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Richard Cordray

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BUSINESS
July 16, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The nation's consumer watchdog for credit cards, mortgages and other financial products is set to emerge from a legal cloud that threatened its authority after a Senate deal paved the way for confirmation of its director. After Tuesday's approval of Richard Cordray to a five-year term as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the young agency now has the certainty that it has lacked since being created as the centerpiece of the 2010 Wall Street reform law. That means that bureau rules and enforcement actions designed to protect consumers from risky mortgages, misleading credit card marketing, abusive debt collection and other questionable financial practices won't be in danger of being overturned because of legal questions about Cordray's controversial recess appointment in 2012.
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BUSINESS
December 2, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton
Students who get the runaround from companies handling their college loans soon may get help from the federal government. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it will begin regulating the nation's largest student-loan servicing firms, which manage student accounts, process monthly payments and respond to borrower questions. Though they don't make the loans, the companies are the main point of contact for borrowers. They effectively serve as gatekeepers that have enormous influence over requests for deferments or loan modifications.
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BUSINESS
July 21, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Richard Cordray has a message for opponents of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Neither he nor the new watchdog agency is going away. The bureau celebrates its first anniversary Saturday with opponents still trying to shut it down — or at least weaken its power. Instead, the bureau flexed its muscle for the first time this week. It joined with another banking regulator to order Capital One Bank to pay $210 million in refunds and fines to settle allegations of deceptive marketing tactics to credit card customers.
BUSINESS
November 29, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - As they prepared to launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in early 2011, Obama administration officials settled on its permanent headquarters: a vacant government building a block away from the White House. They planned to turn the former home of the defunct Office of Thrift Supervision into a showplace befitting the first new federal agency created in decades to focus specifically on protecting American consumers. The 35-year-old building would be renovated to include a state-of-the-art public lobby with "interactive kiosks and 21st century learning centers," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
BUSINESS
March 13, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Senators questioned two of President Obama's nominees for key financial regulatory positions, and Democrats and Republicans appeared to like both of them. But only one of those candidates is expected to be confirmed. Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor, was on track to be confirmed as chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission after Tuesday's hearing by the Senate Banking committee. However, the path for Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who has been renominated by Obama, was still blocked by Republicans who want changes to the agency.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera and Andrew Tangel, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - In nominating former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, President Obama aimed a strong message at potential Wall Street miscreants: Watch out. Obama amplified that decision Thursday by renominating Richard Cordray, a former state attorney general, as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray's controversial recess appointment to the 2-year-old agency expires at the end of the year. Obama said that White and Cordray were key to implementing the 2010 overhaul of financial regulations and protecting consumers and the financial system from the "kinds of abuse that nearly brought the economy to its knees.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2012 | By Ken Bensinger, Los Angeles Times
The nation's top consumer watchdog is investigating one of the largest Buy Here Pay Here used car chains, the latest in a rising tide of scrutiny of the little-known industry. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a subpoena seeking information and business documents from DriveTime Automotive Group in Phoenix, according to a regulatory filing this week. DriveTime, with 90 dealerships nationwide, is the first Buy Here Pay Here company to be investigated by the federal agency that was created in 2010 as part of the overhaul of financial regulations.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - What's in your wallet? For about 2.5 million Capital One credit card customers, the answer will be refunds ordered by federal regulators who accused the bank of deceptive marketing tactics. In the first major enforcement action involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Capital One agreed to refund $150 million to customers and pay $60 million in civil penalties to the government. The McLean, Va., bank was accused primarily of duping customers into signing up for payment protection plans and other add-on services.
BUSINESS
September 19, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $389 million in refunds and penalties for illegally charging credit card customers for identity theft protection and other add-on services they didn't receive or authorize, federal regulators said Thursday. The bank already has paid the refunds -- $309 million to more than 2.1 million customers, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In addition to agreeing formally to the refunds, JPMorgan agreed in consent orders with the agencies to pay a total of $80 million in civil penalties for the violations and fix the problems.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Nearly all Senate Republicans have pledged to block the confirmation of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, adding to the uncertainty about the agency's leadership after a recent court ruling threatening his recess appointment to the position. "Far too much power is vested in the sole CFPB director without any meaningful checks and balances," the senators wrote to President Obama on Friday. The letter was signed by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- In its first enforcement action against a payday lender, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday fined Cash America International $5 million and ordered $14 million in refunds for overcharging customers, robo-signing documents in debt collection lawsuits and impeding an investigation. Almost all the refunds go to consumers in Ohio, where lawyers for a subsidiary, Cashland Financial Services Inc., signed documents without reviewing them, the bureau said.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - In its first enforcement action against a payday lender, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has fined Cash America International $5 million and ordered $14 million in refunds for overcharging customers, robo-signing documents in debt collection lawsuits and impeding an investigation. Almost all the refunds go to consumers in Ohio, where lawyers for a subsidiary, Cashland Financial Services Inc., signed documents without reviewing them in violation of state and court rules, the bureau said Wednesday.
BUSINESS
November 5, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The federal government's consumer financial watchdog plans to crack down on the nation's 4,500 debt collectors with new regulations to ensure that collectors are going after the right people for the right amounts and aren't badgering the debtors. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Tuesday that it was seeking public comment on new rules because the 1977 law regulating debt collection practices hasn't kept up with advances in technology. As millions of Americans have fallen behind on their bills because of the Great Recession, debt collectors have employed text messages and social media to bombard debtors.
BUSINESS
September 19, 2013 | David Lazarus
Michael Barr served as the U.S. Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial institutions in 2009 and 2010. He oversaw the Obama administration's dealings with Congress in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And he's still smarting from the experience. "The banks fought against the bureau tooth and nail," Barr told me. "They were in an all-out war with the administration over this. " But he makes no effort to hide his satisfaction with how things turned out. "The financial sector lost that fight," Barr said.
BUSINESS
September 19, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $389 million in refunds and penalties for illegally charging credit card customers for identity theft protection and other add-on services they didn't receive or authorize, federal regulators said Thursday. The bank already has paid the refunds -- $309 million to more than 2.1 million customers, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In addition to agreeing formally to the refunds, JPMorgan agreed in consent orders with the agencies to pay a total of $80 million in civil penalties for the violations and fix the problems.
BUSINESS
July 23, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday sued Castle & Cooke Mortgage, accusing it of paying illegal bonuses to employees who steered home buyers toward higher-interest loans. The suit marks the first time a company has been targeted under new federal loan-origination compensation rules adopted after a mountain of bad home loans set off a global financial crisis. The bureau sued in federal court in Utah, where Castle & Cooke is based, accusing two of its top executives of running a quarterly bonus program that paid $6,100 to $8,700 to loan officers who persuaded consumers to take out pricier mortgages.
BUSINESS
March 12, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- A top House lawmaker is questioning the validity of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's funding, arguing that a recent court decision invalidating some of President Obama's recess appointments could make it unlawful for the agency's director to seek money to pay for its operations. The move is the latest in a long battle by many Republicans against the bureau, which was created in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Republicans say the bureau is too powerful and not accountable enough to Congress.
BUSINESS
July 23, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday sued Castle & Cooke Mortgage, accusing it of paying illegal bonuses to employees who steered home buyers toward higher-interest loans. The suit marks the first time a company has been targeted under new federal loan-origination compensation rules adopted after a mountain of bad home loans set off a global financial crisis. The bureau sued in federal court in Utah, where Castle & Cooke is based, accusing two of its top executives of running a quarterly bonus program that paid $6,100 to $8,700 to loan officers who persuaded consumers to take out pricier mortgages.
NEWS
July 18, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Thomas E. Perez was confirmed as secretary of Labor on Thursday, ending a long battle over his nomination in a key test of this week's deal to end a showdown over Senate rules. Perez, currently the nation's top civil rights lawyer, was confirmed by a vote of 54-46 in the Senate, the narrowest result for any of President Obama's second-term Cabinet nominees. Perez will become the sole Latino in the Cabinet, leading the Labor Department as Congress considers a major overhaul of immigration laws that could create millions of newly legal workers.
NATIONAL
July 18, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - President Obama's revamped second-term Cabinet is nearly complete after the Senate on Thursday confirmed two of the longest-stalled nominees. Votes to approve Thomas E. Perez as Labor secretary and Gina McCarthy as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency quickly followed a deal to end a showdown over executive branch nominations. The 59-40 vote on McCarthy came 133 days after the Senate received her nomination, the longest delay of any Cabinet-level nomination this year.
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