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.

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