The mortgage insurance division of Genworth Financial Inc. has knocked nine states off its list of declining and distressed markets, leaving five: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada.

Genworth, the nation's fourth-largest mortgage insurer, also liberalized some of its underwriting guidelines Monday, telling its mortgage banking customers that it will insure cash-out refinancings and second homes in nondeclining markets. However, the cash-out refi rule changes apply to loans with a maximum loan-to-value ratio of 85% and a minimum credit score of 700.

Genworth's mortgage insurance unit, based in Raleigh, said Tuesday that it has created three new senior management positions and filled the posts with current executives.

Jacqui Pearce was named senior vice president and chief operations officer, Rohit Gupta was named senior vice president and chief commercial officer and Jim Bennison was named senior vice president of strategy and capital markets. Bennison will work on issues related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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