Mortgage servicing executives from across the country will assemble just outside of Dallas for the Mortgage Bankers Association's 2018 National Mortgage Servicing Conference and Expo.

One hot topic will be how servicers are responding to recent natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires that have affected mortgage borrowers in pockets of the country. Servicers will be looking to stay updated on natural disaster initiatives, policies, and impending rule changes.

Compliance, as always, also will be a hot topic at this year's event, where new rules for dealing with borrowers in bankruptcy and other fair lending requirements will be discussed.

Servicing transfers continue to be a challenge for servicers, and a number of speakers will address this topic as well.

Another conference theme will center on digital strategies and innovation in servicing. A number of panel discussions and live demos are on the agenda, and industry experts will share tips on how best to use automation like mobile applications for borrowers, and software to streamline servicing processes.

Women executives will have an opportunity to gather at an mPower networking event hosted by Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of Project Gravitas, an apparel company advocating for women to have a confident sense of self.

The MBA's 2018 Servicing Conference will be held at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, from Feb. 6 to Feb. 9.

Here's a look at six of the top themes at this year's conference. Follow @NatMortgageNews, @AustinPKilgore, @NMNBrad and @ElinaTark for live updates throughout the event. And if you're there in person, be sure to stop by our spot in the exhibit hall, say hello and check out our new booth. (We also have some pretty sweet swag for this year!)
Flames burn from a destroyed home's natural gas line during the Skirball Fire in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. Fast-moving fires fanned by high winds in Southern California charred 50,000 acres of land, and prompted a shut down of the Interstate 405 highway as they moved closer to Los Angeles. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Natural disasters
With wildfires burning through California and hurricanes wreaking havoc in parts of the country, the past year was an especially tough one for homeowners affected by natural disasters. MBA Servicing will feature speakers from the Texas General Land Office, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other government agency representatives who will share updates on natural disaster initiatives and policies. These include efforts to assist mortgage servicers with recovery efforts.
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Servicing transfers
Servicing and subservicing transfers are a tricky business due to their operational, financial and regulatory risks. The session on servicing transfers will focus on these, as well as how to address Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidance. In addition, speakers will share tips from successful servicing and subservicing transfers.
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Women's networking
Women in the industry will attend a networking event led by Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of Project Gravitas, an apparel company advocating for women to have a confident sense of self. The event will take place on Feb. 7 between 12:30 and 2:00 p.m. in Grapevine A of the convention center.
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Market outlook
Panelists will discuss the economic and market forces that are impacting the servicing segment of the industry. Speakers Joel Kan and Marina Walsh of the MBA will provide an analysis of servicer profitability, expense and productivity, and will share the results of MBA’s latest National Delinquency Survey.
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Technology strategy
Through panel discussions and live demos, the MBA's event will present technology aimed at improving the consumer experience and streamlining the process for servicers. Discussion topics include the adoption of mobile platforms, and how automation can help servicers with reporting needs, quality control and servicing oversight.
Compliance preparedness
The MBA's conference will help servicers with compliance topics like the CFPB's new rules for managing borrowers in bankruptcy. Panelists will also cover fair lending rules and other regulatory requirements.