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Mortgage Insurers Spent $670K Lobbying In 2Q

WASHINGTON (AP) ¿ The trade group for mortgage insurers spent $670,000 lobbying in the second quarter as it pressed for aid from the federal government, according to a recent disclosure form.

Members of the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America have been pushing for financial rescue money from the Treasury Department. The industry says it doesn't need the money to survive the housing bust, but says federal aid would allow it to back more loans and contribute to the housing recovery.

Mortgage insurance is typically required for borrowers who are unable to afford a 20 percent down payment. The industry has suffered mounting losses as mortgage defaults skyrocketed over the past two years leading to a spike in claims.

This year, losses are shifting from borrowers with poor credit records to a wider swath of borrowers as layoffs grow.

Members of the mortgage insurance group include: American International Group Inc.'s AIG United Guaranty, Triad Guaranty Inc., PMI Group Inc., MGIC Investment Corp., Genworth Financial Inc. and Old Republic International Corp.

The trade group also lobbied on predatory lending legislation and a bill signed by President Barack Obama in May that attempts to revamp the "Hope for Homeowners" program, a refinancing effort launched by the government last fall that has fallen flat so far.

Besides lawmakers, the trade group lobbied the Federal Housing Finance Board, according to a July 20 filing with the Senate's public records office. The trade group has spent $885,000 on lobbying so far this year.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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