Nearly 68,000 American homeowners with mortgage insurance fell more than 60 days behind on their loans in May, outnumbering the 40,687 people who cured their situation in the month, according to a release from the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MICA) on Monday.

This is the 26th month in a row that delinquent homeowners have outnumbered cures.

"What we're seeing in the mortgage market is a continuation of the return to realistic and responsible lending standards and privately insured loans are part of that equation," said Suzanne C. Hutchinson, executive vice-president of MICA.

Primary insurance in-force totalled $860.339 billion in May, a 20.8% increase compared to the $712.028 billion reported for the same month a year ago, the report said.

MICA's members reported that 89,365 borrowers used private mortgage insurance (PrivateMI) to buy or refinance a home in May.

By Patrick McGee and edited by Stephen Huebl