After much anticipation and speculation, President Obama has opted to nominate Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray’s nomination comes after months during which CFPB architect and special White House advisor Elizabeth Warren has received attention as a likely frontrunner for the position.
Cordray has served as Chief of Enforcement at the Bureau in recent months, and previously served as Attorney General of Ohio from January 2009 to January of this year. There, he took steps to protect consumers from fraudulent foreclosures and financial predators.
“American families and consumers bore the brunt of the financial crisis and are still struggling in its aftermath to find jobs, stay in their homes, and make ends meet,” President Obama said in a statement. “That is why I fought so hard to pass reforms to fix the financial system and put in place the strongest consumer protections in our nation’s history. Richard Cordray has spent his career advocating for middle class families, from his tenure as Ohio’s Attorney General, to his most recent role as heading up the enforcement division at the CFPB and looking out for ordinary people in our financial system.”
Cordray was the first state attorney general to sue a loan servicer for violations of state consumer laws relating to loan paperwork, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
The bureau will launch later this week, on July 21, but already its activities are under way. Those include combining former mortgage disclosure documents into one form through the bureau’s “Know As You Owe” program. The CFPB has received two rounds of feedback in response to drafts of the new disclosure form.
In a statement issued Sunday, Elizabeth Warren expressed her support of the nomination and defended the bureau against critics, noting the 44 Republican senators who wrote a letter stating they would block any CFPB director nominee that the president appointed.
“I remain hopeful that those who want to cripple this consumer bureau will think again and remember that the financial crisis—and the recession and job losses that it sparked—began one lousy mortgage at a time,” Warren said. “I also hope that when those Senators next go home, they ask their constituents how they feel about fine print, about signing contracts with terms that are incomprehensible, and about learning the true costs of a financial transaction only later when fees are piled on or interest rates are reset.”
She also stressed her commitment to the bureau’s mission.
“Prior to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, the President and I fought side by side to make the new agency possible,” Warren said. “And, if we need to, I know we will continue to fight side by side, to keep it strong and independent and to make sure it has the tools it needs to serve the American people.”
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