Commonwealth Mortgage Assurance Co. has hired an experienced marketer as its business development director, a new position.

Ralph A. Ippolito joined Commonwealth from GE Capital Mortgage Insurance, where he headed product management and development. Mr. Ippolito developed the industry's first insurance program for mortgages with 3% down payments.

Mortgage insurance companies such as Commonwealth supply a product that borrowers must purchase when their down payment is less than 20% of the home's price. The arrangement helps protect lenders from losses and also makes the loan more attractive for sale into the secondary market.

In the new position, Mr. Ippolito plans to work with Commonwealth's existing clients, to improve product relationships. But a good deal of his efforts will go toward "looking at new business opportunities" in the form of new lines.

Most mortgage insurers offer a range of services and systems, including credit scoring, as a way of expanding into related markets.

Commonwealth has about 10% of the market, which makes it fifth among mortgage insurers. Mr. Ippolito's previous employer is second, with twice the market share.

"This is an opportunity to help a smaller, rising star develop a strategic business plan for growth," Mr. Ippolito said.

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In another twist for mortgage scoring, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. is offering a product that predicts whether delinquent loan will go to foreclosure.

With its "loss-mitigation score," Mortgage Guaranty joins the growing list of mortgage insurers that are expanding the use of credit scores beyond originations.

The loss-mitigation system will allow servicers to determine which loans are hopeless and which can be saved, said Curtis S. Culver, president of Mortgage Guaranty.

Mr. Culver said the system could be especially useful in complying with recent requests by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that lenders work with delinquent borrowers whenever possible.

The loss-mitigation system scores loans from zero to 100 based on information about borrowers, the loans themselves, and market demographics.

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