Consumer advocates ponder federal watchdog’s agenda

Richard Cordray was finally confirmed as CFPB director in July.
Richard Cordray was finally confirmed as CFPB director in July.Win McNamee/Getty Images

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has managed to pack some punches in the past few months on behalf of the purchasing public it represents.

In December, the agency ordered refunds by major companies for misleading business practices.

And Friday, a slew of mortgage rules and consumer protections went into effect that were part of the financial overhaul bill that created the agency, which opened its doors a little more than two years ago.

But the true test of the consumer watchdog’s mettle will be in the year ahead, when the agency is set to take on several thorny issues that are likely to arouse more pushback from the financial services lobby and give more impetus to Republican opponents in Congress who continue to try to reduce the bureau’s power.

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