From his panel seat at the front of the hotel conference room, Washington bank lawyer James M. Milano had a question that would have worked for either selection in a game of truth or dare: by an informal show of hands, would anyone in attendance representing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau kindly identify themselves?

Guffaws broke out among the 100-plus people who came a day early to National Mortgage News' 7th Annual Mortgage Servicing Conference, for the preliminary conference workshop where Milano was speaking. The home-loan professionals who descended on the Westin Galleria in Dallas were in town to navigate, and to not-so-subtly bemoan, the new oversight rules that will start being enforced next year by the bureau. Just the thought of having their regulatory nemesis sitting among them, ready to take their darts before the conference even got into full swing, seemed unlikely.

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