Mortgage insurers are no longer an endangered species, but it will be more than a year before they return to profitability and healthy capital levels.

To nurse themselves back to health, the insurers are depending on a new crop of quality mortgages that will bring in premiums to offset losses on loans made during the bubble years. Trouble is, new business is hard to come by — at least business that meets the insurers' tightened underwriting standards.

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