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Attorneys general give green light to Cordray appointment

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Attorneys general from across the country said President Obama's recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will allow the regulatory agency to give shape to lending rules that have been sitting stagnant for well over a year. The CFPB was signed into law two years ago as part of the Dodd-Frank Act and officially launched last summer. However, without a director, the agency has been unable to give full shape to lending laws. "As the attorney general of Ohio, Richard Cordray established himself as one of the nation’s leading consumer protectors. I am confident he will continue those efforts on behalf of consumers across the nation as the new director of the CFPB," said Delaware AG Beau Biden in a statement. While a group of 37 AGs sent a letter to the president last year asking for Cordray's appointment, not all AGs have supported the appointment or the structure of the agency. In late September, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller commended Richard Cordray, but didn't sign the letter. "Richard is an excellent person to run the thing," he said. Yet, Zoeller admitted he personally declined to sign a letter in support of the director's appointment because he believed Congress should fix the CFPB's structural issues before a leader was named. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a Republican, signed the letter supporting Cordray. He said during a White House press conference last year that "it's important to note not all of us agree with every aspect of Dodd-Frank." But he said, "I, as a Republican, share the same concerns in regards to oversight. We believe in smaller government. This is not about going after everybody, but about making sure those in the financial industry are on a level playing field and that the agencies focus their efforts on the bad actors." Nevada AG Catherine Cortez Masto called Cordray a former colleague and well qualified to lead the bureau. "As chief law enforcement officers, attorneys general are collectively charged — among other responsibilities — with overseeing consumer protection in our state’s financial marketplaces," Cortez-Masto said Wednesdsay. "I have no doubt he will work to make sure Nevadans and Americans alike are treated fairly by mortgage brokers, payday lenders and debt collectors. Mr. Cordray has earned a reputation as a strong advocate fighting for consumer interests.  I look forward to working with him." Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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