While Congress is on break, U.S. President Barack Obama has announced his intent to recess appoint Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In early December, the U.S. Senate rejected the approval of Obama's nomination of Corday as CFPB head by a vote of 53-45. Republican opposition led to Cordray's rejection as the majority of Republicans contend that the leadership of the CFPB should be comprised of a five-member board and not that of a sole individual.
Cordray is currently Chief of Enforcement at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Immediately prior, Cordray served as Attorney General of the state of Ohio from January 2009-January 2011. As Ohio AG, Cordray recovered more than $2 billion for Ohio’s retirees, investors and business owners and took major steps to help protect its consumers from fraudulent foreclosures and financial predators. Prior to his tenure as Ohio’s AG, Cordray spent two years as Ohio’s State Treasurer and four as the Treasurer of Franklin County, Ohio.
“Mr. Cordray is a distinguished public servant with an impressive track record for defending the interest of the public and the underserved,” said National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) President Carmen Mercado. “We believe his appointment will eliminate some degree of uncertainty in the market which we hope results in more access to mortgage credit for qualified buyers.”
In 2008, Cordray received a Financial Services Champion Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration and a Government Service Award from NeighborWorks America. In 2005, he was named “County Leader of the Year” by American City & County Magazine.
“The American people deserve to have qualified public servants fighting for them every day—whether it is to enforce new consumer protections or uphold the rights of working Americans," said President Obama. "We can’t wait to act to strengthen the economy and restore security for our middle class and those trying to get in it, and that’s why I am proud to appoint these fine individuals to get to work for the American people.”
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.
"American families finally have the consumer advocate we've needed for so long: Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," said Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General for the State of California. "I applaud the President's decisive action in appointing Richard to this important position. I've heard countless stories from California families who have been victimized by mortgage brokers, payday lenders, and debt collectors. We're at a critical moment for the middle-class in America, and we urgently need strong oversight of our financial institutions and accountability for wrongdoing. Richard Cordray is the right person at the right time to get this job done and be a strong partner with state attorneys general."
President Obama nominated Cordray in July 2011 to replace Elizabeth Warren, the architect of the CFPB. The CFPB was established as a result of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act with the sole purpose of regulating consumer protection nationwide.
“Consumers need better information about the costs and risks of borrowing, and they need to be able to comparison shop for a good deal,” said Cordray. “Consumers also need the peace of mind that comes from knowing the deal they were promised is the deal they are actually getting, not just tomorrow, but next month and next year as well.”