WASHINGTON — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray defended the agency's new mortgage rules, data-gathering activities and single-director leadership structure during a luncheon speech on Wednesday.

Fielding questions from attorneys and consultants at the Exchequer Club, Cordray argued the ability-to-repay rule and the creation of an ultrasafe class of loans known as "qualified mortgages" will not significantly raise the cost of most mortgages or impair credit availability. Lenders have warned that few banks will want to make loans that are not considered QM, which must comply with certain underwriting criteria.

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