As losses from the real estate industry continue to mount, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is increasingly difficult to acquire.  PMI is required on mortgages in which the homebuyer puts in a downpayment of less than 20%.  The change in the PMI requirements varies by provider, by region, and by the homebuyer’s circumstance. PMI Group, one of the nation’s largest PMI providers, is refusing to issue policies on any mortgages obtained through brokers, while another large insurer is refusing to insure cash-out refinance mortgages.

first tuesday’s take: Another sign that the market is returning to the sound real estate fundamentals of requiring 20% down for homebuyers. It’s interesting to note that the onus of the mortgage meltdown is left at doorstep of mortgage loan brokers, and not on their co-conspirators (appraisers, loose-lending rules).