Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Countrywide, LandSafe accused of fraudulent appraisals during housing boom

In today’s Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: A federal judge recently granted class-action status to a lawsuit alleging that Countrywide Financial used LandSafe to conduct “sham” appraisals to increase the number of loans Countrywide originated during the mid-2000s. Plus, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was accused of some mortgage misconduct. Click the headline for more.

Hurricane impact lessens as mortgage delinquencies drop

As the impact from last year’s turbulent hurricane season fades, mortgage delinquencies once again began to decline in November. But while delinquencies may be down overall, serious delinquencies are still up, especially in Texas and Florida.

Democrats call out Mulvaney’s reported changes to CFPB fair lending enforcement

A group of more than 50 Congressional Democrats are questioning the motivation of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s reported decision to strip the agency’s Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity of its enforcement powers. The Democrats want to know what exactly Mulvaney is planning to do when it comes to fair lending.

Hensarling blames Watt for GSEs needing Treasury money, demands answers

One of the top Republicans in Congress lays the blame for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needing money from the government for the first time since 2012 not on the Republican tax plan’s reduction of the corporate tax rate, but rather, squarely at the feet of Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt.

Do you make enough to buy a home in America’s most expensive cities?

As home prices rise across the U.S., and wage increases fail to keep up, affordability continues to slip. Using data from the National Association of Realtors, here are the top seven most expensive cities in the U.S., and how much homebuyers need to earn in annual income to afford to buy a home.

Morningstar Credit Ratings names Brian Grow president

Morningstar Inc., the parent company of Morningstar Credit Ratings, announced this week that Brian Grow has been named president of the credit rating agency. He will now oversee the day-to-day operations of Morningstar’s credit ratings business.

Fannie Mae forecasts 2.7% real GDP growth in 2018

Fannie Mae announced it is forecasting strong economic growth with 2.7% real gross domestic product growth in 2018. “While our 2018 growth forecast remains unchanged, upside and downside risks are emerging that are contingent on policy influences.”

Sitting Cook County judge convicted in mortgage fraud scheme

A sitting Cook County, Ill. judge is facing removal following a conviction in a $1.4 million fraud scheme. Judge Jessica Arong O’Brien, who was elected to the bench in 2012, was convicted Thursday on two counts of fraud for scamming several different lenders through the purchase of two properties on the city’s South Side prior to becoming a judge.

These are the best places to work in housing finance

Each year, Fortune Magazine names the top 100 best places to work, and these are the companies that made the list from the housing finance industry. While some companies are new to the list, others are celebrating years, or even decades, as one of America’s best places to work.