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WASHINGTON, DC-The Mortgage Bankers Association of America said Thursday that it would still hold its national conference in Canada next month despite the fallout about travel and safety in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in New York and here last week. MBA will hold its annual convention October 14 through October 17 in Toronto. The association has 2,800 companies as members, representing a cross section of the real estate finance sector: mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, life insurance companies, and other firms. Many of these types of companies have been directly affected by the disaster and MBA hope to address some of their issues at next month’s meeting.

“Our convention can do a real service by offering our industry a central point to come together to grapple with the many business implications of our recent national tragedy,” said Jonathan Kempner, MBA chief operating officer. “Many of our member companies are now engaged in defining forbearance programs, sponsoring or joining disaster relief efforts in their own communities and trying to identify how they can provide the most valuable assistance to their customers in this tough time.”

In recent days, a wave of insurance companies have announced hundreds of millions of dollars in expected losses, as the cost of the damage in New York from the destruction of the World Trade Center twin continues to escalate. Mortgage lenders such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have responded to requests by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide relief to consumers affected by the attacks. Additionally, Fannie, Freddie and MBA are a part of a larger alliance of associations and mortgage industry players committing $25 million in relief assistance.

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