For Immediate Release
January 4, 2012
CLEVELAND, OH – Today President Barack Obama stood up to special interests and party politics and made a clear choice to stand with American consumers. His appointment of Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that protecting homeowners, students and other financial consumers is more important than bowing to the will of Wall Street special interests.
For too long the financial industry has gotten its way in Washington while everyday Americans paid the price. Ohio neighborhoods are still suffering with crisis-level foreclosure rates. (Policy Matters Ohio Report) Now we finally have someone dedicated to looking out for American consumers.
“Richard Cordray is not out to put banks out of business,” said Inez Killingsworth, Board President of Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP). “But if they rip people off he’ll go after them. This is all about being fair.”
“If you wouldn’t push a predatory mortgage, payday loan or some other financial product to your grandmother, you shouldn’t do it to anyone,” said Mark Seifert, Executive Director of ESOP.
Today President Obama met with Mr. and Mrs. Eason. They are elderly Cleveland homeowners who came to ESOP for help after being fooled into predatory loans for home repairs. What started out as $8,000 to repair their roof and garage, ended up as nearly $80,000 in debt and no home repairs to show for it.
Senate Republicans have used technicalities to block Cordray’s appointment for months. But President Obama’s action today is an appropriate use of his authority to protect consumers.
The predatory loans and bad mortgages that caused millions of foreclosures, ravaged neighborhoods and devastated the nation’s economy should never happen again. Now Richard Cordray has the tools to make sure it doesn’t.