result that the shortfall in Available Assets could increase;
 
· We may not obtain regulatory approval to transfer assets from MGIC’s regulated insurance affiliates to the extent we are assuming because regulators project higher losses than we project or require a level of capital be maintained in these companies higher than we are assuming;
 
· We may not be able to access the non-dilutive debt markets due to market conditions, concern about our creditworthiness, or other factors, in a manner sufficient to provide the funds we are assuming;
 
· We may not be able to achieve modifications in our existing reinsurance agreements necessary to minimize the reduction in the credit for reinsurance under the draft PMIERs;
 
· We may not be able to obtain additional reinsurance necessary to further reduce the Minimum Required Assets due to market capacity, pricing or other reasons (including disapproval of the proposed agreement by a GSE); and
 
· Our future operating results may be negatively impacted by the matters discussed in the rest of these risk factors. Such matters could decrease our revenues, increase our losses or require the use of assets, thereby increasing our shortfall in Available Assets.
 
There also can be no assurance that the GSEs would not make the GSE Financial Requirements more onerous in the future; in this regard, the draft PMIERs provide that the tables of factors that determine Minimum Required Assets may be updated to reflect changes in risk characteristics and the macroeconomic environment. If MGIC 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.

If we are required to increase the amount of Available Assets we hold in order to continue to insure GSE loans, the amount of capital we hold may increase. If we increase the amount of capital we hold with respect to insured loans, our returns may decrease unless we increase premiums. An increase in premium rates may not be feasible for a number of reasons, including competition from other private mortgage insurers, the FHA, the Veteran’s Administration (“VA”) or other credit enhancement products.
 
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 Financial Requirements, the “Financial 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 (i) the percentage decrease in capital exceeds the percentage decrease in insured risk, or (ii) the percentage increase in capital is less than the percentage increase in insured risk. 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.
 
At December 31, 2014, MGIC’s risk-to-capital ratio was 14.6 to 1, below the maximum allowed by the jurisdictions with State Capital Requirements, and its policyholder position was $673 million above the required MPP of $1.0 billion. In 2013, we entered into a quota share reinsurance agreement with a group of unaffiliated reinsurers that reduced our risk-to-capital ratio. It is possible that under the revised State Capital Requirements discussed below, MGIC will not be allowed full credit for the risk ceded to the reinsurers. If MGIC is disallowed full credit under either the State Capital Requirements or the GSE Financial Requirements, MGIC may terminate the reinsurance agreement, without penalty. At this time, we expect MGIC to continue to comply with the current State Capital Requirements, although we cannot assure you of such compliance.

At December 31, 2014, the risk-to-capital ratio of our combined insurance operations (which includes reinsurance affiliates) was 16.4 to 1. Reinsurance agreements with affiliates permit MGIC to write insurance with a higher coverage percentage than it could on its own under certain state-specific requirements. A higher risk-to-capital ratio on a combined basis may indicate that, in order for MGIC to continue to utilize reinsurance arrangements with its affiliates, unless a waiver of the State Capital Requirements of Wisconsin continues to be effective, additional capital contributions to the reinsurance affiliates could be needed.
 
The NAIC previously announced that it plans to revise the minimum capital and surplus requirements for mortgage insurers that are provided for in its Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Model Act. A working group of state regulators is considering this issue, although no date has been established by which the NAIC must propose revisions to such requirements. Depending on the scope of revisions made by the NAIC, MGIC may be prevented from writing new business in the jurisdictions adopting such revisions.

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 financial reform legislation that was passed in July 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act” or “Dodd-Frank”) required the U.S. Department of the Treasury to report its recommendations regarding options for ending the conservatorship of the GSEs. This report did not provide any definitive timeline for GSE reform; however, it did 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 change the business practices of the GSEs and the FHA; 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.
 
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 and included 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, on January 21, 2021.

 Dodd-Frank 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. In October 2014, a final rule implementing that requirement was released, which will become effective for asset-backed securities collateralized by residential mortgages on December 24, 2015. The final rule exempts securitizations of qualified residential mortgages (“QRMs”) from the risk retention requirement and generally aligns the QRM definition with that of QM. As noted above, there is a temporary category of QMs for mortgages that satisfy the general product feature requirements of QMs and meet the GSEs’ underwriting requirements. As a result, 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. The final rule requires the agencies to review the QRM definition no later than four years after its effective date and every five years thereafter, and allows each agency to request a review of the definition at any time.

We estimate that approximately 87% of our new risk written in 2013 and 83% of our new risk written in 2014 was for loans that would have met the CFPB’s general QM definition and, therefore, the QRM definition. We estimate that approximately 99% of our new risk written in each of 2013 and 2014 was for loans that would have met the temporary category in CFPB’s QM definition. Changes in the treatment of GSE-guaranteed mortgage loans in the regulations defining QM and QRM, 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.

The GSEs have different loan purchase programs that allow different levels of mortgage insurance coverage. Under the “charter coverage” program, on certain loans lenders may choose a mortgage insurance coverage percentage that is less than the GSEs’ “standard coverage” and only the minimum required by the GSEs’ charters, with the GSEs paying a lower price for such loans. In 2013 and 2014, nearly all of our volume was on loans with GSE standard or higher coverage. We charge higher premium rates for higher coverage percentages. To the extent lenders selling loans to the GSEs in the future choose lower coverage for loans that we insure, our revenues would be reduced and we could experience other adverse effects.
 
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.
 
Loan Modification and Other Similar Programs
 
Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008, the federal government, including through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and the GSEs, and several lenders implemented programs to modify loans to make them more affordable to borrowers with the goal of reducing the number of foreclosures. During 2012, 2013 and 2014, we were notified of modifications that cured delinquencies that had they become paid claims would have resulted in approximately $1.2 billion, $1.0 billion and $0.8 billion, respectively, of estimated claim payments. 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 2012 through 2014, approximately 9% resulted in principal forgiveness.
 
One loan modification program is the Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”). We do not receive all of the information from servicers and the GSEs that is required to determine with certainty the number of loans that are participating in, have successfully completed, or are eligible to participate in, HAMP. We are aware of approximately 6,180 loans in our primary delinquent inventory at December 31, 2014 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, 2014, approximately 54,290 delinquent primary loans have cured their delinquency after entering HAMP and are not in default.  Although the majority of loans modified through HAMP are current, we cannot predict with a high degree of confidence what the ultimate re-default rate on these modifications will be. Our loss reserves do not account for potential re-defaults unless at the time the reserve is established, the re-default has already occurred.

In each of 2013 and 2014, approximately 16% of our primary cures were the result of modifications, with HAMP accounting for approximately 68% and 67%, respectively, of those modifications in 2013 and 2014. Although the HAMP program has been extended through December 2016, 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. The interest rates on certain loans modified under HAMP are subject to adjustment five years after the modification was entered into. Such adjustments are limited to an increase of one percentage point per year.
 
The GSEs’ Home Affordable Refinance Program (“HARP”), currently scheduled to expire December 31, 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 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. As of December 31, 2014, approximately 15% of our primary insurance in force had benefitted from HARP and was still in force.

 
The effect on us of loan modifications depends on how many modified loans subsequently re-default. Re-defaults can result in losses for us that could be greater than we would have paid had the loan not been modified. 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. 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, 2014 approximately 28% of our primary risk in force has been modified:
 
Policy Year
   
HARP (1)
Modifications
   
HAMP
Modifications
   
Other
Modifications
 
2003 and Prior
     
10.1
%
   
13.2
%
   
12.4
%
2004
     
15.7
%
   
12.9
%
   
10.7
%
2005
     
20.6
%
   
14.4
%
   
11.2
%
2006
     
23.9
%
   
16.6
%
   
11.8
%
2007
     
33.7
%
   
17.3
%
   
7.4
%
2008
     
47.8
%
   
10.3
%
   
3.5
%
2009
     
19.9
%
   
0.8
%
   
0.6
%
 
2010 - 2014
     
-
     
-
     
-
 
Total
     
14.7
%
   
9.5
%
   
4.0
%
 
(1) Includes proprietary programs that are substantially the same as HARP.
 
As of December 31, 2014 based on loan count, the loans associated with 98.1% of all HARP modifications, 76.8% of HAMP modifications and 69.2% of other modifications were current.

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, the VA, 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 product type, competitive pressures, the risk characteristics of the loans insured and the percentage of coverage on the loans.

· Premiums ceded under reinsurance agreements. See Note 11 – “Reinsurance” to our consolidated statements in Item 8 for a discussion of our quota share agreement executed in 2013, under which premiums are ceded net of a profit commission.

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 reinsurance agreements. Also, new insurance written and cancellations during a period will generally have a greater effect on premiums written and earned in subsequent periods than in the period in which these events occur.

 
·   Investment income
 
Our investment portfolio is comprised almost entirely of investment grade fixed income securities. The principal factors that influence investment income are the size of the portfolio and its yield. As measured by amortized cost (which excludes changes in fair market value, such as from changes in interest rates), the size of the investment portfolio is mainly a function of cash generated from (or used in) operations, such as net premiums received, investment earnings, net claim payments and expenses, and cash provided by (or used for) non-operating activities, such as debt or stock issuances or repurchases. From time to time we may elect to realize gains on securities that are trading above our cost basis. Realized gains and losses are a function of the difference between the amount received on the sale of a security and the security’s amortized cost, as well as any “other than temporary” impairments recognized in earnings.  The amount received on the sale of fixed income securities is affected by the coupon rate of the security compared to the yield of comparable securities at the time of sale.

· Losses incurred
 
Losses incurred are the current expense that reflects estimated payments that will ultimately be made as a result of delinquencies on insured loans. As explained under “Critical Accounting Policies” below, except in the case of a premium deficiency reserve, we recognize an estimate of this expense only for delinquent loans. Losses incurred are generally affected by:

· The state of the economy, including unemployment and housing values, each of which affects the likelihood that loans will become delinquent and whether loans that are delinquent cure their delinquency. The level of new delinquencies has historically followed a seasonal pattern, with new delinquencies in the first part of the year lower than new delinquencies in the latter part of the year, though this pattern can be affected by the state of the economy and local housing markets.

· The product mix of the in force book, with loans having higher risk characteristics generally resulting in higher delinquencies and claims.

· The size of loans insured, with higher average loan amounts tending to increase losses incurred.

· The percentage of coverage on insured loans, with deeper average coverage tending to increase incurred losses.

· Changes in housing values, which affect our ability to mitigate our losses through sales of properties with delinquent mortgages as well as borrower willingness to continue to make mortgage payments when the value of the home is below the mortgage balance.

· The rate at which we rescind policies. Our estimated loss reserves reflect mitigation from rescissions of policies and denials of claims. We collectively refer to such rescissions and denials as “rescissions” and variations of this term.

· The distribution of claims over the life of a book. Historically, the first few years after loans are originated are a period of relatively low claims, with claims increasing substantially for several years subsequent and then declining, although persistency (percentage of insurance remaining in force from one year prior), the condition of the economy, including unemployment and housing prices, and other factors can affect this pattern. For example, a weak economy or housing price declines can lead to claims from older books increasing, continuing at stable levels or experiencing a lower rate of decline. See further information under “Mortgage Insurance Earnings and Cash Flow Cycle” below.

· Losses ceded under reinsurance agreements. See Note 11 – “Reinsurance” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 for a discussion of our reinsurance agreements.

  · Changes in premium deficiency reserve
 
Each quarter, we re-estimate the premium deficiency reserve on the remaining Wall Street bulk insurance in force. The premium deficiency reserve primarily changes from quarter to quarter as a result of two factors.  First, it changes as the actual premiums, losses and expenses that were previously estimated are recognized. Each period such items are reflected in our financial statements as earned premium, losses incurred and expenses. The difference between the amount and timing of actual earned premiums, losses incurred and expenses and our previous estimates used to establish the premium deficiency reserve has an effect (either positive or negative) on that period’s results. Second, the premium deficiency reserve changes as our assumptions relating to the present value of expected future premiums, losses and expenses on the remaining Wall Street bulk insurance in force change. Changes to these assumptions also have an effect on that period’s results.

· Underwriting and other expenses
 
The majority of our operating expenses are fixed, with some variability due to contract underwriting volume. Contract underwriting generates fee income included in “Other revenue.” Underwriting and other expenses are net of any ceding commission associated with our reinsurance agreements. See Note 11 – “Reinsurance” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 for a discussion of our reinsurance agreements.

· Interest expense
 
Interest expense reflects the interest associated with our outstanding debt obligations. The principal amount of our long-term debt obligations at December 31, 2014 is comprised of $61.9 million of 5.375% Senior Notes due in November 2015, $345 million of 5% Convertible Senior Notes due in 2017, $500 million of 2% Convertible Senior Notes due in 2020 and $389.5 million of 9% Convertible Junior Subordinated Debentures due in 2063 (interest on these debentures continues to accrue and compounds if we defer the payment of interest), as discussed in Note 8 – “Debt” to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 and under “Liquidity and Capital Resources” below.

Mortgage Insurance Earnings and Cash Flow Cycle
 
 
In our industry, a “book” is the group of loans insured in a particular calendar year. In general, the majority of any underwriting profit (premium revenue minus losses) that a book generates occurs in the early years of the book, with the largest portion of any underwriting profit realized in the first year following the year the book was written. Subsequent years of a book generally result in modest underwriting profit or underwriting losses. This pattern of results typically occurs because relatively few of the claims that a book will ultimately experience typically occur in the first few years of the book, when premium revenue is highest, while subsequent years are affected by declining premium revenues, as the number of insured loans decreases (primarily due to loan prepayments), and increasing losses.

Australia

   We began international operations in Australia, where we started to write business in June 2007. Since 2008, we are no longer writing new business in Australia and we have reduced our headcount. In December 2013, our Australian subsidiary liquidated a portion of its investment portfolio and repatriated, with regulatory approval, $89.5 million to its parent MGIC. At December 31, 2014 the equity value in our Australian operations was approximately $46 million and our risk in force in Australia was approximately $346 million. In Australia, mortgage insurance is a single premium product that covers the entire loan balance.  As a result, our Australian risk in force represents the entire amount of the loans that we have insured. However, the mortgage insurance we provide only covers the unpaid loan balance after the sale of the underlying property.
 
Summary of 2014 Results
 
Our results of operations for 2014 were principally affected by the factors referred to below.