Richard Cordray confirmed as CFPB director

Sen. Kirk allows vote to proceed, but votes against Cordray confirmation; Sen. Durbin votes yea

Richard Cordray was confirmed today by the full Senate as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on a 66-34 vote. Both Illinois Senators Mark Kirk and Richard Durbin voted in favor allowing the confirmation to proceed to an up-or-down vote, but unfortunately only Sen. Durbin voted to confirm Director Cordray.

“We are thrilled that Director Cordray was confirmed today by the Senate and thank Sen. Dick Durbin for voting in favor of his confirmation,” said Dory Rand, president of Woodstock Institute. “Richard Cordray has demonstrated his commitment to protecting consumers while also working with the financial industry. He has proven that he is the right man for the job. We are pleased that Sen. Kirk refused to play political games and filibuster the vote, but are disappointed in his decision to vote against a candidate as well-qualified as Richard Cordray.”

Since its inception two years ago, the CFPB has enacted a number of reforms that curb the worst abuses of the industry. In less than two full years of operation, the agency has: created the consumer complaint database and hotline; drafted and finalized rules governing mortgage affordability and mortgage servicing standards; and taken enforcement actions against companies that issued illegal credit card fees, made spurious debt settlement claims, and engaged in discriminatory auto lending. By confirming Cordray as Director, the CFPB can continue to create a fair playing field for consumers in both the housing and financial markets. 

The work of the CFPB has been especially critical for Illinois consumers who continue to suffer from the negative effects of the foreclosure crisis and recession. The number of foreclosure completions in the Chicago area increased drastically by 73.8 percent from 2011 to 2012, and more than 142,000 residences in the region were vacant for over one year. Consumer debt issues topped the list of complaints to the Illinois Attorney General for the fifth year in a row, and since the creation of the CFPB consumer complaint database in early 2012, almost 4,200 different complaints from Illinois residents have been filed.

“We thank Sen. Kirk and Sen. Durbin for rising above partisanship and allowing the Senate to vote on Richard Cordray’s nomination today, though we wish both of our Senators had voted in favor of confirming Director Cordray,” said Rand.

For more information, contact Katie Buitrago at kbuitrago@woodstockinst.org or 312-368-0310.