Richard Cordray, the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), didn’t waste any time trying to connect with consumers about how the CFPB can help them in 2012.  Here’s the email being sent to consumers across the US:

Happy New Year,

As the new Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and as someone who has been helping to build the Bureau for about a year now, I can tell you it’s an extraordinary privilege to work on behalf of American consumers.

Consumers like you. Tell your story.

In our first six months, our team at the Bureau has been answering calls and reading stories from hundreds of American consumers every week. Their stories illustrate the kinds of issues people are dealing with around the country.

These things can happen to anyone. We are not talking about some impersonal abstraction, not about somebody “else.” We are talking about each one of us. We’re talking about our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers, our sons and daughters. Regular people who are trying to make the right choices for themselves and their families.

We’ve heard from people like Rebecca from North Carolina. She told us she missed a mortgage payment nine months after her husband lost his job. In the two years since then, her mortgage servicer has increased her payments even though she entered a trial modification in an effort to lower her monthly payments. The servicer has charged her monthly fees for inspections and appraisals that she never asked for and she believes have never occurred, all while repeatedly threatening her with foreclosure unless she shells out more money in unexplained fees. Rebecca has frantically complied with all of these demands because she is afraid of foreclosure and so is doing whatever she can to stay in her home.

Tell us your story at

With the stakes so high, consumers need to be able to fully understand the costs and risks of borrowing on credit, and they need to be able to comparison shop for the best deal. Consumers deserve to have someone who will stand on their side, who will protect them against fraud, and who will ensure they are treated fairly. The new Consumer Bureau was created to make sure that these things are achieved for all Americans. The good news is that we have already gotten started.

Over time, we will judge the success of our efforts by considering whether consumers are treated more fairly and with more clarity and candor in the financial marketplace. We deeply believe that we must hear from Americans about their experiences.

Can you share your experience?

Think about your own family members. Like all of us, they want to be able to use consumer credit to make their lives better, not worse. That is our goal as well. The financial marketplace can be a potent arena that helps people find and seize opportunity, not condemn them to bewildering failure. By working every day to protect consumers, we will help to fashion a more resilient economy and a stronger country. Join us; work with us; help us make it so.

Thank you,
Richard Cordray
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


What can you do to help fight for consumers’ rights?  Respond to Mr. Cordray’s request and notify the CFPB of your consumer issues.  Also, you can contact a consumer protection attorney at 1-800-263-9091.