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If industry participants came to the 2017 Mortgage Bankers Association's annual convention seeking clarity and direction, they left with firm guidance in some areas, but ambiguity remained in others.

Surprise announcements bookended the convention. On the Friday afternoon before the show started, as many attendees were making their way to Denver, mortgage originators learned that a language preference question was being added to the new loan application.

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt spent a portion of his speech defending the decision.

And as people were making their way to Denver International Airport on Wednesday, the industry learned that David Stevens is stepping down as president and CEO next September.

It wasn't all business during the event. John Legend gave a stellar performance on Tuesday night, while Rachel Platten performed at a Freedom Mortgage party on Monday.

And former Bronco Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning left quite an impression on those who attended his inspirational speech.

At the trade show, people had their choice of fidget spinners from the tables at different booths to bring home for themselves and their kids.

Diversity in the mortgage industry was highlighted at the show with the mPower events for women on Oct. 22 and 24.

On the low side, the new badge holder that used magnets to "secure" the tag to the wearer's clothing was not a hit with attendees.

But the size of the Colorado Convention Center gave attendees plenty of walking exercise so they could burn off the calories from the hors d'oeuvres eaten and beers consumed at the various parties and receptions.
David Motley
New leadership
MBA Chairman David Motley was inducted into his new role at the convention's commencement. Motley plans to tackle the CFPB's practice of regulation by enforcement in favor of reliable guidance, while also focusing on issues with affordability and promoting diversity and inclusion.
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Carson eases worry
Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson vowed to pull back on mortgage penalties so lenders can feel more comfortable financing lower-income borrowers without risk of being sued by the federal government.
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Wholesale channel reemerges
While not a major source of loans for banks, wholesale was 13% of 2016 volume for large independent mortgage bankers and 20% for midsized independents, Marina Walsh, the MBA's vice president of industry analysis, said. Wholesale was the second most profitable channel in 2016 for large independents, at an average of 42.5 basis points per loan. In comparison, consumer direct was 102.6 bps, correspondent was 102.6 bps and retail just 8.5 bps.
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Day 1 Certainty expands
Fannie Mae's President and CEO Timothy Mayopoulos announced the company is expanding the pilot projects it has in place to test housing initiatives and procedural improvements, including one that consolidates submissions of Day 1 Certainty data. This could potentially provide a single-source validation of borrower's assets, income and employment, qualifying lenders for immediate representation and warranty relief on these data points.
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John Legend gets 'Green Light'
Artist John Legend sang, danced and showed off his infamous piano skills to attendees on the evening of Oct. 24 in the Colorado Convention Center's Mile High Ballroom. The singer/songwriter performed a variety of songs from "Green Light" and "Ordinary People" to his own rendition of "Glory," and even called on an attendee for a slow dance.
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Lack of inventory could hold down purchases
Continued economic growth, a strong jobs market and higher wages will lead to a 7.3% increase in purchase origination volume next year, the MBA's economics team said. But a lack of inventory will make it difficult for consumers to buy homes.
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David Stevens steps down
MBA President and CEO David Stevens started off the convention with an announcement that he was in full remission from cancer. That made it all the more stunning at the end of the meeting when his decision to retire, effective on Sept. 30, 2018, was revealed.
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