Consumer Protection Bureau Has New Director, Finally

Recently, while Congress was not in session, President Obama appointed Richard Cordray as Director of the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Republicans had blocked Cordray’s nomination for over half a year, arguing that the CFPB should be run by a board, not a Director. Needless to say, Republicans were livid about the appointment. There’s a possibility that as Congress regroups today for its new session, they may use rules to block some of Obama’s recess appointments (there were 70 in all).

Meanwhile, Cordray dove right into his work. Although the CFBP has been in existence since July of 2011, the agency could not legally take certain actions without a Director. Within the few short weeks that he’s been at the helm, Cordray has already issued a “field guide” for its examiners to review the practices of payday loan companies and started the public comment process to simplify disclosures for credit cards, mortgages, and student loans.

To get a better sense of Cordray’s philosophy and goals for consumer protection, check out this interview with him. Cordray stresses that he wants to hear from everyone who has a complaint about a financial business, and to that end you can file a complaint on the new Bureau’s website at www.consumerfinance.gov. The website also has lots of information for consumers about credit cards, student loan repayment options, your options if you have trouble repaying your mortgage, and more.