Chief of New Consumer Finance Agency Says It Is Ready to Investigate, Sue for Illegal Lending
January 24, 2012
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ready to take to court companies that
offer predatory or deceptive mortgages and credit cards, director Richard
Cordray said on Jan. 24. Speaking before a congressional panel, he defended his
appointment to lead the bureau and assured critics that the agency will partner
with financial companies whenever possible. However, he emphasized, "we
will not hesitate to use enforcement actions to right a wrong." Cordray
was addressing Congress for the first time since his recess appointment by
President Barack Obama earlier in January. He faces questions about the
watchdog's actions and the legitimacy of his appointment. Republicans say the
appointment is illegal because the Senate technically was not in recess.
Republicans were holding minutes-long sessions during their vacation to block
the president from making any appointments. Part of why the CFPB might lack
credibility is because it is led by a director whose "appointment was
constitutionally questionable," said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.),
chairman of the House Oversight Committee panel that Cordray addressed. McHenry
is a major beneficiary of political donations from the payday lending sector,
which will face much stricter oversight due to Cordray's appointment. Cordray
said that he knows about the objections to his appointment, but "I'm in
the job, it's an important job, it's a big job, it commands all of my time and
attention, and all I can do is try to carry out the responsibilities."
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