President Barack Obama has announced the nomination of Richard Cordray, Attorney General of the state of Ohio from January 2009-January 2011, as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is an independent agency serving as a watchdog for American consumers, seeking to prevent abusive and deceptive financial practices.
As Attorney General of Ohio, Cordray recovered more than $2 billion for Ohio’s retirees, investors and business owners, and took major steps to help protect its consumers from companies like GMAC for fraudulent foreclosures. Cordray also fought against loan modification and foreclosure rescue companies statewide in Ohio, and has also gone after the rating agencies for misleading consumers.
"We are looking forward to working with Richard Cordray on preserving financing options for consumers, while protecting their best interest ," said Mike D'Alonzo, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB).
Prior to his tenure as Ohio’s Attorney General, Cordray spent two years as Ohio’s State Treasurer and four as the Treasurer of Franklin County, Ohio. In 2008, he received a Financial Services Champion award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a Government Service Award from NeighborWorks America.
"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," said President Obama. "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."
Earlier in his career, Cordray was an adjunct professor at the Ohio State University College of Law (1989-2002), served as a state representative for the 33rd Ohio House District (1991-1993), was the first Solicitor General in Ohio’s history (1993-1994), and was a sole practitioner and Of Counsel to Kirkland & Ellis (1995-2007). Cordray has argued seven cases before the United States Supreme Court, including by special appointment of both the Clinton and Bush Justice Departments. Cordray is a graduate of Michigan State University, Oxford University, and the University of Chicago Law School. He was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Chicago Law Review and later clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
"The National Association of Professional Mortgage Women (NAPMW) wishes to congratulate Mr. Cordray on his appointment as director, and we look forward to a strong, reciprocal working relationship in an industry that is long overdue for compliance review and education not only of consumers but all professionals involved in the mortgage process," said Laurie Abshier, GML, CMI, CME, senior loan officer with GEM Mortgage in Bakersfield, Calif. and 2011-2012 NAPMW national president 2011-2012.
The CFPB has also released a report, "Building the CFPB: A Progress Report," chronicling the agency's work from the ground up since last year's passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
“This agency was created one year ago to stand up for consumers, and we are ready to get to work,” said Elizabeth Warren, assistant to the President and special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB. “From the very start, we have been committed to accountability and to actively engaging the public in the agency’s work. This report highlights what we have done and what we will do to make markets work for American families.”
Over the course of the last year, the CFPB has hired nearly 500 employees, with roughly half of them new hires and half transferring from other federal agencies. In addition to the appointment of Corday, the leadership and staff of the CFPB is diverse, with people coming from a variety of backgrounds—public and private, banking and non-banking, large institutions and small institutions, academic and non-profit—bringing a variety of perspectives and viewpoints.
“As Ohio’s Attorney General and while at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray has earned a reputation as one of America's strongest advocates for the interests of consumers," said U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "He is an effective leader who is committed to making sure American families and consumers have all the necessary tools to make the best possible choices. We are grateful that he has agreed to take on this important position and know he will build upon the powerful legacy that Professor Elizabeth Warren has established at the CFPB."