WASHINGTON -- The dollar volume of primary insurance written on newly originated conventional home loans drop-ped by 6.1% in June item the May level, to $11.6 billion. A year earlier. volume was $13.1 billion.

The amount of mortgage insurance Written is considered an accurate gauge of trends in lending. Such insurance protects lenders when borrowers make down payments of less than 20%.

The report from the Mortgage Insurance Companies of Amer-ica, a trade group, also showed that the volume of certificates issued fell 5.7%, in the month, to 101,786.

The delinquency picture improved slightly in June New defaults totaled 17,398 in the month, down slightly from 17,773 in May. At the same time. 17,823 borrowers cured defaults, against 16,652 a month earlier.

For the past 12 months. defaults have been exceeding cures by about 4% largely because of unusually heavy defaults in January. Net defaults have declined for the past five years.

In pool insurance, volume climbed sharply, totaling $1.4 billion, for a gain of 57.5% over the May level. In May, however, new insurance slumped to a minuscule $896 million and was even lower in April.

Pool insurance has been slumping along with mortgage volume and also because investors have been using alternative means of risk reduction

The statistics were gathered from nine mortgage insurers who are members of the trade group and who write almost all of the nation's private mortgage insurance.

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