But under Cordray, who’d earned high praise for fighting for consumers as Ohio attorney general, the bureau managed several notable accomplishments. CFPB enforcement actions have already resulted in $425 million in refunds to 6 million consumers hit by deceptive financial practices. The bureau has also helped resolve more than 133,000 consumer complaints about credit cards, mortgages, student loans, bank accounts, and other services.
Still, without a formal confirmation by the Senate, Cordray was looking at the very real prospect of having to leave the job at the end of this year, and the future of the CFPB was in serious doubt.
Determined not to let the CFPB go down like that, Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, generated more than 240,000 signatures, e-mails, and phone calls to urge Congress to confirm Cordray. We held a telephone town hall meeting to rally people to contact their senators and tell them to do the right thing. And we joined with other consumer groups to keep the pressure on Capitol Hill.
When the political stalemate over Cordray came to a head this month, the Senate worked out an agreement to let his nomination come up for consideration without watering down the bureau. The 66-to-34 vote to confirm Cordray was a strong, bipartisan show of support. While opponents might continue looking for ways to weaken the CFPB, the bureau now has a full-fledged director and moves forward with full powers to help consumers.