BOSTON -- The Swaine Singers, a gospel-style singing group, kicked off the opening session of the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual convention with a high-energy performance of spiritual and patriotic songs. Their theme song, "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong," could well have served as a theme for the convention.

Stephen B. Ashley, the outgoing president, followed with an impassioned defense of his tenure and especially the fair-lending agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban DevelOpment that he forged in his last weeks on the job.

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