Fire CFPB director? Cordray responds to calls for his head

Bureau still trucking along

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray is caught in the crosshairs of one of the biggest battles in Congress, as Democrats run to his aid and Republicans tear him and his agency apart.

But despite this rapidly growing controversy, Cordray appears to be conducting business as usual.

In a short and brief comment to CNBC’S Ylan Mui on Wednesday on his way to Capitol Hill, Cordray said, "I'm just focused on doing my job, which is protecting consumers. The rest of it is above my pay grade."

Cordray made similar comments to these back at the end of January in an interview with The Wall Street Journal at a financial regulation event.

“It’s important to keep in mind that we are a law enforcement agency,” Cordray said in the interview. “That’s an important part of what we do, and it…has to be kept separate from partisan politics.”

And as far as the ongoing landmark case between PHH and the CFPB that’s still ongoing, until a decision or change is made, Cordray told the WSJ, “My job is to take the law as it’s given to me and enforce it and implement it faithfully.”

While these brief comments are the main feedback coming out of the CFPB on the battle around the bureau, Cordray is producing results on the comments he has made about carrying on with business.

This year already has proved to be a busy year for the CFPB. In housing-related actions only, the bureau has already released three press releases. The bureau didn’t waste anytime at the start of the year, and on Jan. 3, the CFPB fined TransUnion and Equifax for deceiving consumers in marketing credit scores and credit products.

Then at the end of January, the bureau hit CitiFinancial Servicing and CitiMortgage with enforcement actions over how both companies handled borrower foreclosures.

Most recently, the bureau ordered Prospect Mortgage to pay a $3.5 million fine for improper mortgage referrals, in what the regulator called an alleged "kickback" scheme.

Meanwhile, a decision should be out soon on the CFPB’s petition for rehearing en banc. Alan Kaplinsky, partner and leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, said the decision will likely come in the next couple of weeks.

And this isn’t the first time either Republicans or Democrats in government have called for the head of regulatory agency. Back in 2012, after refusing calls from the administration and left-leaning members of the government to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give principal write-downs to underwater homeowners, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus pushed to have former acting head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Edward DeMarc ousted. 

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