Industry participants are heading to Denver for the 2017 Mortgage Bankers Association Annual Convention & Expo seeking clarity and direction on many hot topics.

In the 10 months since President Trump was inaugurated, the much-hoped-for lucidity and clearness in policy and regulation from Washington has not materialized.

A discussion about nascent tax reform effort and the future of the mortgage interest deduction joins sessions on topics that have been hanging over the industry since the Obama administration such as secondary market reform and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's enforcement powers.

Affordable housing, especially with the upcoming changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, is another area attendees are seeking intelligence on how to survive and thrive.

Mortgage lenders are also looking for tips and ideas on how to stay competitive as their customers are turning to online resources to research and apply for loans.

On Saturday, before the convention officially opens, the MBA is hosting a day-long Summit for Women in Real Estate Finance.

The final day, Wednesday, features the regulatory supersession, while at the same time there is a discussion about fintech in the mortgage industry.

The convention is taking place in what has been for some time one of the nation's hottest housing markets. Home prices in Denver rose 8.3% year-over-year in August, the second most among major U.S. cities, according to CoreLogic.

Here are seven hot topics for convention attendees to put in their calendars to seek out at the show. And take a few minutes to say hi to the Blue Bear standing outside the Colorado Convention Center.
Economic insights
Discussing the current national and global economic path, featured speaker and Allianz Chief Economic Advisor Mohamed El-Erain will tap into rising inequality, sluggish growth and political tensions, and dissect their relation to today's volatile financial markets. He will discuss economic impacts on real estate and share his ideas for economic renewal, prosperity and stability. In a separate session, the MBA's economists give their take on the mortgage market for 2018.
Washington addresses the industry
Making his first speech to a large mortgage audience, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, alongside Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, will address his objectives for the U.S. housing sector and how his priorities relate to the administration's national agenda. Director Watt will share his own perspective on the industry. And after they speak, the next session features Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos and his counterpart at Freddie Mac Don Layton.
The digital revolution
As the mortgage industry trends toward digital adoption, researcher Tracey Wilen will discuss how rapid changes in society and technology are revolutionizing the workforce. Mortgage executives will join Wilen in expressing how her findings relate to the mortgage space and how to prepare for a more innovative industry.
CFPB headquarters
Considering a revamped CFPB
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's legal status remains up in the air and its Director Richard Cordray is reportedly mulling running for governor of Ohio. So there could be vast changes at the agency. There is a panel discussion on how a possible "CFPB 2.0" can be shaped to facilitate compliance and protect consumers.
Brokers are back
The wholesale channel is on the rebound with growth among mortgage brokerages and mini-correspondent originators. The broker industry has added 25,000 loan officer jobs since January 2015. Is there an opportunity for retail lenders to enter the space? Among those discussing the benefits and pitfalls is Benjamin Olson, an attorney with Buckley Sandler.
Should I keep or sell my MSRs?
Like any other asset class, there are risks and rewards in keeping mortgage servicing rights and/or deciding to sell them. Those market factors can change over time and this panel, which includes RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp. CEO Kevin Brungardt, gives lenders the latest data and trends to consider.
You & I, plus John Legend
With the focus not all on business, "You & I" singer, songwriter and award-winning artist John Legend will perform for attendees on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Colorado Convention Center's Mile High Ballroom.