MBA Supports Confirmation, but Richard Cordray Not Off Hot Seat

While mortgage bankers joined customers in support of the Senate’s reconfirmation of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, challenges remain.

Cordray “is deserving of this confirmation,” stated president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, David Stevens, noting that the MBA sees his re-election as a way to ensure “stability and consistency” in the highest ranks of the CFPB.

“We have not always agreed on the final outcome of CFPB rulemakings, and there remain a number of items related to the mortgage process that we will be working to address,” he said, adding the MBA will continue to work with the director on the important housing finance market issues facing consumers, including the qualified mortgage rule, until solutions are found.

As expected, most consumers appear to support Cordray. Findings from the Consumer Reports National Research Center show up to 74% support his re-election as CFPB director.

But other entities, such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, have no plans to stop challenging the CFPB and Cordray.

CEI is a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of what they call Cordray’s recess appointment and “other constitutional defects of the CFPB,” which the Supreme Court decided to review several weeks ago.

“If Cordray supports the long-running White House claims his recess appointment was valid, then we challenge him to do the following: ‘Do not reauthorize any actions taken in the past by the CFPB,’” said Sam Kazman, general counsel of CEI, a bipartisan group that is strongly critical of the database CFPB is building with confidential information from 900 million credit card accounts.

CEI questions the CFPB’s lack of checks and balances and building the unauthorized database without transparent rules.

"It's too bad too many senators, in trying to avoid the 'nuclear option' on filibusters, are overlooking the CFPB's nuking of consumer privacy through its unauthorized data collection efforts,” said CEI senior fellow for finance and access to capital, John Berlau.

News reports and testimony before Congress indicate the CFPB is building a database of personal financial transactions “that will rival that of the National Security Agency, without even the excuse of fighting terrorism,” he added, since many have objected to the lack of checks on the CFPB.