Mortgage Insurance Up in March

WASHINGTON - Private mortgage insurers wrote $13 billion of coverage in March, up 33.2% from February, according to the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America.The coverage was applied to 99,736 loans, up 34.1%, the trade group said. Total insurance in force was $609.9 billion, up 1.3%.

The trade group also tracks the use of insurance to bolster securitized pools of loans. That insurance amounted to $102 million in March, up 134.4%.

Starwood Now iStart Financial

NEW YORK - Starwood Financial Inc. has changed its name to iStart Financial Inc.The real estate investment trust will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SFI.

Separately, the REIT named Andrew C. Richardson senior vice president for capital markets. Mr. Richardson reports to Spencer B. Haber, chief financial officer and executive vice president.

Mr. Richardson joins iStar from Salomon Smith Barney, where he was a vice president in the real estate and hotel investment banking group, advising real estate firms on mergers and acquisitions and raising debt and equity. He has also worked for the accounting firm Ernst & Young.

$212M of Servicing Rights on Block

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Prestwick Mortgage Group, a broker of servicing rights, is auctioning $212 million of servicing for an undisclosed Midwest mortgage bank.The loans in the portfolio have an average interest rate of 7.389%, an average balance of $90,493, and an average servicing fee of 29.55 basis points. As of March 31, just 0.34% of the loans were past due, and none by more than 30 days.

Over 85% of the loans are secured by homes in Indiana, Ohio, or Kentucky. Bids are due May 12.

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