CFPB Chief Richard Cordray '86 Talks with APM's "Marketplace Money"

From the Marketplace website:

Tess Vigeland: Imagine taking a job and then getting hreatened with a lawsuit the day you start! But that's the situation for Richard Cordray, new chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Last week, President Obama used a recess appointment to usher Cordray into office. But a lot of people are asking questions, like was the Senate actually in recess? And that could mean a slew of lawsuits as Cordray starts to take action. But he's moving ahead and joins us from his office in Washington. Thanks for being with us.

Richard Cordray: My pleasure.

Vigeland: First of all, I know you're a five-time "Jeopardy" champion. So I'll be giving you answers and then you can respond in the form a question. Does that work for you?

Cordray: That keeps them short, too.

Vigeland: Certainly does. I think what most people know of the CFPB up to this point is the agency has been trying to simplify a lot of paperwork around everything from credit card statements to mortgage applications. What would you say are your top three priorities right now?

Cordray: Well, I would say that continuing that work is a high priority. The "Know before you owe" project, because what we find is consumers in the marketplace often are baffled and confused by a lot of fine print, by offers that are hard to follow, that may be potentially misleading or deceptive to them. Cleaning that up, simplifying and clarifying language is quite important to consumers can make better-informed decisions that they can live with.

At the same time, another priority for us -- now that we have a director; we could not do this before -- we can now police the non-bank arena. We saw this in the mortgage market in the lead up to the financial crisis: Many mortgage brokers and others were not held to the same standards and principals of law that the banks were held to. And they undermined the market and it really destroyed the mortgage market in a way that the country, unfortunately, is still grappling with the residues of that crisis.

Read or listen to the rest of the interview here.