Over the last 8 months, we’ve blogged in October from the EU, where we attended a real estate convention and visited with several clients (link to last day), and then in February from the MBA-CREF convention in San Diego (link to last day),

This week, we’re attending the MBA’s Servicing & Technology Conference in New Orleans.  This will be my 9th or 10th time at this conference.  In the past, the focus at each conference has been the nuts’n bolts of master servicing (i.e., servicing performing loans after loan origination) and the growing use of technology as the servicing backbone.  Bread and butter stuff, with a growing awareness that technology could make significant improvements to the production and servicing model.

Each year at this conference, the special servicing "naysayers" (i.e., those handling the servicing of distressed loans) darkly predicted that the loan production party was about to end – that the workouts surely were about to start.  Surely.  Sometime.  Simply a matter of time . . . .

Well, it has ended, and the conference this week has a heavy focus on distressed debt.  Broadly stated, here is a quick, high-level summary of the topics to be covered at the conference:

  • Loan workouts and restructures
  • Default management and delinquencies
  • Risk mitigation
  • Insurance issues
  • Bankruptcy & receivership
  • Accounting & tax issues (including REMIC issues & implications)
  • Servicing issues in a changing environment
  • Transparency issues
  • Issues in foreclosure

As it turns out, this conference completes a trifecta for us – this is the last of  three meetings which, when taken together, would be fertile material for Shakespeare:

  • Act One: The Global Hurricane Hits (our EU experience)
  • Act Two: Loan Production in the Big Ditch (our MBA-CREF experience)
  • Act Three: Special Servicers to the Rescue (this week in New Orleans)

Stay tuned.  I’ll be posting from the conference.  And I suspect that we’ll be collecting materials for many more postings after this week.

P.S.: OK, so I snuck into town several days before the conference – simply to eat and sleep.  Top restaurants so far – on two extremes:

  • Jacques-Imo’s: full of locals for a funky, affordable creole & cajun food (eat with the locals); 30 minute ride on the St. Charles Street car from downtown (more fun)
  • Nola: great food but expensive (relative to Jacques-Imos); white table cloth

If you have any questions or comments for us to investigate while we’re at the conference, please post a comment.

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