WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 21, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The Senate Banking Committee voted earlier today 12-10 along party lines in favor of the confirmation of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Cordray’s nomination now goes to a vote by the full Senate. Unfortunately for Illinoisans, Senator Mark Kirk voted against Cordray, who has earned widespread, bipartisan praise for his work leading the CFPB.
Last week, we sent a letter to Sen. Kirk urging him to vote in favor of Cordray’s confirmation. Illinoisans continue to suffer the effects of predatory and deceptive financial practices. At a time when consumer debt issues have topped the list of complaints to the Illinois attorney general five years in a row, Sen. Kirk’s vote is disappointing.
There’s no two ways around it: A vote against Cordray’s confirmation is a vote for fewer protections for Illinois consumers. By law, the CFPB has limited ability to do the job it was created to do following the financial collapse in 2008 in the absence of a confirmed director.
“Delaying Cordray’s confirmation because of political brinksmanship harms consumers, continues destructive uncertainty in the financial system, and allows predatory financial practices to flourish,” said Dory Rand, president of Woodstock Institute. “The CFPB must be able to continue its efforts to prevent the abusive and deceptive banking and lending practices that caused the financial and housing crises from which the nation is still working to recover.”
Since its inception, the CFPB has worked tirelessly to make the financial system more transparent and fair for all consumers. In less than two years of full operation, the agency has:
- Created a consumer complaint database and hotline so consumers can submit issues about bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and more.
- Written rules governing mortgage disclosure, mortgage affordability, foreclosure standards, prepaid debit cards, and payday loans.
- Taken enforcement action against companies that issued illegal credit card fees and made spurious debt settlement claims, obtaining refunds for victims.
The CFPB has just begun making the financial system safe. Illinoisans need protection from the deceptive financial practices that cost them millions of dollars each year and prey upon the most vulnerable. For Cordray’s confirmation to be held up for political reasons is unacceptable.
Luckily, Sen. Kirk has another chance. We strongly urge the Senator to push for an up-or-down vote, and vote in favor of Richard Cordray for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.