Obama lets consumer watchdog out

(1/9/2012) - Wary of Republicans' fiddling while America's economy burns, President Barack Obama lived up to a promise and used special presidential powers to put Richard Cordray in place to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

"I refuse to take 'no' for an answer. I am not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people we were elected to serve," Obama said at a political rally-like crowd of 1,300 at a high school in the Shaker Heights suburb of Cordray's Cleveland hometown.

With mortgage-related issues at the top of Cordray's to-do list, the CFPB was born of the massive Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act as a consumer watchdog to ward off the kind of financial industry misadventures that helped put the economy in the tank.

The CFPB has long been a target of political stonewalling from Republicans, even as the agency mounted an impressive watchdog record of snapping to consumer issues including mortgages, mortgage fraud, credit cards and student loans, among others.

"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. 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," President Obama said recently in a prepared statement.

During a U.S. Senate recess, Obama used special powers to appoint former Ohio Attorney General Cordray to head the CFPB. He also assigned other officials to the National Labor Relations Board. The president has the authority to make appointments without a Senate vote when the Senate is in recess. As expected, Republicans whined that the Senate was not in recess, but virtually all Senators were out of town during Obama's appointment.

The CFPB officially opened in July 2011, followed by Obama's Cordray nomination that summer. The nomination was cleared by the Senate Banking Committee, but Republicans, who want to defang the watchdog agency by diluting its powers, had blocked a Senate vote to confirm Cordray unless they got their way.

That's not going to happen now, without a court fight. A court ruling would likely uphold the appointment.

Obama has judiciously used the recess-appointement power far less (29 times) than either George W. Bush (171) or Bill Clinton (139).

However, a court fight wouldn't be a surprise from Republicans who've spent much of the past four years fighting to undo achievements rather than actually creating any of their own.

With a director at the helm, the CFPB can now flex its regulatory muscle and target non-bank entities such as mortgage brokers and mortgage servicers, as well as speed up its ongoing efforts related to other issues, including simplifying mortgage borrower disclosures and shaping the definition of Dodd-Frank's "qualified mortgage."

Among a host of consumer protection efforts, the bureau in October 2011 released Supervision and Examination Manual.

The manual, with a special focus on mortgage servicing, is a guide to how CFPB will supervise and examine consumer financial service providers.

The agency's plate is full of a host of additional issues it will address.

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and other consumer advocates have noted financial practices that continue to harm consumers, including targeting military service members with payday loans and other predatory finances; mortgage foreclosure abuses, bank payday and overdraft loans with exorbitant fees and pre-paid credit card fees.

"The list of financial tricks and traps that consumers are forced to deal with keeps growing. Fourteen months after Congress created the CFPB, the agency needs a permanent leader so it is not fighting financial abuses with one arm tied behind its back," said Travis Plunkett, CFA's Legislative Director.

Refinance at Today's Low Rates!

Follow the link to continue reading the related articles.

Consumers exercise debit card fee options, for better or for worse

Feds to steer consumers away from predatory auto loans

Top consumer complaints tied to areas of economic distress

Consumer watchdog opens amid efforts to defang the new agency

Federal consumer watchdog digging into mortgage disclosures










Fannie Mae & Jumbo Mortgage Rates

Just One Click! = Current Rate Chart

Pennsylvania Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Hawaii Current Mortgage Rates - Alaska West Virginia Mortgage Rates Virginia Mortgage Rates District of Columbia Mortgage Rates Maryland Mortgage Rates Delaware Mortgage Rates New Jersey Mortgage Rates Connecticut Mortgage Rates Rhode Island Mortgage Rates Massachusetts Mortgage Rates New Hampshire Mortgage Rates Vermont Mortgage Rates New Hampshire Mortgage Rates Maine Current Mortgage Rates Vermont Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - New York Current Mortgage Rates - Michigan Current Interest Rates - Wisconsin Current Mortgage Rates - MINNESOTA Ohio Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Kentucky Current Mortgage Rates - Indiana Illinois - Current Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Iowa Missouri Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - North Carolina South Carolina Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Florida Current Mortgage Rates - Georgia Current Mortgage Rates - Tennessee Current Mortgage Rates - Alabama Current Mortgage Rates - Mississippi Current Mortgage Rates - Louisiana Current Mortgage Rates - Arkansas Current Mortgage Rates - Oklahoma Current Mortgage Rates - TEXAS Current Mortgage Rates - New Mexico Current Mortgage Rates - Arizona Current Mortgage Rates - Kansas Current Mortgage Rates - Nebraska Current Mortgage Rates - Colorado Current Mortgage Rates - Wyoming South Dakota Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - North Dakota Current Rates - Montana Idaho Current Rates Washington Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Oregon Current Mortgage Rates - Utah Current Mortgage Rates - Nevada Current Mortgage Rates - California

Start by selecting your state

Get the Updated and Improved Mortgage Rates App from

iPad for Mortgage Rates

Real Estate Market News

Refinancing: Selecting a Loan

Moving Ahead With Your Refinance