He's one of the few U.S. government officials that President Donald Trump can't fire on a whim. And that independence might help explain why Richard Cordray, 58, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has been so aggressive — and successful — in cracking down on illegal debt-collection practices, improper mortgage-foreclosure tactics and deceptive credit-card marketing by banks like Citigroup Inc. Unlike the heads of the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Cordray doesn't answer to a board or commission.

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