PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The day after former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray was named director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by President Obama, Cordray deflected questions about his controversial appointment.
Cordray was interviewed via satellite by KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano.
Cordray’s appointment came two years after the bureau was created. Using procedural rules, Republican Senators had blocked confirmation of the President’s choice.
So adopting a controversial process for interim appointments, President Obama appointed Cordray anyway. At a rally in Cleveland, the president said he had no choice.
“I’m not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve, not with so much at stake, not at this make or break moment for middle class Americans.”
Cordray said he wouldn’t comment on the controversy.
“I’ll leave those distractions to others,” Cordray said. “There’s a job to do here. It’s an important job for people. People know that. They need somebody standing on their side.”
Cordray said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needed a director.
“We didn’t have our full authorities until we had a director, so we were blocked in part from really doing the job to protect consumers that the law tells us to do.”
Without a director, the agency could not regulate thousands of non-banks that write mortgages, operate payday loans, run credit reporting agencies and collect debts.
Cordray says the CFPB wants to hear if you’ve been wronged by any of these.
“We have created on our website, ConsumerFinance.gov, a function where you can tell us your story, tell your story.”
As for Wall Street, banks, credit card companies, mortgage loans and all the others, Cordray is clear.
“We’re going to be supervising them closely and making them correct problems that we see in terms of how they’re treating consumers and we’re going to be regulating them over time to make sure that these markets work better for people like you and me and our friends and family members.”